e-Fest® 2021

Our Top 25 Finalists Have Been Selected

Click here to read more!


e-Fest is going virtual in 2021

Join us for this year’s virtual e-Fest! Register as a guest at https://events.bizzabo.com/efest.

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 will be invited to compete at this year’s virtual e-Fest® 2021. The action-packed 3 day celebration of undergraduate entrepreneurship features four separate competitions awarding up to $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: #efest2021

* The IRS will treat prize winnings as taxable miscellaneous income, see IRS Publication 525

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 typically held in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Beautiful Schulze School of Entrepreneurship; however, we’re going virtual for the 2021 event! All finalist teams plus an advisor will receive information on how to join us virtually leading up to April 22-24, 2021.

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 the first round of the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge, 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 “challenge” and 3 hours to create innovative solutions.

When time is up, teams will be put into 3 pitch rooms and 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 2017 topic was “autonomous mobile machines”. In 2018, the topic was “addressing problems of waste”. In 2019, the topic is “addressing food insecurity in the educational system”. In 2021, the topic is… find out on April 23!

Friday & 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

Split over two days for 2021, Friday 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 with a new set of judges. Friday will be closed to spectators, but the championship round will be open to watch. Read: Competition rules, judging guidelines, faqs. 

Special Recognition

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.