Vector of a calendar page. Represents all of the possible business plan and pitch competitions to participate in.

Business Plan and Pitch Competition Guide

Pitch competitions are more than an opportunity to win funding; they’re a valuable platform to practice and perfect your business pitch. By participating, you gain critical experience presenting your ideas, receive expert feedback, and engage with potential investors and partners.

This guide is designed to help you prepare for these business plan competitions. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or an experienced business owner—here is what you need to know about pitch competitions.

If you need to develop your pitch deck or elevator pitch, check out our other guides.

What is a pitch competition?

A pitch or business plan competition is an event where people with business ideas or who are running early-stage startups get the chance to present to a group of judges. Entrepreneurs need to cover their business model, target market, financial plans, and other vital areas of their businesses within a fixed time limit. 

The judges, typically experts in business and investment, evaluate and provide feedback on these presentations. The best pitches, as determined by the judges, may receive prizes often in the form of funding, mentorship, or resources to help develop or scale their businesses.

How to prepare for a pitch competition

Are you participating in your first startup pitch or business plan contest? Check out these guides to refine your pitch and better understand what it takes to succeed.

Pitch competition resources and tools

Resources and templates to help you successfully pitch your business idea.

Business pitch competitions FAQ

A business plan competition is an event where entrepreneurs compete with one another in pitching their business ideas and presenting their plans to a panel of judges. The best plan will often receive prizes such as funding or mentorship.

Preparing for a pitch competition involves refining your business idea, understanding your target audience, and practicing your pitch presentation. You need to develop a concise yet compelling pitch that communicates your business model, value proposition, and financial plan.

To stand out in a pitch competition, present a unique and scalable business idea, articulate clearly, and show passion and confidence. Make sure your presentation is well-structured, engaging, and answers potential questions that judges may have. Ideally, you’ll have some sort of story or narrative that weaves all of this information together.

The purpose of a pitch competition is to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their business ideas, attract potential investors, and receive valuable feedback. It's also a great opportunity to network and learn from industry experts.

To win a pitch presentation, you need to clearly articulate your business idea and its potential profitability. Show your understanding of the market, your competition, and your business model. Try to connect with the judges and audience emotionally, and practice your presentation skills to deliver a persuasive pitch.