The 2019 Pitchfork Challenge: Money and Momentum
What is The PitchFork Challenge?
The Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship (HGC) created the PitchFork program in 2016 to coach business entrepreneurs to pitch their business investment opportunity on a quarterly basis to a room full of investors with a purpose to boost the startup rates in the Monadnock region. For the inaugural Radically Rural Summit in 2018, the Hannah Grimes Center leveraged the success of the PitchFork program into The PitchFork Challenge, where there was prize money for the best pitch to a rural startup business entrepreneur. This year’s final, live pitch will be held on Thursday, September 19th as part of the Radically Rural Summit.
Applicants can submit their rural startup business or business ideas to be reviewed by a panel of judges. There will be two tracks entrepreneurs can apply to, one for a rural startup business and one for a business idea. Ultimately, one business winner will be chosen to receive a prize of at least $10,000 in cash for the rural startup business track and one prize of $1,000 for the idea track that will advance a business idea forward.
Read our 2018“how to” guide and lessons learned putting together our first pitch competition.Apply Today!
See the list of the application questions HERE.
If you are not able to answer or supply the required documents, please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org). Don’t be discouraged to apply, we can help develop the materials.
When does The Pitchfork Challenge happen?
The PitchFork Challenge will run from March to September, with a series of events narrowing down the finalists. HGC will announce details through this website, social media channels and our newsletter. Stay tuned for new information regarding the below events.
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
Rural Startup Business Track:
- Businesses must be for-profit and is currently earning revenue
- May not be more than three years old by September 1, 2019
- May not have raised more than $250,000 in funding
- May not have earned more than $250,000 in past year revenue
- May not have participated in the business track pitch as a finalist in the 2018 PitchFork Challenge
- Business idea is for-profit
- Business idea has not earned any revenue
What will I win?
- For the rural startup business track: $10,000
- For the rural idea track: $1,000
- Print and digital media coverage in The Keene Sentinel
Want to learn more about PitchFork Challenge?
Register to attend one of the information sessions:
How do I enter and what is required?
Round 1: Application is due by end of business day July 23, 2019
Round 2: Required live pitch coaching event on August 15, 2019
- Up to two people from each track will be eliminated
- Semi-finalists will be notified of their status before the semi-finalist live PitchFork Challenge Event
Round 3: The business track semi-finalists will prepare and present a 5-minute live pitch at the event on August 29, 2019 with accompanying pitch deck.
- 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 will be eliminated.
- September 5, 2019 – Finalists meeting with judges to develop final pitch at 8:30am-11:30am
Round 3: The PitchFork Challenge final event on September 19, 2019 during the Radically Rural Summit
- Live pitch to the judging panel.
- Finalists for the 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:
- Tuesday, July 23, 2019: Application is due by end of day
- Tuesday, July 30, 2019, 9:00am-10:30am: Pitch Clinic: Learn the key components of a good pitch
- Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 8:30am – 12:30pm: Round 1: Closed event with live pitch to the panel of judges
- Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 8am – 6pm (by appointment): Tech check and dress rehearsal of pitch
- Thursday, August 29, 2019, 5:00pm – 7:30pm: PitchFork Challenge semi-final live event (open to the public to attend)
- Thursday, September 5, 2019, 8:30am – 11:00am: Finalists meet with the judges for Q&A
- Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 8:30am – 6:00pm : Tech check and dress rehearsal of pitch at the special events venue
- Thursday, September 19, 2019, 1:00pm – 4:00pm: Live final pitch during session two of Radically Rural
- Friday, September 20, 2019, 1:00pm – 3:00pm: Live announcement of PitchFork Challenge winners at the Colonial Theater