Pitch Competitions in West Virginia

Welcome to the dedicated home for pitch competitions for entrepreneurs and small business owners in West Virginia. It is our goal to provide a one-stop location for all of the pitch competitions going on throughout the year to make it easier for entrepreneurs and small businesses to find access to these competitions. Please be patient as we continue to build out this page to be all-inclusive. If you know of a pitch competition that isn’t listed please let us know by sending us an email at info at wvbusinesslink dot com.

Pitch Competition Resources

Please note: If you are a WV BusinessLink Resource Partner and have trainings or other online resources you would like to share please send us an email at info at wvbusinesslink dot com.

 

 

 

Pitch Southern West Virginia

 

Deadline to Apply: March 31, 2024 at 11:59pm

Pitch Night: April 23, 2024 from 5:30pm to 8:00pm

Apply Now

Register Here to Join the Audience!

The WV Hive Network, in partnership with WVU Tech Launch Lab, is excited to announce the return of Pitch Southern West Virginia, a business idea competition encompassing thirteen counties in southern West Virginia. The upcoming competition, to be held at WVU Tech in Beckley, WV, is open to residents and businesses located in Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, Summers, Webster, Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Mercer, Wyoming, McDowell, Logan and Mingo Counties and WVU Tech students, faculty and staff. The deadline to apply is 11:59pm March 31, 2024.

Please note: ONLY those with new business ideas or business start-ups less than three years in operation are eligible to apply.

Applications will be divided into “incubation”* and “ideation”** divisions. They will be evaluated by a team of reviewers and finalists will be chosen to pitch their ideas in-person at WVU Tech in Beckley, WV on April 23, 2024.

*Incubation: applicant has registered their business and made first sales

**Ideation: applicant has registered their business but has not made first sales or has not registered their business (This division is ideal for students and entrepreneurs who want early feedback and pitch experience, but are not yet ready to launch.)

If you are chosen as a finalist, you will be provided additional details and opportunities for coaching on how to create a pitch presentation. Business registration will be verified for the incubation division.

During the in-person competition, you will have five minutes to present your idea to a panel of judges and explain why it is innovative and how it will make a difference to residents of southern WV. Your presentation will be followed by a brief question and answer period with the judges.

Prizes:

  • Incubation Division: First place: $2,000; Second place: $1,000; Third place: $750
  • Ideation Division: One prize: $1,000
  • Audience Favorite: $250

Prize money must be used to further the business idea. WVU Tech students also have the option of using it toward their education.

Questions should be directed to [email protected].

Please note: ONLY those with new business ideas or new business start-ups less than three years in operation are eligible to apply. You must reside or have a business in Raleigh, Fayette, Nicholas, Summers, Webster, Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Monroe, Mercer, Wyoming, McDowell, Logan and Mingo Counties or be a WVU Tech student or faculty member to apply. Winners within the past 12 months are ineligible.


Ohio Valley Business Alliance Pitch Contest

 

Application Entry: Original deadline of March 11, 2024 to submit applications has now been extended until March 25, 2024.

Pitch Night: May 21, 2024

The Ohio Valley Business Alliance Corporation, a 501c3 nonprofit, is launching the annual Brooke-Hancock Pitch Contest. This year’s contest offers up to $10,000 in cash and prizes intended to support entrepreneur success in our two-county region.

Benefits:

  • Develop your business plan to start or grow your business
  • Network with other business professionals and potential customers
  • Learn about local and state-wide resources to support your business objectives
  • Compete with other entrepreneurs to win prizes of cash and/or services up to $10,000+

Requirements:

  • Eligibility
    • Youth or adults, 18+ years of age, who plan to initiate a new business startup or scale-up/expand an existing business.
    • Owners commit to locate the business in Brooke or Hancock County, West Virginia.
  • Applicants
  • Pre-Qualification
    • Applicants shall be interviewed by an OVBAC Pitch Assessment Team Member by phone.
    • Following the “prequalification interview,” the OVBAC Assessment Team Member shall send the contestant a Pitch Deck (PowerPoint slide show).
  • Applicants Shall
    • Register for one or more Inspiring You and WVSBDC workshops.
    • Prepare and submit a “first draft” of the Pitch Deck by April 8, 2024.
    • Attend a Pitch Presentation Prep Workshop prior to the event (date to be announced).
    • Schedule additional coaching sessions with a member of our Pitch Assessment Team if desired.
    • Send the FINAL Pitch Deck to the OVBAC by May 6, 2024 to [email protected]
    • Bring six (6) printed copies of the FINAL Pitch Deck and a thumb drive on May 21, 2024.
    • Wear business attire when making the Pitch.
  • Pitch Winners agree to submit funding requests to the OVBAC in writing, provide a written update with pictures of the completed work, and wrap up all activities by January 15, 2025.

KickStart Marshall County Now Taking Applications

Kickstart Marshall County

 

Application Entry: February 1 – March 1, 2024

Pitch Night: May 30, 2024

Kickstart Marshall County is a pitch competition organized by the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce along with the presenting sponsor Southwestern Energy. Application will be available from February 1 thru March 1, 2024. There are 5 easy steps to participate.

  1. Download Application
  2. Submit application with video
  3. Attend workshops
  4. Pitch your business on May 30, 2024
  5. Opportunity to win $5,000 prize package

Ignite WV

 

Pitch Night: Wednesday, April 10, 2024 at Bridging Innovation in Huntington, WV.

IgniteWV is a competition open to all parties interested in registering a business in West Virginia to support the start and growth of their business ideas. The goal is to provide budding entrepreneurs with the education, skills, contacts, and motivation necessary to create a viable start-up company in West Virginia.

Unlike traditional pitch competitions, IgniteWV will offer a four-month program with specialized training, coaching, and resources. Finalists will receive cost-free support from subject matter experts. Coaching will be customized based on need. In collaboration with a local support organization, we will determine specialized training and make industry connections based on business concepts.


 

Spark WV

 

Pitch Night: Wednesday, Aprili 10, 2024 at Bridging Innovation in Huntington, WV.

SparkWV is a new idea and business generation competition for middle and high school students in WV. The competition consists of three rounds to help students spark an idea of future opportunities available to them post-graduation. Many already have their own side hustles, skilled hobbies and crafts, or big ideas for their future. Apply today to help bring those ideas to life and make money from them.

To participate, students will need to complete an Intent to Apply via the VentureDash portal by November 10th. This is a simple registration that allows SparkWV’s organizers to coordinate the appropriate resources to fully support all participating students. Students are invited to apply as individuals or as a team with up to four members.

After registering, students will need to complete the Round 1 Open Call submission requirements by November 30. This is where students share a little more about the business or idea they are proposing, decide if they want to compete individually or as a team, and select their competition track:

Track 1: BIG IDEAS – Students have an idea for a product or invention that solves a problem, but don’t necessarily have the physical resources or expertise to make it. Examples: Apps, inventions, etc.

Track 2: SMALL BUSINESS – Students have a business idea that is viable and could be started in their local community or a hobby/skill that they could sell. Examples: Homemade jewelry, local coffee shop, etc.

SparkWV is coordinated by The EdVenture Group in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Education. The EdVenture Group will be hosting a series of SparkWV Info Sessions over the next few weeks to share further details on the program and competition requirements. Complete this short Interest Inquiry Form to register for a session and join the mailing list for updates.

Session dates/times: A calendar invite will be sent for selected dates/times.

Wednesday, October 18 | 4:00pm EST

Wednesday , November 1 | 12:00 pm EST

For more information, contact SparkWV Coordinator, Cameron Keefe, at [email protected].

 


Build-Up Berkeley

 

Pitch Night: Thursday, November 2, 2023 from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Open to the Public) at the Apollo Civic Theatre, 128 E. Martin St., Martinsburg, WV 25401.

The BCDA will take registrations from businesses located in Berkeley County from August 11th at 8:00 a.m. until August 25th at 5:00 p.m. The program is limited to 10 participants who will be notified by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, September 1st. The educational sessions will take place once a week from September 14th to October 26th. Participants who complete the educational sessions will receive credit through Blue Ridge Community & Technical College and will also receive professionally edited headshots provided by SC Studios. Business plans will be submitted by October 26th at 5:00 p.m. and competitors will pitch to the panel of judges on November 2nd with winners being selected that same evening. This event is open to the public from 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

For more details read the full article here on WV BusinessLink.


The Tank Entrepreneur Contest

 

Brought to you by the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce

Deadline to apply is July 31, 2023

Event: October 5, 2023 at 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Robinson Grand PAC Clarksburg, WV

What’s your million dollar idea? Apply to become our next Harrison County entrepreneur! Bring your business idea and have the opportunity to win a year’s worth of mentorship and a grand prize of $10,000! Deadline to apply is July 31, 2023. Benefits include: Prize money, mentorship (legal, accounting, marketing, and human resources).

For more information contact the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce at 304-624-6331.


Vetrepreneurs Pitch Competition

 

Pitch Night: Thursday, September 14, 2023 at  5:00 pm – 7:00 pm EST

Open to veterans and military family members. Win up to $15K in brand/website development and marketing. Register to attend.

The Vetrepreneurs Pitch Event is a rapid style “shark tank” like event with some of our most exciting entrepreneurs who are veterans and from military families. You will learn about their exciting ideas and watch as they answer questions from our judges. (If you would like to apply to pitch your business, apply here before August 31, 2023).