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.

After the online round, the Top 25 Finalist Teams will be invited (all expenses paid) to e-Fest® 2019 at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship in Minneapolis. The action-packed 3 day celebration of undergraduate entrepreneurship features workshops, networking and four separate competitions awarding a total of $250K 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: #efest

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

Thursday: Pitch Slam!

Team Prizes:  1st: $10K | 2nd: $5K | 3rd: $2,500

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 90 seconds to deliver elevator pitches to fellow student competitors. Each student in attendance will vote for the 3 venture teams they’d most want to meet with as a potential investor.


Friday: Innovation Challenge

Team Prizes:  1st – $20K | 2nd – $10K | 3rd – $5K

After a day of workshops, discussions and networking, Friday evening is a change of pace. We’ll mix and match all the competitors into new teams of 4 students each. Teams will be given a “challenge” and 3 hours to create innovative solutions. Judges will roam around, listening to pitches and investing “bucks” along the way. The 2017 topic was “autonomous mobile machines”. In 2018, the topic was “addressing problems of waste”. In 2019, the topic is…to be determined!

Saturday: Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge

Team Prizes: 1st – $75K | 2nd – $40K | 3rd – $20K | 4th – $15K | 5th – $10K
Qualifying Round 2nd and 3rd Place Teams: 2nd – $2500 | 3rd – $1000

Saturday morning will be the semi-finals (5 groups of 5 teams, each with a panel of 4 judges). One team from each round will advance to the afternoon championship round and a new set of judges. The morning sessions are closed to spectators, but the afternoon 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 2/14/2019. Championship round prizes were increased for 4th and 5th place, and the Social and Global Impact awards were changed to $10K.