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Entrepreneurship Competitions

Students from all academic departments can participate in entrepreneurship competitions and have access to events, workshops, mentoring that enable them to test and refine their founder skills.

Join an Entrepreneurship competition

Joining a startup pitch competition is an investment for your startup. It gives you a platform where you can pitch your startup in front of fellow students and judges to help you raise the funding needed to launch and scale your startup. We encourage every student to throw their hat in the ring and get some experience pitching their venture – you never know what you’ll end up walking away with!

If you’re a student, faculty or alumni that has launched a startup or has competed in a competition, help us keep our place as #16 best undergraduate entrepreneurship program in the country and #17 best graduate program in the country by taking one of the following brief surveys.


Applications are now ppen for NC State’s Annual Startup Competition awarding over $100,000 of startup money to student and faculty entrepreneurs.

Tea Blumer holding her award onstage at the Lulu eGames. Kathy Hengen, COO of Lulu is at left, and Tom Miller, senior vice provost for academic outreach and entrepreneurship, is at right.


Our first competition in the spring semester! Students compete in teams to create the best solution to a sustainability challenge. All weekend long, we will provide the food and expert mentors to fuel your creativity. On the final day, you will pitch your prototype to judges from the community and local companies. Prizes include: $2,000 to the winning team, $1,000 to the runner up team and $500 to the third place team.

Minute to Pitch It at Entrepalooza

Students have one minute to convince the audience their idea is worthy of the $1,000 audience choice award!

Wolf Den at Global Entrepreneurship Week

Join innovators from NC State and beyond for this Shark Tank-inspired event giving students the opportunity to pitch their business concept for live judges and a live audience during GEW.

ACC Inventure Prize Competition

Every year, each Atlantic Coast Conference university finds their very best students to represent them and compete against other ACC schools. Reach out to us if you’re interested in representing NC State!

External Competitions Open to NC State Students

Below is a list of external entrepreneurship competitions available to NC State students that offer cash prizes and bragging rights! We encourage our student entrepreneurs to discover and participate in external competitions and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need any mentorship, resources, or anything else – we’re committed to your success and are here to help!


Rice Business Plan Competition
Graduate Student Startup Competition occurring April 6-9, 2021. Applications are due in Feb. In total, more than $1.3 million in investment, cash and in-kind prizes was awarded to the teams at the 2020.

Venture Capital Investment Competition
Calling all startups raising a Series A or later seed round: Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) is an “accelerator for the fundraising process.” Three startups will be chosen as finalists for each region. This is a great opportunity for student startups that need practice pitching to potential investors and will prepare you for a real Series A funding round! This has a rolling deadline.

TiE University Global Business Hackathon
Students worldwide register for free and pick a track or subject matter area that they are interested in. Local coaches and global mentors are assigned to assist the teams while they compete to solve real-world business problems. Winners are selected for cash prizes and awards. Application deadline is in early March.

Tulane Business Model Competition
Open to early-stage ventures led by teams that include at least one degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student from any college or university. Last year, they awarded $125,000 across 3 ventures, with the first prize team taking home $75,000. Applications are due in Feb.

Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs
Since 2013, the Draper Competition has grown from a single institution business plan contest to a national business model competition with the largest prize pool specifically for female-founded ventures. The Draper Competition is the only one of its kind, focusing specifically on supporting and recognizing the entrepreneurial spirit of undergraduate women.
Applications are due in late Feb.

Values and Ventures Competition
Innovators (undergrads from around the world) can pitch their business plans and act as investors in the other teams, choosing who they think will advance in the competition. Applications are due in early March.

Baylor New Venture Competition
This business plan and elevator pitch competition showcases collegiate entrepreneurs from across the globe. The competition provides participants with personal and professional development through industry-specific mentorship towards sustainable business plans, exclusive access to accomplished experts and fellow innovators, and a chance to compete for over $250,000 in cash prizes and vital resources. Applications are due in early Nov.

McCloskey New Venture Competition
The Competition encourages entrepreneurs from the University and the surrounding area to refine their business plans, receive mentorship, and compete for prizes that include resources and funding. Participants gain invaluable feedback from a panel of judges that includes angel investors, venture capitalist, entrepreneurs, and other industry experts, providing the solid foundation needed to launch their ventures. Students from all Colleges, all majors and all programs are encouraged to enter. Applications are due in early Nov.

Please email if you know of an NC State entrepreneurship competition or an external competition that is open to NC State students so we can add it to our list. We appreciate the help!

Make-A-Thon Goes Virtual for 2021

Going virtual did not stop students from developing real-world solutions in the 2021 Make-A-Thon competition. Students submitted their ideas via video to judges for the chance to win cash prizes.

Four students wearing masks celebrate their make a thon 2021 victory

Watch the ACC 2021 Premier

Watch the broadcast from April 21st to learn about the finalists and see the announcements of the year’s big winners!

Judges talk with ACC winners UV Scope during the final round via zoom