Center for Innovation Research

Business Idea Pitch FAQ


Frequently Asked Questions

When is the Pitch Day?
The 2019 Pitch Competition was held on March 27th, 2019. Refer to the Details page for more information.

Who can compete?
Any current UM-Dearborn student or team of current UM-Dearborn students. 

How many people can be on a team?
A maximum of 5 students are allowed on a team. You can pitch as a one-person team, but teams of more than one are encouraged.

What constitutes an “idea”?
Any new idea you have for a product, service, or experience related to healthy food access or mobility issues. You don’t need to have a business plan, just an idea that you have given some thought to!

Can I submit an idea not related to healthy food access or mobility issues?
Yes, you can submit any business idea.

Can I submit more than one idea?
Yes, but only one idea per student/team will be allowed on Pitch Day. Having multiple ideas means you are competing with yourself for votes. You are encouraged to submit only your best idea.

Where can I submit my ideas?
Idea submission is now closed. Follow the link on the Submit Idea page to register and submit your idea. The process takes just a few minutes. You need to answer a few questions about your team (or yourself) and your idea.

Who is voting on ideas I submit?
Anyone can vote on ideas using social media. Encourage your friends and family to vote! A panel of reviewers will also select ideas to move on to Pitch Day. 

What happens on Pitch Day?
The top ideas selected from those submitted online will have 5 minutes to pitch their idea to a panel of judges for thousands of dollars in cash prizes.

How can I get help with my idea?
Visit to learn more about events and workshops to help you create an idea and present it.

Can I withdraw from the competition after submitting an idea online?
Yes, please inform the coordinator (Kari Porembiak at as soon as possible.

Do all of my teammates have to be present for the final pitch?
No, at least ONE member of the team has to be present. Let the coordinator know about the others' absences before Pitch Day. All members of the team will need to complete paperwork before Pitch Day.

What are the prizes?
There are thousands of dollars in prizes for ideas related to healthy food or mobility. Judges will determine the number of winners and the cash amount received by each.

If I win, how will I receive the cash prize?
Money is paid through the University, so you may be subject to taxes or financial aid rules.