2011-2012‎ > ‎

50K Spring Competition

Do you have an idea for a startup company? Tell us your business idea, and earn a chance to win $50,000! Along the way you'll receive support for getting a business idea off the ground.

How does the competition work? 
Participants will compete in functional and special interest tracks through a series of 3 rounds in which judges look at Idea Summaries, Business Plans, and Investor Pitches respectively and select the competitors to advance to the next round. Competitors will have the opportunity to receive invaluable advice from the judges. The Grand Prize is $50,000 (thanks to Rich Lee of Hosted Solutions). For more information on rules and cash prizes for individual tracks please go here.
  • Tracks
    • Functional Track
      • Healthcare and Life Sciences 
      • IT, Internet and Media
      • Social Enterprises ($1,000 Prize)
      • Other Products & Services  ($10,000 Prize) 
    • Special Interest Tracks
      • Women-led Startup ($10,000 Prize)
      • Undergraduate-led Startup ( $10,000 Prize)
    • Pilot Track
      • China-Focused Startups Track
Who is eligible?
  • Student Competition: All Duke students (as well as postdocs and medical residents) are eligible for the prize money. 
  • Alumni, Faculty, Staff Competition: Alumni, Faculty, and Staff have a separate competition.  No winner will be selected, nor will prize money be available.  However, the goal is to identify, support, and promote your startups. 
For more information please read our rules page.
How do I compete?
All it takes is a startup idea, and some time to put your idea down in writing.  Participation in the fall events i.e. (Elevator Pitch Competition) is *not* required. 

Get started by submitting an Idea Summary (one to ten page document) of your business idea.  
You don't need to have a complete Idea Summary to compete - the most important thing is to just write down your idea and submit it!  More resources can also be found here.

DEADLINE: 5pm EST, Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Questions? Email us:
  • Chris Radford (Pratt '12), Co-President at d.chris.radford@gmail.com
  • Olgun Kukrer (Fuqua '12), Co-President at olgun.kukrer@fuqua.duke.edu
  • Howie Rhee '04, Advisor at hwr2@duke.edu

What happens after I submit my Idea Summary?

Round 2
Up to 40 teams (up to 5 per track) will be selected by a panel of judges to advance to Round 2.  Teams will be informed of decisions on Friday, March 2nd.   

If you advance to Round 2, you will submit:
  • An expanded document. A business plan and/or an investor pitch slide deck. (for judges only)
  • Create a youtube video of your pitch (for public consumption)
  • Submit a revised Idea Summary (for public consumption)
Round 2 submissions will be due on March 21st at 9am.

Round 3
Up to 8 teams (up to 1 per track) will be selected by a panel of judges to advance to Round 3. Teams will be informed of decisions on Friday, March 23rd.

If you advance to Round 3, you will participate in the live Grand Finale on the night of April 20th at Fuqua's Geneen Auditorium.
  • Investor Pitches: The top 3 teams will have 18 minutes (10 minute pitch, 8 minute Q&A).  The $50,000 Grand Prize winner will be determined from this set of teams.
  • Elevator Pitches: The remaining 5 teams will deliver 1 minute elevator pitches.  The $500 Best Elevator Pitch Prize will be determined from this set of teams.

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