Brain Storm High School Pitch Competition
April 4, 2020, The University of Tulsa
The Brain Storm Pitch Competition offers high school students the opportunity to develop an innovation or business idea they feel passionately about. Teams of up to five students will identify a problem or opportunity — anywhere along the spectrum from local to global — and imagine a new and better solution or response than what currently exists. These solutions might take the form of a physical device or product, a mobile app, a website, a door-to-door service or brick-and-mortar business, a non-profit entity, a social movement, a video campaign or many other forms.
Teams will submit a written application and create a 90-second video describing their idea and submit it by February 29, 2020. The video should be uploaded to YouTube, and a link to the video included on the team’s application. Creating and delivering pitches of business ideas allows students to act upon their entrepreneurial ideas and develop skills to lead tomorrow’s organizations. The competition also offers students the chance to practice public speaking skills and question/answer techniques, network with business leaders, create meaningful presentations and understand professionalism.
Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TU Student Innovators Poster Session and Awards
Current TU students: Apply to win $1,000 this semester to advance your current projects!
Each year, the Day of Innovation celebrates TU students and recognizes each college’s most noteworthy student projects and research. Every college can have three winners. Applying is simple!
Send a one-pager to your dean:
- Identify the problem you’re trying to solve and why it is important.
- Describe what you’ve done and how your solution is innovative or unique.
- Explain why your project is deserving of the award and the $1,000 prize.
- Put “Day of Innovation” in the header, and include the names and contact information for each student team member.
If your project is selected by your dean as a winner, you will be formally recognized during an inspiring and fun evening in the Student Union on April 4. Showing off your project is required that evening! You will have the chance to network with guests from the professional community who will be attending just to meet you and learn about all the winning projects.
Brain Storm Pitch Competition Details
- Student teams (maximum 5 members plus at least 1, maximum 2 faculty advisors from their school) may choose to create an entry for a for-profit or a non-profit organization.
- Teams will be selected for the final round of competition on April 4 based on submitted written entries consisting of 4-600 word essay responses to the following prompts:
- What is the problem, social need, or business opportunity your team has discovered?
- What is your team’s innovative solution to this problem/answer to this need?
- Who are the customers / beneficiaries of your innovative idea, and why will be receptive to your approach?
- Describe the cost structure for your solution. (Is it profitable and sustainable? Have you identified a revenue stream? Is your idea scalable?) Students are encouraged to support their assertions with data.
- Finalists will be invited to the University of Tulsa (TU) campus on April 4, 2020 to pitch their ideas to a live panel of judges who will select the top 3 teams and award them with cash prizes. Students, their faculty mentors, and up to 2 guests per team member will spend the day participating in workshops, touring the TU campus, meeting local business leaders, and attend an evening awards banquet where all teams will be recognized and the winning teams will be announced. Students, teachers, administrators, parents, friends, and supporters are encouraged to attend.
- Finalist teams must submit their presentation / audiovisual supporting material by March 21.
- The schools represented will be recognized at TU with a $200 monetary award for the team advisors’ classroom use and each team member will receive a certificate of achievement.
Team Awards in each Category
1st Place – $2,000
2nd Place – $1,500
3rd Place – $1,000
Brain Storm Pitch Comptition Judging Rubric
NEED / PROBLEM
The student/team should clearly identify and validate a need or problem and include supporting data (market research, customer interviews, etc) which shows the magnitude and scope of this problem, i.e. its context in and impact on the lives of individuals and families as well as local, regional, national or global systems. The need/problem statement should be supported by evidence of its current impact and the consequences of not solving the problem. The following should be addressed specifically: Why does the problem exist? Who/what is causing the problem; who is affected by it? How significant is the need? When and how often is the problem occurring?
The student/team should demonstrate the value proposition to be delivered by their idea, product or organization and explain what sets it apart from other currently existing solutions to the problem or need. Include answers to the following questions: What is the product or service that is being offered? What are the benefits the market will derive from the product or service? What alternative options does the market have to the product or service? What evidence is there to substantiate your value proposition?
The student/team should describe the market in as much detail as possible and include supporting research/data. They should also put the present market landscape in context with past forces and trends, and make predictions about the future based on current market forces or trends. Who are the potential customers or beneficiaries of the solution, what solutions currently exist, and how much money/time/energy is spent by customers on currently existing solutions? Who are other stakeholders in the success or failure of the student/team’s solution, i.e. potential partners, competitors, other businesses or services who stand to benefit or suffer from the new solution or its consequences in the marketplace? What challenges or barriers to success do you foresee in bringing your solution to market? What is your plan to address or overcome these challenges? SWOT analysis, experiments which validate this solution’s potential to create value in the marketplace, can be included in the market analysis section.
The student portrays an accurate understanding of the costs associated with starting and operating the business and the costs the business will incur throughout the business’s fiscal year. The student has a clear understanding of what the true costs are in relation to startup costs/running and operating the business. Does the student communicate how they arrived at a selected cost structure? Is the business model value-driven or cost-driven? Is the cost structure setup based on the value they are creating for their customers or minimizing cost associated with providing the good or service? The student is also knowledgeable about their fixed costs and variable costs, and how those costs affect the overall pricing strategy for their business. Are their fixed costs and variable costs realistic for the business model and revenue stream? Can the student clearly communicate their economies of scale or scope? Supporting data should be included to back up their findings.
The student demonstrates a clear vision of how the business intends to make a profit and includes supporting data such as but not limited to: detailed revenue stream with COGS, financial ratios, and an income statement.
Most importantly, the student understands how their business makes money. Do they sell to retailers or directly to consumers? Do consumers pay for each product or service, or is there a subscription fee? Do they know their profit margins? What product is the most popular?
Startup costs and funding sources are addressed. Student uses financial ratios such as return on investment and breakeven point to support business feasibility.
Supporting documents include a 12-month income statement that demonstrates an accurate projection of sales. An ideal income statement will show reasonable projections based on the business life cycle and/or seasonal business.
Business pitch is understandable and professional. The student speaks clearly with enthusiasm for their business. Additionally, they have good posture, eye contact, and are able to answer questions.
The students’ executive summary and other supporting documents are understandable and professional. The executive summary summarizes all segments above and answers the questions of: What is the problem being solved, is it viable and feasible?