e-Fest returns to Minneapolis in April 2022
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e-Fest® and the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge starts with an online competition. Undergraduate students in North America are encouraged to form teams and submit their venture pitches, for a chance at a quarter million dollars in prizes. Link to Submission Pages
After the online round, the Top 25 Finalist Teams are invited to compete in person at e-Fest® (all expenses paid) at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship located on the University of St. Thomas campus in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The action-packed 3 day celebration of undergraduate entrepreneurship features four separate competitions awarding over $215K in prize money.
The prize amounts shown below are cash (check) payments divided equally among team members in attendance at e-Fest and paid directly to each individual on the winning teams.* Our hashtag: #efest2022
* The IRS will treat prize winnings as taxable miscellaneous income, see IRS Publication 525
Miss the 2021 competition? Click here to meet the winners.
How to get an Invitation? Submit Online
Each online submission receives at least two anonymous judging scores, which are computed to determine the Top 25 Finalist teams. Read about the judging criteria.
e-Fest is a 3-day event held in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Beautiful Schulze School of Entrepreneurship!
Thursday: Pitch Slam!
Team Prizes: $3.5K each for the Top 5 Teams
Welcome to e-Fest! We hit the ground running on Thursday evening. After a welcome by Dick Schulze, the 25 finalist teams will each get 60 seconds to deliver elevator pitches to fellow student competitors. Each student in attendance will vote for the 5 venture teams they’d most want to meet with as a potential investor.
Friday: Innovation Challenge
Team Prizes: $10K each for the Top 3 Teams | Audience Choice Award: $5K
Following a morning of networking & workshops, Friday afternoon will serve as a change of pace. We’ll mix and match all the competitors into new teams of 4-5 students each. Teams will be given a surprise “challenge” and 3 hours to create innovative solutions.
When time is up, teams will be put into 3 pitch rooms and with a set of 8 judges. Each team will be given 4 minutes to present their solution followed by up to 4 minutes of Q&A. Judges will then select a winner from their room. The 3 winning teams (one from each room) will each receive $10K. The top 3 teams will then present their solution to all participants and the 25 judges. Everyone will then have the chance to vote for the team with the most innovative solution. The team with the most votes will receive the Audience Choice award cash prize of $5K.
The 2021 topic was “innovation in the post-pandemic workplace”. In 2022, the topic is… find out next April!
Saturday: Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge
Team Prizes: 1st – $50K | 2nd – $30K | 3rd – $20K | 4th – $15K | 5th – $10K
Qualifying Round 2nd and 3rd Place Teams: 2nd – $2500 | 3rd – $1000
Saturday morning will feature the semi-finals round (5 groups of 5 teams, each with a panel of 4-5 judges). One team from each group will advance to the championship round on Saturday afternoon with a new set of judges. The morning finals will be closed to spectators, but the championship round will be open to watch. Read: Competition rules, judging guidelines, faqs.
Social Impact Award: $10K Global Impact Award: $10K
Teams that submit entries for e-Fest will be able to apply for consideration for two additional cash prizes, for social and global impact. To qualify for one or both awards, teams will provide an impact statement along with their submission. This impact statement should explain how the venture is mission-driven and can help move the needle in social or global contexts. From among the top 25 finalists considered for each award, a dedicated group of judges will review and score submissions to determine the two winners.
NOTE: Prize amounts were adjusted on 7/15/2020. Championship round prizes were changed for 1st and 2nd place.
e-Fest is presented by EIX.org and the Richard M Schulze Family Foundation. Our mission at EIX.org is to improve the success rates of new ventures by promoting exceptional entrepreneurship teaching and thought leadership.