Center for Innovation Research


Pitch Day

The third annual  Betty F. Elliott Initiative Business Idea Pitch is designed to identify and promote promising new business ideas from students at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. 

In a two-step process, individuals or teams of up to four members start by submitting ideas by March 13th. The ideas will be posted online from March 14-27, and voted on by the public for prizes.  Ideas may include a single image (250x250) and must answer four key questions about your idea. 

  • What is your idea (max 400 characters)?
  • Who are your biggest competitors (max 300 characters)?
  • What makes your idea different (max 300 characters)?
  • Why will this idea be successful (max 300 characters)?

Ideas that receive the most votes from the public, as well as those ideas selected by a panel of reviewers, will move on to present their ideas for additional cash prizes at Pitch Day on April 2, 2015, 5-9pm, FCN Quad E. Those selected ideas will have five minutes to describe their business idea more fully as they present to a panel of judges.

All ideas are welcome! There is a total of $3000 in prizes for Pitch Day winners. Additionally, there is a special Design Change category for ideas that relate to healthy food or mobility with an additional $5000 in prizes. Prizes may be split among several worthy projects in each category according to the determination of the panel of judges. Final pitch presentations should describe your product or service, the target customer or user, the market potential of the idea, identify competitors, and demonstrate how the idea is different from the competition.

Students are encouraged to attend events to help refine their ideas and improve their presentations. To learn more about those events, visit the Design Change Program page.

Interested participants must register before 11:59pm on March 13, 2015 at this link by answering the four questions about their idea and uploading an image or logo.

Contact Timothy Davis at, 313-593-4060, for more information.

Rules and Eligibility

FAQs (coming soon)

Read about last year's event in this article from the UM-Dearborn Reporter.

Funding and other resource support provided by the Betty F. Elliott Initiative, the Office of the Provost, and the Michigan Initiative for Innovation and Entrepreneurship