FALL/WINTER 2023 ENTREPRENEURSHIP PITCH COMPETITIONS FOR KIDS AND TEENS
Learn how to pitch a business idea to win cash to launch your biz!
Does your kid have a business idea but needs money to launch it? Or do you want them to learn some public speaking skills while developing a business idea? Our semi-annual roundup of entrepreneurship pitch competitions for kids and teens is here to help. These competitions will help kid entrepreneurs showcase their businesses and get valuable startup advice from seasoned entrepreneurs. Your girls could even bring home the top prize money to put to work in their business! Read on for more information about some of our favorite pitch competitions.
Bizworld’s YES! Young Entrepreneur Success program for young entrepreneurs ages 16-22 runs for 12 weeks. It ends with a live pitch competition where the best businesses can secure up to $30,000 as seed funding. Registration is free, and when your girls join, they learn from industry experts, connect with peers, and have access to one-on-one startup mentorship. Register by September 30 to meet the application deadline.
Global Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge’s virtual business competition is for 14 to 19-year-old high schoolers from all parts of the world. Teams of up to 8 members (minimum of 3) must pitch a viable and sustainable enterprise solution that solves any global problem with science and technology. Keep an eye out on the “How to Join” page for more details including when applications open. Registration is free.
In i.Invest’s national youth business competition, participants meet investors and collaborate with mentors about building and sustaining a viable business. Registration costs $39; young teen entrepreneurs, 16 and under, must secure guardian/parental consent, and all participants must submit a business concept profile with a pitch video. They also have to participate in a three-day virtual Bootcamp and attend the virtual Pitch Finale. For more information about when applications begin, visit the i.Invest Knowledge Center.
This complimentary 12-week program teaches 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. The winner also lands a two-month business mentorship deal that takes the startup idea to the next level. The program aims to empower young people to become social entrepreneurs and find local solutions to global issues, such as poverty, injustice, health crisis, and climate change. The program’s purpose is also to provide opportunities for youth in underserved communities. Virtual for now, the iDEAS by Youth Entrepreneurship Program begins in January with a sign-up deadline of in December.
NFTE: National and World Youth Entrepreneurship Challenges
The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) runs both National and World Youth Entrepreneurship Challenges each year. Students as young as 11 can compete in these business plan competitions. A series of competition rounds take place online with an in-person final. Past prizes included $1,000 and $5,000. Check out the NFTE website for the latest on this year’s Youth Entrepreneurship Challenges.
Technovation Girls Challenge for young female tech entrepreneurs ages 8 to 18 runs across 100+ countries. Participants will have access to a 12-week curriculum and work with mentors to develop a mobile app and launch a startup that solves everyday problems with technology. Girls must complete all the necessary steps, from coding to writing a business plan. Registration for Fall 2024 opens in October, details can be found here. There is no cost to participate.
In the Paradigm Challenge, students aged 4 to 18 worldwide can submit an idea, invention, mobile app, or any solution for real-life problems such as home fires, waste reduction, personal health, food security, and biodiversity. Participants with the top idea from each age division (4-8, 9-13, and 14-18) move to the next round and compete for The Paradigm Challenge Prize of $100,000. Registration is free. Check the website for registration details and deadlines.
Venture Lab’s spring youth pitch event takes place online. Applications for this pitch competition open in early spring. Slots tend to fill quickly, so we encourage you and your girls to check their website early and often. Those selected to pitch will receive actionable feedback to help them tweak their respective business ideas and improve their pitches. Registration is free.
Venture Dash is a platform for running entrepreneurship competitions, and the site also 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. Search on 2023 or 2024 to narrow down the selections to upcoming competitions and choose the option to view by location.
The Junior Judge program takes place each year. Join the Women Founders Network (WFN) mailing list to be notified once applications open for the 2023/2024 session. Girls in grades 9-12 are welcome to apply. Participants meet with women CEOs and founders who share their startup lessons and attend business workshops to prepare for their seat at the judges’ table at the WFN Fast Pitch event in Los Angeles. Besides their roles as judges, girls become “venture capitalists for a day” and present the cash award to the winner of the annual WFN Fast Pitch.
Entering Young Entrepreneur Institute’s pitch competition is easy. First, your kids have to think of a business idea–a product, service, social enterprise, or tech-related business. Second, participants have until early 2024 to submit their 30 to 90-second pitch video. Entries will be judged on creativity (from ideation to business name, even video production), persuasiveness, and overall quality of the idea, pitch, and video. There is a national competition and one open to students who reside in Northeast Ohio. Both competitions are for grades K-12.
Young business owners (6 to 21 years old) from Colorado are encouraged to apply to this year’s Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition when registration opens in February 2024. All levels of entrepreneurs, from first-timers to established business owners, can become finalists and earn up to $5,000 in prize money! You and your girls can watch the 2022 Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars here.
These entrepreneurship pitch competitions will empower your girls to be goal-oriented and think critically about every aspect of their startups. By joining any of these contests, your girls will gain exposure for their businesses and engage with prospective customers and investors. Your girls’ business ideas could even positively impact the community to make a difference. And bringing home the trophy (and a check) is a bonus!
Are your girls excited to prepare their pitch and wow the judges? We wish them the best!
We will continue to update this post as new pitch competitions programs launch, so if you know of one we missed, please let us know in the comments section below or tag us and the club or program on social media.