Global Pitch Competition

2018 Pitch Competition Winners with Giles Hertz and James Zebrowski 

The Global Conference & Pitch Competition, hosted by The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) will bring together nearly 1,500 young entrepreneurs, students and faculty worldwide to provide a 2 ½ day forum that will inform, support and inspire college students to be entrepreneurial and seek opportunity through enterprise creation.  CEO is a global network consisting of over 250 chapters and 16,000 students. Approximately 80 outstanding entrepreneurs and business leaders help to infuse entrepreneurship into the fabric of universities globally by sharing their ideas and expertise with our high energy audience of aspiring collegiate entrepreneurs. The conference also offers students the opportunity to network with peers on a global platform. 

All applications are processed as soon as they are received.  However, you will not hear back from CEO until the below “important dates”.  In order to be considered for preliminary judging after the submission deadline, YOU MUST be registered for the conference by October 15th

To qualify for automatic submission, your university must host a local pitch competition, select a winner, provide full travel, registration and lodging for the participant and e-mail CEO HQ your competition flyer.    

Important Dates

  • Global Pitch Competition Submissions are due October 15 , 2020.  
  • On October 23, 2020 CEO will release a press release with a listing of the 15 ventures we are most excited about pitching. 
  • The Conference will take place on October 29 - October 31, 2020
  • Pitch Participants must be at the conference location for a kick-off meeting on Thursday October 29 at 4:00pm EST.


During the Global Conference, CEO orchestrates the largest student pitch competition in the United States and the world.  Our overall goal for the Pitch Competition is to encourage all stages of business concepts to participate.  This competition is a great opportunity to pitch business concepts to a panel of judges with a chance to win financial funding for your business.  The pitch competition is structured around a quick one minute and thirty second pitch, essentially, the time it would take you to pitch your idea while you ride up an elevator.  Presenting yourself effectively is an essential tool in the world of business.  A well planned pitch can open doors to success in your future endeavors.  Idea’s may be at any stage and the preliminary competition is split into two separate tracks.

 Track 1 – Preliminary: Idea Generators

Track 2 - Preliminary: Founders

Concepts that are in Idea Stage – with no revenues, prototypes or products.

Concepts that beyond Idea Stage – with revenues, prototypes or products

Seed Funding:

------ First Place - $5,000 ------

------ Second Place - $3,500 ------

------ Third Place - $2,000 ------


Am I able to pitch?

In order to pitch, you have to be an actively enrolled student in your university or college. You do not have to present an active transcript to participate in the competition. However, if you successfully receive prize money by placing in the top 3 finalists of the competition, you will be required to present a class schedule in your name for the current academic semester. Failure to do so will result in the loss of your prize funding, and will instead be awarded to the next runner up. 

Can I present with my co-founder?

No. The competition is for individuals who wish to pitch an idea or product. If a partner is involved in the business, they may participate in all components of the competition, with the exception of your pitch, duos are not permitted.

What should I include in my pitch?

A good elevator pitch is clear, emphasizes your passion and expresses a need. All contestants must include what they plan to use the first place winnings of $5,000 for and how it will advance his/her venture.  

How long is my pitch supposed to be?

The pitch is no longer than 1 minute and 30 seconds - 90 seconds total.  Please prepare a concise and detailed pitch for your product/service business. 

Can I use a PowerPoint to assist my pitch?   

No, however you can bring any small props or prototypes.   

How will the competition be judged?

CEO does not release the judging criteria prior to the competition, but the judges will evaluate on content, delivery, viability of the venture, and the problem the company solves.

Can I get feedback from the judges?

Yes, the judges score the students on a written sheet with a space for additional comments. After the scores have been recorded, the students are free to see their marks. Check at the conference registration table to pick-up scoring sheets.

What if I don't get accepted?

Each year, CEO has hundreds of applicants to pitch in the competition. To maintain the integrity of the competition, CEO only accepts 80 students on site and 30 of those students are automatically accepted to the competition via automatic submission.  To create another engagement opportunity, in partnership with Future Founders, CEO is offering a Residency Bootcamp.  This program will accept 25 of the students that are classified as idea generators, are not accepted into the pitch competition and are interested in launching their venture. This bootcamp will cover topics not addressed in your classroom to accelerate the growth of your venture.  For more details on the CEO Residency Bootcamp | Powered by Future Founders, click here

How does my school participate in automatic submission?

Any university/college that is an active member in the CEO network can automatically admit a student into CEO's global pitch competition, bypassing the 300 applicants that go through pre-screening.  The following criteria must be met.  The institution must: host an on-campus pitch competition in the spring or fall semesters immediately before the conference, send CEO HQ a flyer of the pitch competition, include CEO Global Conference & Pitch Competition social tag: #CEOGLOBAL2019 on all social media outlets for the event, cover the cost of travel and lodging for the student selected for automatic submission and the student must have placed first in your on campus competition.  To apply for automatic submission, click here


All participants should be aware of something called 35 USC 102(b), which contains a nasty "gotcha" called an "in-use or on-sale bar" to patentability. This is not legal advice, look up 35 USC 102(b) yourself. Be familiar with this. Participants might want to consider (Prior to their presentations) taking their PowerPoint or other presentation materials, printing everything on 8.5 x 11 paper and mailing this into the US Patent Office with a check for $65 (Prior to their presentations). Doing so is not a cure-all, there are many other steps necessary in the patent process, but doing at least this can be somewhat helpful to somewhat prevent the nasty "gotcha" of 35 USC 102(b). Just be aware, doing nothing could harm your patent rights. 


Who should participate? 

  • Students with an idea to start a business 
  • Students who have started a company 
  • Students interested in enhancing their presentation skills 
  • Students who want to explore the idea of starting a company 
  • Students who want to demonstrate their ability to clearly communication an idea to a group

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