Take advantage of the many ways to earn cash prizes, improve your pitching skills and gain greater exposure for your innovation or venture.
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ACC inVenture Prize at UNC

Before the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) inVenture Prize Finals each year, UNC-Chapel Hill selects the best team to represent the University at the ACC InVenture Prize regional conference. If you’re chosen to represent Carolina and participate in the two rounds of competition, judges will evaluate your team on its quality of idea, business model, entrepreneurship and probability of success.

Carolina Challenge Pitch Party

Established in 2005, the Carolina Challenge Pitch Party has become one of the most dynamic and exciting hallmarks of the UNC-Chapel Hill entrepreneurship ecosystem. As the University’s flagship venture competition, the Carolina Challenge is run by a student committee and gives you and other competitors the chance to win seed funding for your early-stage ideas. The Pitch Party is a valuable opportunity to gain experience with entrepreneurship through experiential learning and a comprehensive program that’s open to all Carolina undergraduate students.

Hult Prize at UNC

The Hult Prize at UNC is a one-day pitch competition that serves as the qualifying round for the Hult Prize Foundation international challenge, which is a global startup competition with a grand prize of $1 million in seed money to fund the winning social enterprise idea. If you’re a student (graduate or undergraduate) or recent alumni, you’re welcome to participate. You’ll work with a team to form an idea and business plan with support from the Hult Prize at UNC team before pitching. In order to compete, all you need is an idea. No prior experience is necessary.

VCIC (Venture Capital Investment Competition)

The Venture Capital Investment Competition® began in the middle of the technology bubble in 1998 as an educational event for MBAs to learn about venture funding. Now, nearly 20 years later, VCIC® has evolved into a marketplace for entrepreneurs seeking investors and a training ground for future venture capitalists. Each year, VCIC includes 50 events on three continents, and serves 1,200 MBA students, 175 venture capitalists and 125 entrepreneurs. If you’re an MBA student interested in gaining experience with venture funding, it’s an outstanding program that operates like a network of mini-venture fairs. You’ll join a group of presenting entrepreneurs, about a quarter of which go on to raise venture funding.

Invest for Impact Competition

UNC developed the Invest for Impact competition to give students exposure to the field of impact investing. As this is a relatively new field, industry practices are changing rapidly as investors find new ways to measure impact, and develop new investment mechanisms that are more appropriate for impact focused companies. Invest for Impact is designed to focus on 3 key issues: assessing impact, financing impact, and measuring impact.

Infy Makers

Share your innovative thinking and making skills to solve important problems facing your community and our world. Participate in the Infy Makers Awards Contest and address major challenges in education, health, environmental sustainability and hunger. You could be one of 25 makers to receive $10,000 to help you take your innovation to the next level.

Tiger Launch

TigerLaunch is the nation’s largest student-run, inter-collegiate entrepreneurship competition. In addition to connecting you to mentors and offering you at least $30,000 in prize money, TigerLaunch also gives you the chance to meet with some of the top venture capital firms in the country, such as Sequoia Capital. That kind of opportunity can prove even more valuable than any monetary prize.

Social Business Creation Competition

The Social Business Competition is structured as a course that provides experiential learning and uses gamification to enhance the student learning experience. You’ll learn how to use market mechanisms to address social challenges, apply a social collective mindset, collaborate with various stakeholders and develop your business idea into a real business. This competition offers a win-win platform that allows for bottom-up development, and your team can compete for a cash prize of up to $15,000.

Baylor Business New Venture Competition

The Baylor New Venture Competition event is a two-day, dual-round business plan and speed pitch competition that promotes entrepreneurship and small business development. If you’re an undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate student, or a recent alum of UNC-Chapel Hill or any accredited university across the U.S., this competition is an excellent way to receive expert feedback and win prizes to help fund your venture. If you make it to the finals, you’ll compete with top teams from both tracks to win a prize up to $60,000.

TCU Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Competition

Presented by the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center, this is a unique annual competition for undergraduate students around the world. It’s a great chance for you to pitch plans for a business, product or service that make a profit, while also benefitting the environment, community or a specific population. If you’re a winner, you can receive up to a $25,000 prize.

SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event Competition

The annual SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event showcases innovative new technologies to a panel of judges and emcees who are industry experts, high-profile media personal, venture capitalists and angel investors. To participate, you company will have to be selected by the SXSW Screening Committee from the hundreds of startups from around the world that apply. Winning has big perks: you’ll be placed in the spotlight as a technology leader of the future and gain exposure to funders.

Deloitte National Case Competition

Each year, the Deloitte National Case Competition invites a field of highly competitive teams from across the country to square off in a bracket-style tournament. During this competition, your team will be pitted against others to test your critical thinking, business knowledge and strategic problem-solving potential through case simulation. You’ll have the opportunity to build personal and professional relationships with Deloitte Consulting Partners, win a cash prize from the $50,000 national prize pool and gain national recognition in head-to-head competition against teams from top MBA programs.

Triangle Health Innovation Challenge

The Triangle Health Innovation Challenge (THInC) brings together students and young professionals to tackle and build innovative solutions for the biggest challenges in health and health care. THInC brings together the academic, industry, pharmaceutical, startup and student communities to collaborate and solve problems of immense importance. At THInC, you’ll join a team that’s tackling a specific pain point in health. Over a 48-hour period, you’ll work together to construct technological solutions to address your team’s problem. If the panel of judges selects your pitch as a winner, you can receive up to $4,000 in cash prizes.

Creative Business Cup

Each year, National Partners hosts national Creative Business Cup competitions. The Creative Business Cup empowers entrepreneurs in the creative industries, connects them to investors and global markets, and strengthens their innovative capabilities to the benefit of industry and society. To be part of the competitions and compete as a finalist at Creative Business Cup in Copenhagen, you must contact the U.S. National Partner, National Creativity Network.

Unite for Sight Innovation Prize

The Innovation Prize is a $10,000 and a $5,000 cash prize that is awarded to the two best social impact pitches that are presented at the annual Global Health and Innovation Conference. All conference registrants — both students and professionals, and both non-profit and for-profit organizations — are eligible to apply. Early-stage pitches and established-stage pitches are equally eligible for the cash awards. The Innovation Prize supports outstanding ideas, programs, and organizations which are locally-developed and locally-responsible.


The world has already invented ways to end poverty, yet the best interventions are not being distributed at mass-scale. The D-Prize competition will challenge you to design a business or a non-profit organization that solves a distribution challenge for girl education, agriculture, energy, global health, education, governance and infrastructure, or another challenge that you specify. If you’re selected as a winner, you can receive up to $20,000 to launch a pilot in any region where extreme poverty exists.

VentureWell E-Team

Working on a promising technology invention? You may want to participate in the VentureWell E-Team competition, which is designed for college students working on technology-based ventures. If you’re among the winning student innovators, you’ll receive up to $25,000 in funding to support your venture, access to immersive workshops and specialized coaching to help move your invention into the marketplace.

DEBUT Competition

If you’re part of an undergraduate student team working on an innovative solution to health and clinical problems, consider exploring the Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) competition. It’s a great way to earn recognition for your excellent work in biomedical innovation and also win a prize of up to $20,000.

BME Idea

The world needs more effective, functional and affordable technology solutions to clinical medical problems. If you’re a student biomedical entrepreneur, the national BME Idea competition offers you the chance to develop these kind of solutions, win up to $10,000 and receive critical early-stage validation of your ideas. Whether you’re a graduate or undergraduate student, you can participate in the competition and take on the challenge of pioneering a health-related technology that addresses a real clinical need.

Web Summit ALPHA

Each week, the Web Summit selects early-stage startups from around the world to exhibit as part of ALPHA. If selected for ALPHA, you’ll get an exhibition stand, three tickets, an opportunity to access Investor Office Hours, Mentor Hours, Startup University, Startup Workshops, Startup Roundtables and much more.

University Startup World Cup

The University Startup World Cup starts off with one week in Copenhagen, where 50 of the best teams from all over the world are invited to network with entrepreneurs, investors and business people. While there, your team will also have the chance to develop and benchmark its business idea. If your team is elected as the winner at the end of the week, you’ll be able to call yourself the world’s best university startup. The perks don’t stop there. As the winner, you can receive up to $25,000, become part of a large international network, receive professional feedback on a business plan and spend one week in Copenhagen exploring a flourishing startup environment.

Mentor Capital Network Sustainable Business Plan Competition

The Mentor Capital Network supports entrepreneurs across the world who are building for-profit companies that make the world a better place by just existing. If you are launching or growing a for-profit company where your social, environmental and/or cultural mission strengthens your financial margins, then the Sustainable Business Plan Collaboration is for you. You’ll be eligible to pursue prizes that include cash and professional services worth more than $60,000.

Global Student Venture Competition

The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) provides aspiring student entrepreneurs with mentoring, exposure and $80,000 in prizes to transform their ideas into businesses that will have a positive, real-world impact. To win the award prize from GSVC, your team will need to demonstrate the highest, most integrated financial and social returns – a business that demonstrates blended value. Your team must include a student, whether a current or recent graduate, from any level of higher education (undergraduate, masters/graduate or doctoral) from any area of study in the world.

Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is the premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending a college or university. As an award nominee, you’ll compete against your peers from around the world in a series of local and/or national competitions to qualify for the GSEA finals. If you’re an undergraduate student who has owned and operated a business for at least six months, you’re eligible to participate.


XPRIZE is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. It democratizes problem-solving, captures the world’s imagination and inspires others to reach for similar goals, spurring innovation and accelerating the rate of positive change. XPRIZES are monetary rewards based on competitions that have measurable goals. By participating, you’ll cross national and disciplinary boundaries and compete with teams around the world to address some of today’s most pressing issues.
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