Apply for the 2023 Pitch It! Texas Competition
Cynthia E. Nevels Foundation, has partnered with Dallas College and Oak Gardens Church to host the 2023 Pitch It! Texas competition to be held on March 30, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. CST.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs who complete the 2023 Start.Pivot.Grow. Accelerator (Cohorts 1-5) are eligible to apply to pitch their business concept to a panel of qualified judges (3) for an opportunity to win up to $10,000 in cash and prizes.
Pitch It! Texas Competition Details
WHO SHOULD APPLY
We welcome micro and small businesses with innovative concepts from North Texas, especially those ventures founded by and serving individuals from marginalized and historically underrepresented communities. We encourage applicants working in targeted industries. We also welcome both nonprofit and for-profit submissions. Since 2020, industries of focus have included:
Professional and Science Services
Accommodations or Food Services
Finance and Insurance
Healthcare and Social Services
Information, Media and Internet
Personal Care Services
Retail and Wholesale
Transportation, Warehousing, and Logistics
Repair and Maintenance
Pitch It! Texas (PIT) applicants should describe an issue that their venture addresses, offer their venture’s solution, and discuss scaling possibilities to demonstrate the equitable outcomes their proposed innovation can bring to the industry. Important elements of business pitch applications include (but are not limited to):
Product or Service
Describe the innovative product(s) or service(s) that your venture offers, including the persistent or emerging issue(s) that your solution addresses, details about your organization, its mission statement, and any key partnering organizations involved in your venture, if applicable.
Discuss your company's management team, including project leadership, backgrounds and expertise of key personnel, staff members, and overall organizational structure. Demonstrate why your team is best suited to lead your venture and to address the specific needs of the market you intend to serve.
What is your target market(s), and who are your target customers? Which communities do you specifically intend to serve? Discuss the viability, readiness, and descriptions of your target market(s) and explain your marketing strategy to communicate with and successfully reach customers in those communities.
Explore existing competitors (with examples) that provide similar product(s) or services(s) to what you offer. Discuss your competitive advantage: how will you differentiate your venture to secure your market(s) and ensure the viability of your business? Discuss barriers to entry and any liabilities your organization may face.
Provide financial details including all expected income and expenses (current and anticipated) for years one, two, and three of your financial plan. Consider how your organization will scale and remain financially sustainable.
Describe how your product or service addresses systemic barriers in education to support underserved communities and demonstrate your venture’s potential impact on equitable outcomes in teaching, learning, and/or education.
Submissions also include a digital slide deck presentation (PowerPoint or similar format; required; 15 slides maximum) and a 60-Second Video Pitch (optional, but highly recommended).
All application materials must be submitted through the online portal.
THE FINE PRINT
Below are the competition rules (“Rules”) governing The Cynthia E. Nevels Foundation Prize for Pitch It! Texas (the “Competition”). These Rules may be amended at any time. The then-current Rules will be posted at this web page, so you should check back frequently; the public and Applicants will not be notified individually when the Rules are amended.
General questions or concerns about the Rules and the Competition should be sent to the Competition Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To enter the Competition, an eligible Applicant must submit all of the required materials (an “Entry”).
A subset of these Applicants will be selected as finalists in the Competition and invited to present the business plan orally at the Dallas College Bill J. Priest Institute, before judges.
The Competition may choose to hold one or more Competition paths, including an Idea path, a Venture path, or both. Applicants may enter the Idea path, the Venture path, or both. A business plan based upon an idea or concept that has been previously published is eligible, provided the Applicant discloses the previous publication(s).
All entries must be submitted in the English language.
An Applicant does not transfer legal ownership of their business plan simply by entering the Competition; you retain ownership of your business plan and the legally-protectable concepts and ideas that may be patentable, copyrightable, or trademark-protectable (if any) disclosed in your submission.
However, given the nature of this Competition and its judging procedures, the Entries (including the business plans) cannot be kept confidential. Therefore, if you think your Entry contains or discloses any patentable invention (such as a potentially patentable business process), you should consult your own legal advisor before submitting your Entry, to determine whether you should take steps to protect any potentially patentable invention, trade secret, or confidential information before you enter the Competition.
While the Applicant retains the ownership of your business plan disclosed in your submission, by submission of the application the Applicant agrees that the Foundation and College have the right to use the submitted materials and information for academic research and to provide it to researchers who agree not to publish your business plans, images, or any other information that would identify you or your company, including addresses and contact information.
(The Applicant is responsible for checking with any employer or others regarding policies on ownership of patentable inventions and other parts of any submission. If you are a faculty member, lecturer, administrator, staff, employee, or student at Dallas College, the College's then-current policies on ownership of patentable inventions and copyrightable works continue to apply to you, in connection with any Entry you make.)
By submitting an Entry, an Applicant represents that all of the information and materials comprising their Entry are original; and that the ideas, developments and/or technologies disclosed as part of his/her Entry have been created, developed, and are owned by the Applicant, or if not, that the Applicant has all rights necessary from other creators, developers and/or owners needed to submit the Entry and represent that they are the creator, developer and owner of the idea, development, or technology disclosed as part of the Entry. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event that the Applicant is a faculty member, lecturer, administrator, staff, employee, or student at Dallas College has determined that the ideas, developments, and/or technologies are owned in part or in whole by the Dallas College, the Applicant must provide a letter of support from Dallas College stipulating that a license from Dallas College will be required to commercialize any product or service resulting from further development of the idea, development, or technology. This letter must be submitted by the Applicant, in addition to any other materials required by the Competition in the Venture path.
By submitting an Entry, an Applicant agrees not to seek any financial damages from either Cynthia E. Nevels Foundation or the College for any claim, dispute, or cause of action in connection with or arising out of or related to the Competition.
By submitting an Entry, an Applicant agrees that, if they win a prize, the Applicant will allow The Cynthia E. Nevels Foundation and Dallas College to use their name, photograph, image, and likeness to publicize the Competition, including, for example, through use in press releases and on web sites.
Prizes. The Competition will award one grand prize to those Applicant(s) selected by the judges as the grand prize winner, and may choose to award additional prizes to other finalists as determined by the conference committee and judges. Furthermore, additional prizes may be added to the Competition at any time and without notice. The decision of the judges is final, and cannot be appealed or challenged.
Each winner is reminded that they may have tax or other legal obligations in connection with accepting the prize money, and should consult their own tax and legal advisors. If a winner does not accept the prize money for any reason within sixty (60) days after being declared a winner, the prize will be forfeited and used to award prize money in a future competition.
Miscellaneous. The Competition, these Rules, the awarding of Prizes, and any other matter related to or arising out of or in connection with the Competition will be governed by Texas law, without regard to its principles of conflicts of law, and without regard to the residency or citizenship of any Applicant or judge.
An Applicant or an Entry may be disqualified by the judges or the University for any reason. As an example only, the Foundation and/or Dallas College may disqualify an Applicant if the Foundation learns that an Applicant has violated any of these Rules.
If an Applicant does not want a particular judge or group of judges to participate in judging their Entry (because, for example, the Applicant knows of a particular conflict of interest that the judge might have, or the judge is affiliated with a competitor of the Applicant), the Applicant may make a request to the Competition Director, who will consider the request. However, the Foundation will not notify the Applicant whether the Applicant’s request was or will be accepted or denied.
After an Applicant submits an Entry, the Applicant may not contact or attempt to contact any of the Competition judges regarding the Applicant’s business plan or Entry, or this Competition.
Applications & Eligibility
When does the application period open and close?
The application period opens on March 10, 2023 and closes on Friday, March 17, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. CST.
Who should apply to the PIT?
The PIT welcomes entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in education from around the world. Applicants are encouraged to explore how their product or solution can be applied to address issues in the field of education and impact teaching, learning, and education outcomes.
Do I have to be a student at or affiliated with the Dallas College to apply?
No affiliation with the Dallas College of any kind is required to apply. The PIT is open to entrepreneurs across North Texas who have completed the Start.Pivot.Grow. program Cohort 1-5.
Who is ineligible to apply for the PIT?
Visit the Eligibility section for more information.
Is there an entry fee to nominate someone for the Prize?
There is no entry fee. It is free to apply.
My team includes multiple co-founders. Can we apply as a team?
Yes, teams are eligible to apply. However, you must specify one team member to serve as the primary applicant and point of contact for the application. Further, there will be an opportunity on the application form to list names of additional team members.
Can I submit more than one application?
If I applied last year, can I apply again?
Yes, former applicants are welcome to apply again. Your application(s) from previous years will have no bearing on ratings and results for this year’s Competition. Applicants selected as Finalists and Semifinalists are also eligible to re-apply in subsequent years - provided that they did not win a Prize at the PIT Finals.
What materials are required for the application?
Learn more about application materials on our Apply page.
How long should my responses be for the open-ended prompts?
Responses to each of the prompts should be a minimum of 200 characters and a maximum of 2,000 characters.
Can we save our application prior to submitting and complete it at a later time?
No, the application must be completed in one sitting. We recommend writing all responses in a separate document, then copying them into the application form when you are ready to submit.
Is it possible to edit my application after it has been submitted?
No, it is not possible to alter an application that has been submitted, but you can email email@example.com if you need to correct or supply any additional information. No changes or updates to an application will be accepted after the deadline.
Judging & Selection
How will judges assess my application?
Visit the Judging Procedures section.
Will Semifinalists be announced?
No, this year's competition will not include a Semifinalist round.
Will Finalists be announced?
Yes, Finalists will be announced on March 30, 2023. Finalists will compete at the PIT Finals on March 30, 2023.
Are there any requirements if I am selected as a Finalist?
Finalists are required to participate in the PIT Finals for the opportunity to win cash and prizes. This includes making a recorded pitch and being present for conversations with judges and the live event on March 30, 2023.
What prizes can I win at the PIT Finals? A mix of cash and prizes up to $10,000. Continue to check this website for more information about prizes.
Other questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.