The UM-Dearborn Business Idea Pitch Competition helps students build skills in marketing, critical thinking, and communication.

Students develop these skills by learning about some of the region's most pressing concerns-- mobility and healthy food access. By pitching their creative ideas for solving these issues, students have a chance to win thousands of dollars in cash prizes.

A pitch competition finds a way to bridge the gap between the theory that you learn in class and the practical application in the real world.

Business Idea Pitch Details

Healthy food access and mobility issues impact our lives daily – whether its finding healthy food at the gym or finding parking on campus. If these obstacles are affecting you, then they must be affecting others, right? Students are encouraged to share their ideas related to these two issues for a chance to win thousands of dollars in cash prizes and explore the potential of their ideas.

In a two-step process, individuals or teams of up to five members start by submitting ideas online. 

Ideas are reviewed by experts. Using social media, the general public also has the chance to vote for ideas. The top ten teams selected present their ideas for additional cash prizes at the pitch competition on Pitch Day.

At the pitch competition, teams have five minutes to describe their business idea more fully as they present to a panel of judges.

There is a total of $5,000 in prizes for Pitch Day winners. Prizes are split among several worthy projects in each category according to the panel of judges.

Final pitch presentations describe the 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.


Open to all current UM-Dearborn students of any major or background.


We want students to come up with great ideas! Students may enter their ideas for a chance to win up to $5,000 in cash scholarships. We encourage students to submit their ideas related to healthy food or mobility, however students can submit ideas that are not related to these two topics.


Idea submission for the 2020 competition is now closed. You can also visit the Archive page to see previous entries.


The pitch competition will take place in Quad E, located in Fairlane Center North.


Enter for the chance to win cash prizes, network with successful entrepreneurs from the metro-Detroit area, and gain real world experience in problem solving and pitching.


Teams must first submit their ideas online. Ideas with the most Facebook "likes" and those chosen by judges will move forward to presenting on Pitch Day.

Expectations (“the fine print”)
  • Must be a current student or team of current students at UM-Dearborn to participate.
  • To register and be eligible to participate, you must submit your pitch application by 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 15th.
  • Presentations on Pitch Day can be no longer than 5 minutes. You may use PowerPoint, but audio will not be permitted.
  • Participants (at least one team member from a team) must attend the pitch competition to collect any prizes.

Visit the FAQ page or contact Kari Kowalski at

iLabs Center for Innovation Research

Fairlane Center South (FCS)
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