The 2020 PitchFork Challenge: Money and Momentum
The PitchFork Challenge provides money and momentum for local rural entrepreneurs to apply to be part of a business pitch competition. Over the summer local entrepreneurs are coached to create a compelling pitch describing their business opportunity in pursuit of a cash award. There is a track just for entrepreneurs who have a great business idea, but need a little bit of cash to pursue that idea further! Apply today for the PitchFork Challenge Idea Track and pitch your idea to possibly win $1,000. To learn more about the PitchFork Challenge visit our site!
When does The Pitchfork Challenge happen?
The PitchFork Challenge will run from August to September, with a series of events narrowing down the finalists. The application link is below.
The PitchFork Challenge is open to any resident and business that is located in the counties below with a population of 30,000 or less:
- NH: Cheshire, Sullivan, and Hillsborough
- VT: Windham, Bennington, and Windsor
- MA: Franklin
- Business idea is for-profit
- Business idea has not earned any or much revenue
What will I win?
- For the rural idea track: $1,000
- Print and digital media coverage in The Keene Sentinel
- Complete a business form for three years after the award is received
- Document the first year with photos if applicable the use of the award and the impact of the award
- Be available for social media, blog, and website marketing and promotion
How do I enter and what is required?
Round 1: Application is due by 8am Monday, August 3, 2020
- Those who are accepted into the PitchFork Challenge will need to attend the pitch clinic on Thursday, August 6, 2020
Round 2: Required live pitch coaching event on Wednesday, August 19, 2020
- Up to two people from each track may be eliminated
- Semi-finalists will be notified of their status before the semi-finalist live PitchFork Challenge Event
Round 3: The small business track semi-finalists will prepare and present a 5-minute live pitch at the event on Thursday, September 3, 2020
- The idea track semi-finalists will prepare a 2-minute live pitch at the event without a pitch deck.
- Up to two people from each track may be eliminated.
- Thursday, September 10, 2020 – Finalists for the rural small business track will meet with judges for Q&A and to develop their final pitch at 8:30am-11:30am by appointment
Round 4: The PitchFork Challenge final event on Thursday, September 24, 2020 during the Radically Rural Summit
- Live pitch to the judging panel.
- Finalists for the small business track will prepare and present a 5 minute live pitch at the Final Event with pitch deck.
- Finalists for the idea track will prepare and present a 2 minute live pitch at the Final Event without a pitch deck.
How will I be judged?
You will be judged on the following criteria:
- Community benefit
- Pitch – pitch performance
Important Dates For PitchFork Challenge Presenters:
- Monday, July 27, 2020: Application is due by end of business day. See the list of questions here.
- Thursday, August 6, 2020, 9:00am-10:30am: Pitch Clinic: Learn the key components of a good pitch (online)
- Wednesday, August 19, 2020, 8:15am – 12:00pm: Round 1: Closed event with live pitch to the panel of judges (in-person)
- Tuesday, September 1, 2020, 8am – 6pm (in person by appointment): Tech check and dress rehearsal of pitch
- Thursday, September 3, 2020, 5:30pm – 7:30pm: PitchFork Challenge semi-final live stream event
- Monday, September 21, 2020, 8:30am – 6:00pm (by appointment): Tech check and dress rehearsal of pitch
- Thursday, September 24, 2020, 11:00am – 12:45pm: Live stream final pitch during session two of Radically Rural
- Thursday, September 24, 2020, 5:00pm – 7:00pm: Live announcement of PitchFork Challenge winners at the closing keynote address at Radically Rural