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Application Information

Phase I: Business Plan & Pitch Video

Eligible teams will submit a 5 page business plan and a 90 second pitch video following the provided templates. Business plans and pitch videos will be reviewed by a committee consisting of Kaplan Institute staff, board members, and selected faculty. 

Phase II: Executive Summary & Pitch@IllinoisTech

Selected teams will participate in Pitch@IllinoisTech on Friday, June 11th. Teams will be required to submit a 1 page Executive Summary prior to the event. During the pitch event teams will make a 5 minute live pitch to a panel of expert judges followed by a 5 minutes question/answer session with the judges.

Application Deadlines

April 1 : Application Opens

April 30 : Application Submission Deadline

May 7 : Phase II Teams Announced

May 10 : Individualized Pitch Coaching and Pitch Workshops  (5  weeks) 

June 4 : Phase II Executive Summaries & Completed Pitch Decks Submission Deadline

June 11: Pitch@IllinoisTech Event


Wednesday, March 17, 5:00 pm - Building your business narrative with Maryam Saleh, Kaplan Institute

Thursday, March 25, 5:00 pm - The fundamentals of your pitch with Brian Burkhart, Square Planet

(additional workshop and office hours coming soon!)

Rules and Regulations

1. Teams are permitted to have members who are not affiliated with Illinois Tech, however, at least one integral team member must be a current Illinois Tech student.
(example of an integral team member: someone with a minimum of 10% equity stake in the startup)

2. The startup can be either for-profit or non-profit. Teams don’t have to be incorporated to compete, but the startup must be incorporated in order to receive the cash prizes. The cash prizes are intended to help advance the business therefore  will go to the business entity, not individual team members. 


3. All entries must be the original work of at least one current team member. The startup should be innovative and show commercial promise. Each team may submit one application. 


4. Only participants of the Kaplan Institute’s Membership Program may apply to Pitch@IllinoisTech.


5. Teams that have received more than $100,000 in outside investment are ineligible to participate in Pitch@IllinoisTech.


6. There is no maximum or minimum number of presenters. Each team may choose how many presenters they wish to have. It is advised that the number of presenters be no more than two.


7. Each team will have a 10 minute slot with the panel of judges. The team will have 5 minutes to pitch their business and 5 minutes to answer questions from the panel of judges.

8. Deadlines for the competition are not flexible and will be enforced. Teams that miss submission deadlines will be disqualified from the competition.

For more details, click here to read our official rules PDF.


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