Student Competitions

UNH ECenter students compete at business competition


Challenge and grow your idea by participating in competitions, whether at UNH or around the country. 


Top Reasons to Participate:

Coaching for Competitions

  •   Win prize money to help you continue growing your idea
  •   Learn excellent organizational and presentation skills
  •   Benefit from a deadline to get your idea ready for evaluation
  •   Set  yourself apart from other undergraduate entrepreneurs by gaining competition experience

ECenter Coaching Overview

Since we opened our doors, the ECenter has helped students be successful in competitions both on campus and on the national stage. Our track record of success includes students becoming finalists at the Draper Competition, winning 2nd place (and $40,000) at e-Fest, and multiple winners and finalists at the UNH Holloway Prize Competition and Social Venture Innovation Challenge.

University of New Hampshire Competitions

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.

New Hampshire Competitions

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.

TechOut – 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.

Regional Economic Development Center (REDC) is launching the Granite State Growth Competition, a state-wide business pitch competition with a grand prize of $25,000 to help the winning business grow. The competition will support New Hampshire’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and increase the visibility and skills of young businesses.

New England Competitions

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. 

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. 

National & International Competitions

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 on-campus event is a two-day business plan competition and elevator pitch competition promoting student entrepreneurship. The competition showcases student created, managed, and owned ventures. Competitors from accredited universities across the globe receive expert feedback, coaching, and a prize package of cash and crucial in-kind business support services, to launch and grow their ventures.

The program, underwritten by an anonymous gift to Baylor University and the Hankamer School of Business, provides students with an immensely impactful and immersive experiential business competition.

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 in Minneapolis. E-Fest, sponsored by the Richard M. Schulze School of Entrepreneurship and by, 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 HeroX Innovation Competitions is a resource to find innovation challenges and competitions around the world in a wide variety of categories. 

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.

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

The National Academy of Inventors Student Innovation Showcase is a great opportunity to help bring your invention to the next level. 

Ready to take your clean energy startup to the next level?

The application period is now open for leading cleantech startups to apply to the 76West Clean Energy Competition in the Southern Tier of New York State. The six most promising businesses are awarded $250,000 to $1 million in prizes. Competition winners are also granted access to business and technical resources to aid with commercialization efforts. 76West applications are accepted now through March 2, 2020.

To learn more and apply, visit

Outdoor Weber is a three-month contest that allows students to compete for a $30,000 grand prize. Students submit a one-and-a-half-minute video via explaining their outdoor recreation concept.

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.

The Samsung NEXT Innovation Challenge seeks innovators bold enough to tackle a big issue: America’s Opportunity Divide. Do you have a tech solution that’s advancing opportunity in education, workforce development or economic empowerment? They want to know about it.