ENTREPRENEURSHIP PITCH COMPETITIONS FOR KIDS AND TEENS
Choose your girl’s best chance to put her startup in the spotlight
Pitch competitions provide future entrepreneurs with opportunities to win cash for their businesses as well as build life skills. Budding entrepreneurs can also learn to pitch with confidence and craft a strong business plan that will impress a potential entrepreneurship mentor or investor. Here’s a list of youth entrepreneurship pitch competitions for your girl to enter and get her chance to shine.
A complimentary 8-week program that will teach high school students how to build a business, create a prototype and present it to a panel of experts in a shark-tank format for a chance to win a cash prize (to launch their business) and a 6-month business mentorship to take their idea to the next level. The program is designed to empower young people to become social entrepreneurs who solve important problems such as poverty, injustice, health crisis, and climate change by guiding them to find local solutions to global issues. The purpose of the program is to provide opportunities for youth in underserved communities.
From March 1 to May 1, 2022, students ages 13 to 19 can submit applications to i.Invest, a National Youth Business Competition designed to showcase the entrepreneurial spirit of the nation’s brightest young leaders. Participants have a chance to earn seed funding and win cash and in-kind prizes. They also meet investors and collaborate with mentors who can provide invaluable advice on building and sustaining a viable business model. Registration is free; young teen entrepreneurs must complete a concept profile and upload a two-page executive summary and pitch video before the May 1st deadline.
Open to kids between 8 and 13, Kids Idea Tank is an idea competition founded by Lowey Bundy Sichol, an award-winning children’s author. Individuals or groups (as long as team members are 13 years old or younger) have to present their idea for a new product or service. For 2022, instead of a live pitch competition to judges, the 4th Annual Kids Idea Tank requires participants to submit an explainer video of their idea, complete with a prototype or drawing of the concept. The top 10 finalists will be posted on the Kids Idea Tank website on May 1. The winner with the most votes wins over $1,000 in prizes.
The 2022 World Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge by NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) happens April 6 and 7. Any student, as young as 11 years old, from anywhere on the globe can compete in this business plan competition. Competition rounds occur online. $5,000 is awarded to the first-place winner while $1,000 is set aside for two runner-ups. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on this inaugural 2022 World Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.
The Paradigm Challenge, a competition based in Los Angeles, invites students aged 4 to 18 worldwide to submit an idea, invention, mobile app, or any solution that solves real-life problems presented in this year’s Paradigm Challenge. Participants with the top idea from each age division (4-8, 9-13, and 14-18) move up to the next round and compete for The Paradigm Challenge Prize of $100,000. The deadline for entries is on May 1, 2022.
Technovation Challenge runs across 100+ countries for young female tech entrepreneurs ages 10 to 18. Participants work with mentors to develop a mobile app and launch a startup that solves real-world problems with technology. Girls need to complete all the necessary steps, from coding to writing a business plan. This year, Technovation Challenge opens up a new Beginner Division so girls as young as 8 can also join the competition. The last day to formally register as a team (students and their chosen mentors) is March 25. The Technovation World Pitch Summit in Silicon Valley is in August 2022. There is no cost to participate.
Venture Lab’s pitch events take place online with several date options from April to December 2022. Young entrepreneurs ages 6 to 18 are welcome to join. If selected to pitch, they have to present their startup idea to a panel of entrepreneurs and community members. Fortunately, everyone will be given enough time to practice and ask questions before the live virtual event. All participants also receive actionable feedback that will help them tweak their respective business ideas and improve their pitches. Registration is free.
Several entrepreneurship pitch competitions take place on a rolling basis, and sudden schedule changes can happen. Venture Dash curates and posts the latest schedule and entry rules of nationwide startup competitions, innovation challenges, and pitch battles for kids and teens. The locations vary, and some offer online pitch competitions. Most are also free to join. It’s a handy website to bookmark if your girl is interested in joining more than one entrepreneurship pitch competition this year or every year.
Registration to the Junior Judge Program opens on May 1, and girls in grades 9-12 are welcome to apply. Once accepted into the program, they just have to pay a $100 participation fee and check their inbox for the welcome packet. From summer to fall this year, the program participants meet with women CEOs and startup founders who share their startup lessons and provide one-on-one mentoring opportunities. They also attend online workshops on the fundamentals of business and prepare for their role as a judge for the in-person WFN Fast Pitch event, which takes place in Los Angeles in October. In addition, the girls become “venture capitalists for a day,” vote for their favorite company, and present the cash award to the winner of this year’s WFN Fast Pitch.
If your young girl entrepreneur is in middle or high school in the United States she can enter a video of her pitch into the Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge until July 15, 2022. The competition aims to help kids hone their creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, and pitch presentation skills. This pitch contest is open to students in grades 5-8 or 9-12, working individually or in teams of two. Young entrepreneurs develop a pitch and create a video up to two minutes long for a chance to win cash, a consultation with a successful entrepreneur and more.
Young business owners (6 to 21 years old) from Colorado can apply to this year’s Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition. Even if they’re first-time entrepreneurs with only one customer (for now), they’re eligible to participate. They simply need to fill out an online application and wait for the judges to choose a winner and two finalists from each age division. Each winner receives $5,000 and pairs up with a leading business owner from the Colorado community. In addition, finalists can be awarded up to $500 in cash prizes. Applications are due on June 4.
These entrepreneurship pitch competitions come with requirements and challenges, and that’s a good thing. The whole experience will empower your girl to be goal-oriented and think critically about every aspect of her startup. By joining any of these contests, your girl will gain exposure for her business and engage with prospective customers and investors. Your girl’s business idea could even positively impact the community to make a difference. And bringing home the trophy is a bonus!
Is your girl excited to prepare her pitch and wow the judges? We wish her the best!