Business Pitch Contest

Bring your business concept to the table at the College of DuPage Pitch Contest!

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Jack H. Turner Conference Center
Student Resource Center (SRC) Room 2000

The College of DuPage Pitch Contest is returning for a third round. It's time to PITCH Your Big IDea to a panel of expert judges!

Not only are there prizes at stake, you'll receive insightful advice, exposure to resources and plenty of opportunities to network and meet other entrepreneurs, plus you'll have a great time!

Pitch Contest Guidelines and Resources


  • 1st Prize $3,000 + 6-Month Membership to Innovation DuPage
  • 2nd Prize $2,000
  • 3rd Prize $1,000

Who should apply

  • College of DuPage Students
  • DuPage County and Surrounding Area High School Students
  • Recent COD Alumni

Application process

Your Big IDea Pitch Contest Application 

Applications are due by Friday, October 18, 2019.

Finalists will be selected through a screening process based on application submission and notified by Friday, October 25, if selected to pitch in the final round on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

It all starts with Your Big IDea! We are looking for innovative ideas that solve a real problem or satisfy a need for a market that is growing. Preferably the idea is a scalable concept that can grow with additional support and resources after launching.

Business ideas can be conceptual and in development, or from student entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of their startup.

Pitch Prep Resources

Finalists we are here to help, as you prepare to PITCH in the final round.
Appointment required and identify yourself as a pitch contest finalist if you seek help from any of the resources listed below.

  • Innovation DuPage - Startup founders receive guidance from vetted mentors while they craft a scalable business model, define their value proposition and collect customer insights; therein enhancing their unfair advantage in the marketplace.
  • Media Lab - A place where COD students and district residents can create and edit all kinds of digital audio, video, and images.
  • Learning Commons Speech Lab - Presentation assistance and ability to record presentation.
  • Christine Kickels, Business and Entrepreneurship Librarian - Assist with acquiring business information including competitors, target markets and industry trends. One-hours appointments are available.
  • Small Business Development Center - One-on-one counseling services to new and existing businesses at no charge. Review business plans and discuss financing options, marketing, management and other topics of concern.
  • email to set up a time to have a practice pitch filmed and reviewed for feedback.

Final Pitch Guidelines

Pitch finalists will have a maximum of 5 minutes to present and 2 to 3 minutes of Q & A with judges. Feedback from the judges will be provided immediately following the Q & A.

Your Pitch will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Introduction - Clearly identify who you are, your company name and your product or service.
  • Need - Explain the problem and how your company, technology or invention will solve the problem.
  • Target Market - Who will buy your product or service?
  • Competition - Who are the competitors and why do they fall short?
  • Business Model - How will you make money?
  • Presentation Delivery - Your confidence, clarity and poise during the presentation.
  • What will you do with the money if you win the contest?


The final round of the Pitch Contest will be open to the students, staff and the community therefore confidentiality is not guaranteed. If you wish to keep elements of your business or idea confidential, you should not include this information in your pitch.

The Pitch Contest will also be recorded and shared on the College of DuPage website and local cable channel.  There is no way for  College of DuPage to prohibit the sharing of pitch contest content with others.


For more information, e-mail

Produced by College of DuPage Business and Applied Technology Division.

In partnership with College of DuPage Foundation, Innovation DuPage, e2 Emerging Entrepreneurs, College of DuPage Continuing Education and the Small Business Development Center.


2018 Pitch Contest Winner - Ashley Spratt