Eligibility and FAQ - University of California 3rd Annual Pitch Competition

Eligibility + FAQ

Who can apply?
What do I need to submit to enter?
What should my pitch deck cover?
Which track should I apply to?
How will my entry be judged?
What is the contest timeline?
Where can I find the official terms and conditions for the contest?
Top tips for your pitch video

Who can apply?

The 3rd Annual UC Pitch Competition is open to UC alumni, students, faculty, and staff. Startups must have at least one co-founder who is a UC alumnus, student,  faculty member, or staff.

Startups in any industry and any vertical are welcome to apply.

What do I need to submit to enter?

Startups must submit a completed pitch deck and a video. Videos cannot be longer than 2 minutes and must be a pitch about your startup. Startups must also complete the submission form including a two-sentence elevator pitch, contact information, name of startup, and link to a photo or logo. Startups must identify which co-founder is a UC alumnus, student, faculty member, or staff and list the campus with which they are affiliated.



What should my pitch deck cover?

Pitch decks must address the following:


Please review the checklist for pitch deck content [PDF]

Startups that do not meet the eligibility or application requirements will not be considered.

Startups must select one of two tracks and cannot enter both tracks.


Which track should I apply to?

The 3rd Annual UC Pitch Competition features two tracks: Early-stage Startups and Later-stage Startups. The Early-stage track is open to startups who are in or just completed pre Series-A funding. The Later-stage track is open to startups who are in or completed Series A or later funding rounds.

Both tracks are open to startups in any industry and in any vertical.

Six startup finalists will be selected from each track, then from the six, one grand prize winner will be selected.

How will my entry be judged?

Startups will be judged on four criteria: market viability, innovation, presentation, and societal impact. Not all criteria are equally weighted.

Market viability (40%): Any VC or investor will note that businesses must have a solid business model. Startups need to show that there is a market and that the market is a viable size in which they can make money. How does a startup plan to meet market demand? What value are they providing? Who are the competitors and how to do they compare? What will stop another startup entering the space? How do you plan to make money? How much money are you looking for and how will you use it? How quickly will money invested be returned? What do short and long-term revenues look like?

Innovation (30%): We’re looking for innovative ideas that are disruptive or iterative. What is it about your startup or product that is superior to current market offerings and why? How will your startup or product change the current state of the industry? Are there patents, IP, or trade secrets involved?

Presentation (20%): Startups should present a cohesive, logical, and easy-to-understand pitch deck and video pitch. Judges should be able to comprehend within 2 minutes the major value proposition, target market, and business opportunity.

Societal Impact (10%): The University of California is focused on making a positive impact on society. While this criteria doesn’t count for as much as market viability or innovation, judges will still evaluate startups on the potential to impact local, regional, and national society in areas that promote a better future and brighter tomorrow.


What is the contest timeline?

UC startups need to submit their application by 5:00pm PST on December 17, 2018. Applications must include a pitch deck and video. In December, entries will be vetted for eligibility, narrowed to a pool of 30 semi-finalists, and our mentor/judges will select 12 finalists.

In early January, 2019, UC will announce the 12 finalists and each startup will be notified if they are a finalist. Travel arrangements will be promptly made for finalists to attend the 4th Annual Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation Summit (GCVI Summit) . During the month of January, each startup will be assigned a mentor and the mentors will work with startups to strengthen and perfect their pitches. Final pitch decks are due to the Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship by Friday, January 25, 2019. Finalists will pitch on the 29th and 30th at the GCVI Summit in Monterey where two winners will be chosen, one from each track.

During the GCVI summit, startups will be features on GCVI digital channels. Following the conference, in-depth interviews with each track winner will be distributed to GCVI and UC Innovation & Entrepreneurship respective channels.

Where can I find the official terms and conditions for the contest?

The official terms and conditions are located at http://entrepreneurs.universityofcalifornia.edu/official-rules

Top tips for your pitch video