There are five pitch competitions held during the Innovation Rodeo:

  • Three regional pitch competitions that are held at the end of the day Tuesday to Thursday
  • One crowd favourite pitch competition held shortly after Friday’s speaker
  • The grande finale of the regional pitch competitions

Student Pitch Competitions

During the regional pitch competition, first-time student entrepreneurs have up to five minutes to share their stories and convince the judges why they should be selected as one of the two people selected to continue to the finals on Friday.

We’re not focused on grand ideas or great pitches. Instead, what we’re searching for those who are highly likely to become great entrepreneurs. That’s why the scoring rubric is weighted 70% towards the entrepreneur and only 30% towards their idea. These entrepreneurs then become role models, advisors, mentors and investors in the future generation of first-time student entrepreneurs.

The winner from each day wins $2,500 in cash, and the top two from each day move on to the Provincial Finals on Friday afternoon. These regional pitch competitions are typically held at the end of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

On the last afternoon of the Innovation Rodeo, the top six compete for an additional $17,500 in cash and three $12,000 US scholarships to attend Draper University – Silicon Valley’s Top Entrepreneurship Program.

Pitch Format
  • Pitches are 5-minutes long
  • All pitches are in PowerPoint format only
  • After the pitch, contestants have up to three minutes for questions from the judges
  • After all entrepreneurs have pitched and while the final scores are being tallied, there may be time for Q&A from the audience
  • Students are not be allowed to watch the other students pitching on the same day until after they have completed their pitch
Scoring Rubric

Each rubric category is given a score out of 10 for a total score out of 100. The rubric differs from most pitch competition rubrics in that 70% of the score comes from categories that score contestants as an entrepreneur. This competition looks for the most promising entrepreneur, not the most promising business idea.

If contestants do not specifically address a particular category on the rubric, the judges are instructed to give the lowest mark possible. It is suggested that contestants say the actual words that the scoring is based on so judges are less likely to miss it and more likely to give them a higher score. 

Crowd Favourite Pitch Competition

We are awarding ALL THE TICKET REVENUES from this year’s Innovation Rodeo to the winners of the crowd favourite pitch competition held on Friday afternoon.

We are searching for current participants and recent alumni (within the last 2 years) from programs like EDGE Up, EvolveU, Lighthouse Labs, MNP’s Self Employment Program and Momentum who have promising ideas for technology-based companies.

The six finalists pitch to the crowd and once all the pitches have been delivered the crowd picks the top three who will split all the registration fees from the week-long event. 

Eligible entrepreneurs can enter the crowd favourite pitch competition using this link.