16 Startup Competitions for Boosting Your Business

Step up your capital-raising game with these options

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Got confidence? Feel your business pitch or plan is the best? Then one of the best ways to test your skill is to enter a startup competition. Of course, Black Enterprise has its own Elevator Pitch Competition at the upcoming Entrepreneurs Summit. But while you devise your scheme to win BE’s giant check, you can also eye other prizes across the nation (and in some cases, the globe). Here’s a list of 16 competitions that lit up 2014 and will put you ahead of the game as you prepare to compete in 2015.

1. Huggies MomInspired Grant Program. The yearly grant is for startups and new product ideas inspired by moms.

2. Y Combinator Funding. Winners are provided investment funds, flown to San Francisco, and placed in work spaces.

3. NYC Next Idea Competition. A global competition against teams and companies worldwide.

4. The Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership Business Plan Competition. The best business plan could win thousands.

5. Hatch Pitch. Described as a “revolutionary” pitch competition in front of corporate, angel, and venture investors at SXSW.

6. FastPitch competition. Can you make your pitch in three minutes?

7. New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition. Perfect for New York-based startup entrepreneurs.

8.  William James Foundation Sustainable Business Plan Competition. Winners are selected from both Idea-Phase and Venture-Phase categories.

9.  TechCrunch Disrupt (Startup Battlefield ) NY. Startups are judged on innovation.

10.  Arch Grants Startup Competition. For companies in or willing to relocate to St. Louis.

11.  Innotribe Startup Challenge. For those businesses focused on transforming finances.

12.  The Big Sell. A pitch competition for prizes that exceed $120,000.

13.  MIT 100k Entrepreneurship Competition. The 60-second Pitch Contest.

14.  Shopify Build a Business. A competition for online entrepreneurs.

15.  MassChallenge Startup Accelerator. Supports early stage entrepreners.

16.  Qprize Qualcomm Venture Seed Investment Competition. Looking for new technology.

The 2015 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide will be held May 13-16 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. Be sure to enter our Elevator Pitch Competition to qualify for the $10,000 grand prize. To register and find out more, visit www.blackenterprise.com/ec/<http://www.blackenterprise.com/ec/>