Competitions & Grants

Competition & Grant Resources

University of New Hampshire

The Paul J. Holloway Prize Competition (USNH students only) is open to all students in all majors at the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University, Keene State College and Granite State College. Participants will present their strategies before panels of business leaders who judge their commercialization potential. The competition honors those students who have developed the best cases and concludes with the presentation of the Paul J. Holloway Prize.

The Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC) is an idea-stage competition that engages aspiring and practicing student and community social entrepreneurs (individuals and teams from across the state of New Hampshire, as well as UNH alumni) in designing novel, sustainable, business-orientated solutions to some of society’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.

The Summer Seed Grant from the Peter T. Paul Entrepreneurship Center (ECenter) invites all UNH students to submit applications for grant funding to take their entrepreneurial ideas to the next level through the development of prototypes, business models and/or companies during the summer months. Summer is one of the best times for students to work on ideas and early stage start-ups. This grant allows a student/students to focus full time attention on the venture and receive a grant payment to do so in lieu of having to find a summer job. The 2016 Grant winners are Andras Fekete of RAIDX and Sid Nigam, Paige Balcom, and Ethan Pirie of Project OASIS! Information about the 2017 Summer Seed Grant will be posted in early 2017.


New Hampshire

The Manchester Young Professional Network/Alpha Loft NH Startup Challenge is a statewide business plan competition created in 2008 to connect entrepreneurs and social innovators with seed capital and key services to help them on their path toward the creation of value, sustainable growth, and profitability. Over the past seven years, $385,000 in cash and in-kind services have been awarded to New Hampshire startups.

Seacoast NH Start-Up identifies and recognizes emerging, innovative companies. It is a lively competition that gives new businesses a chance to compete for a cash-and-in-kind prize package in a lively "Shark Tank"-style public forum and earn feedback from experienced business pros.

The competition is open to:

  • for-profit New Hampshire businesses with an innovative idea
  • less than five years in operation
  • not having exceeded $250,000 in annual revenue

Organizers want to draw attention to the strong growth potential and supportive business environment of New Hampshire’s Seacoast region. The winning start-up or business plan will receive a prize package that includes at least $30,000 in cash and in-kind services.

Tech Out – NH High Technology Council is organized jointly by the NH High Tech Council and Alpha Loft. TechOut is a startup competition that identifies talented, hungry tech entrepreneurs and funds them through investment capital awards of $100,000 a year.

Tory C. Marandos Entrepreneurial Challenge was founded in 2011. The challenge honors the entrepreneurial spirit of Tory C. Marandos, who died on December 12, 2006. This entrepreneurial challenge supports other entrepreneurs in their efforts to start and grow businesses in New Hampshire.


New England

The annual Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs is hosted and organized by the Center for Women and Financial Independence, Smith College's initiative devoted to the support of innovation and entrepreneurship. The competition is designed to give undergraduate entrepreneurs an experience that will help them hone their business plans and elevator pitches. The goal of the Draper Competition is to provide the best educational and entrepreneurial experience of any undergraduate business competition.

Furnace Accelerator is part of a nationwide competition to build new ventures that are based on one or more patents
or technologies developed at Department of Defense (DoD) laboratories. The New England competition will specifically feature technologies from the area’s own U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center.

MassChallenge programs give global entrepreneurs the resources they need with no equity taken. 

MedStart PitchFest is part of the MedStart Health Care Entrepreneurship Conference at Tufts University. Do you have an idea for an app that will help patients communicate better with physicians? Are you already drawing plans for a medical device that will help people better manage their health? In coordination with our upcoming conference Connected: The Future of Med Tech, MedStart is hosting a pitching competition for teams with fresh ideas in medical technology. Teams with ideas or pre-startup phase businesses are invited to apply.

The NAI Student Innovation Showcase is designed to feature the inventions from outstanding student led teams across all disciplines at the annual meeting, and to recognize and strengthen the culture of inventorship for the next generation. Student teams from NAI Member Institutions are invited to submit their inventions for consideration. Selected teams will be invited to present their inventions at the 6th Annual Conference of the NAI on April 7, 2017 in Boston, MA and have the opportunity to network with leading innovators from around the world. Winning teams will also be matched with an NAI Fellow, an expert in their field, who will provide mentorship in the potential commercialization process for their technology.


National

Accenture Innovation Challenge is a multi-round event that combines hands-on consulting experience with the opportunity to make a positive impact on society. Work with a team to collaboratively develop a solution for a case based on a real-world challenge faced by national non-profits.

The Flatley Challenge is intended to stimulate the development and growth of early-stage companies by providing them both free incubation space plus the opportunity to interact with such world class companies as Dell, Skillsoft, Benchmark Electronics, Amphenol TCS, Wind River, Parallel Wireless, HiSoftware, Plexxi, Infinio, and DataGravity. 

The $2 million Air Force Prize was created to spark innovation and support for the Air Force mission with a lightweight, fuel-efficient, small turbine engine.

The Baylor New Venture Competition event is a two-day, dual round business plan competition and speed pitch competition promoting entrepreneurship and small business development.

The competition, underwritten by an anonymous gift to Baylor University and the Hankamer School of Business, provides students with expert feedback and the opportunity to win prizes to help fund their ventures.

With the Cardinal Challenge at the University of Louisville College of Business, 12 teams of entrepreneurial graduate students gather in Louisville for their chance to win more than $100,000 in business start-up cash and prizes.

At E-Fest, undergraduates from around the country will have the chance to compete for over $250,000 in grants and scholarships at a three-day celebration of undergraduate entrepreneurship April 6-8, 2017, in Minneapolis. E-Fest, sponsored by the Richard M. Schulze School of Entrepreneurship and by EIX.org, a non-profit online platform for entrepreneurship education, will celebrate 25 student teams who submit the best business ideas in a preliminary competition. It will feature workshops, an Innovation Challenge and keynote speeches from Schulze himself, who is founder and chairman emeritus of Best Buy, Inc., and "Shark Tank" regular Daymond John, founder of FUBU. The 25 student teams will receive $2,000 travel stipends and hotel will be provided.

The Rice Business Plan Competition is, in general, open to any student startup team, in any industry, from any university, in any degree program can apply to the RBPC. Specifically, there must be at least one graduate-level student on the team, and the team cannot have passed certain milestones. Typically, the teams have a technology component in one of 3 broad sectors: energy and cleantech, life science/biotech, information technology, and technology innovation (for those startups which don’t fit neatly in another category). Rice encourages teams from multiple universities and across degree programs, but do not accept students in post-doc or certificate programs


International

Cisco Innovation Grand Challenge is a competition that awards cash prizes and offers facilities, mentoring, and potential investment opportunities. The competition seeks disruptive ventures that harness the power of the intelligent network.

Focusing on social good, the Hult Prize is open to universities, colleges, and students on every continent. It is offered in partnership with Clinton Global Initiative. It is hosted and supported by Hult International Business School.

The HeroX Innovation Competitions is a resource to find innovation challenges and competitions around the world in a wide variety of categories. 

Microsoft Imagine Cup Innovation Competition (students only) is a student technology competition designed to solve tough problems facing the world today. 

The Skild Innovation Challenge is an online innovation competition. Students from all over the world are matched with leading companies in an experience designed to address our most pressing business and social innovation challenges.

The International Development Hackathon is organized by Harvard Developers for Development, MIT Global Poverty Initiative, Tufts Entrepreneurs Society, and Tufts Empower, the annual International Development Hackathon (IDHack) brings together hackers, technology enthusiasts, and organizations working in international development to create impact with technology.

 

For more information on crowdfunding, angel investing, and venture capital resources, please visit our Funding/Investor Networks page.