Favorites ()
Students in atrium during e-fest

Ready to take you business idea to the next level?


Win your share of $215,000 to launch your business

Have you participated in the Fowler Business Concept Challenge, the Business Plan Competition, the Lemonade Stand or another business competition? Ready to take your business idea to the next level? Then e-fest® is for you!

e-Fest® is an action-packed three-day celebration of undergraduate entrepreneurship featuring workshops, networking and three separate competitions awarding up to $215K in cash prizes.

Becoming one of the 25 e-Fest® finalist teams is an elite recognition in itself. But wait there's more! Finalist teams network with the top student entrepreneurs from across the nation can promote their businesses to news organizations across the country, meet Richard M. Schulze, founder and Chairman Emeritus of Best Buy and take home a portion of $215,000 in cash prizes.

Online Submissions
February 1 - March 3, 2024, 11:59 p.m. (PST)

Finalists Notified
March 19, 2024

Finalists Announced
April 22, 2024

April 18-20, 2024
Schulze School of Entrepreneurship in Minneapolis, MN

Competition Information

For a complete set of rules, a previous list of winners, and more information, please visit the e-Fest® website. e-Fest® is sponsored by the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and EIX.org, a non-profit online platform for entrepreneurship education.

Round One: Online submissions accepted from Friday, February 1 through Sunday, March 3. 2024 (11:59 p.m. PST)

Each team will submit a video pitch and PowerPoint deck for their new business or social venture through the EIX e-Fest® portal. Judges will review each entry, scoring against a pre-prescribed rubric. Every team will receive feedback. The 25 finalist teams will be notified by 5 p.m. PST on Monday, March 19.

Round Two: In-Person at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship in Downtown Minneapolis, April 18-20, 2024

Pitch Slam!
One representative from each of the 25 finalists will have up to 90 seconds to deliver an elevator pitch for their business. At the conclusion of the pitches, everyone in attendance votes on their top three business pitches that they would like to invest in.

Innovation Challenge
Students of the 25 finalist teams are mixed and matched to form new teams of 4-5 students. Teams are then given a challenge and three hours to create an innovative business-based solution. When time is up, Team Advisors transform to assume the role of judges and roam around, listening to pitches and investing "bucks" along the way.

Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge
The 25 semifinalist teams will be placed into five groups where they will give a 10-minute business pitch to a panel of judges drawn from the entrepreneurial, business and investment communities. Each judging panel will select one team to move to the final round.

Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge Championship Round
Each finalist team will be given 10 minutes to present their pitch, this time to a new panel of distinguished judges. These judges will decide the top five placements in the competition.

Special Recognition Awards: Social Impact, Global Impact, and Ready for Market Awards
To qualify for one or both awards, teams will provide an impact statement along with their initial e-Fest® online submission. This impact statement should explain how the venture is mission-driven and can help move the needle in social or global contexts. The ready for market award will be given to the team that is closest to market with their venture. From the top 25 finalists considered for each award, a dedicated group of judges will review and score submissions to determine the winners.

e-Fest® is open to all current and recently graduated (no earlier than Fall 2023) undergraduate students. All teams must consist of two to five students and one university advisor. The advisor should be a current faculty member or entrepreneurship center director. For a complete list of eligibility requirements visit e-Fest® rules.

  • Submission: Each team and its team members may submit only one venture concept to the competition.
  • Repeat Participation: Students may submit in multiple years. However, any venture invited as a Top 25 Finalist in e-Fest® cannot be resubmitted. In other words, prior finalists must submit a new idea or venture.
  • Student Involvement: The competition is for student-created and student-managed ventures, including new ventures launched by licensing university technology.
  • Forms of Business: Submissions are for new independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages. Submissions should not include buyouts, entity expansions, not for profits, subsidiaries or recapitalizations. Total funding from investments, grants, and awards - including contributions, cash investments, loans and paid expenses by any team members, founders or individuals - cannot exceed $100,000 (all time). Total sales at the time of the e-Fest® submission cannot exceed $50,000 (all-time).
  • Point of Contact: Students must designate a single point-of-contact person responsible for communication with competition organizers and submitting the entry into the e-Fest® student team application portal. The submission form will have a spot to designate this person. This is to streamline operations.
  • Academic Advisor: Each student team must provide the name and email address of their team faculty advisor when submitting their team entry for consideration for e-Fest®.
  • Institutional Eligibility: Colleges and universities in North America that have undergraduate entrepreneurship or new venture development offering of 1 or more courses, or which offer entrepreneurship major or minor concentrations, may participate.
  • Email Correspondences: e-Fest® news and updates will be emailed to the academic contact who first registered the college or university for e-Fest® Email us at e-fest@eix.org to have additional faculty or entrepreneurship center directors or staff added to our e-Fest® email news list.
  • e-Fest® News & Updates: Updates to the competition will be posted to efest.biz.

Undergraduate teams submit up to a seven-minute video and no more than 15 PPT slides, not including a title slide, detailing their business venture. The submission can be a new idea that is being researched and developed or it can be an actual venture with the first few customers.

Format: A video and PPT slide deck (or equivalent) are required for each submission. Both items must be submitted through the e-Fest® portal to be eligible. Teams must adhere to the time limits on the video and convert their pitch deck to .pdf format for the written submission.

  • Video Submission: This is the storied "elevator pitch" and should convey the key attributes of the opportunity, as depicted in the PPT slide deck. Substance trumps style. Videos should be uploaded to Vimeo. The video's URL will then be shared on the team's submission form.
  • PowerPoint Submission: PPT should be saved and submitted as a PDF file. Download the Sample .PPT Presentation Template.

Looking for more information or have a question?

Contact Jennifer Gessner at jgessner@stthomas.edu.

e-Fest pitch slam screen capture

2021 Opening Ceremony & Pitch Slam!

e-Fest award ceremony screen capture

2021 Award Ceremony