e-Fest 2019 – Rules & Updates Q&A Podcast

What Do Student Teams Submit?

  1. Up to a 7 minute pitch video
  2. A slide deck of up to 16 slides

Pick one person from your team to create your submission here: https://e-fest.eix.org

What is a good video?

There are no creative constraints on the video; teams have total freedom. This being said, of the nine judging criteria, only one criterion deals specifically with the video (presentation); the other eight criteria focus on the merits of the venture. So, a good video, fundamentally, will thoroughly describe the venture; at the same time, don’t rule out the ability of creativity to capture attention and interest. (How’s that for generic advice?!) We have also posted some presentation tips and the video from last year’s eventual winners as an example: https://eix.org/e-fest-guide/category/students

Who are the Judges?

Our main criterion is that judges are able to provide thoughtful and expert evaluations of entrepreneurship projects and submissions based on the judging criteria. Judges are spread across North America with a good representation from the Midwest (we’re based in Minneapolis). Their experience is typically as an investor, an entrepreneur, and/or a VP+ level in a business. Many have MBAs and have started successful ventures. Perhaps half of our panel have judged other business plan competitions before. And, as volunteers (no arm twisting on our parts to recruit), each of them really wants to be involved and is enthusiastic about e-Fest, working with student teams, and understanding the ventures.

If we win a prize, how is it paid and are there any equity considerations if we accept the money?

Prizes are paid in cash (paid by check with a bit of processing time, to be exact), with no equity consideration for e-Fest. However, team award funds (Pitch Slam and Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge) are paid to the individuals on the team, split evenly among team members who participate in e-Fest, and will be reported as income. All award recipients will be required to provide an IRS form W9 or equivalent before being issued their cash award.

Does our team advisor have to travel to Minneapolis, if we’re a finalist team?

Yes. Your advisor, or a substitute faculty or staff advisor, will need to accompany your team to Minneapolis. It’s an expenses paid trip for the whole team, and we have a program for both students and advisors. It’s a great experience!

Can our team be just one person?

No, the minimum team size is 2 undergraduate students who can travel to Minneapolis if the team is selected as a Top 25 Finalist. One of the goals of e-Fest is to promote entrepreneurial networking as well as effective communication. The right team can help make a big difference!

Can our team have graduate students? Or graduated undergraduates?

No. Undergraduates only, but having graduated in December of 2018 is allowed.

Is it OK if our venture already has sales?

Yes, but early stage is the critical consideration and qualification for e-Fest. Getting the first deal or two can help validate the ideas and product. Ventures without any sales can still be highly competitive with good research (last year’s champions were still working on the prototype!). But, if your venture has been in business a while and/or is making money, we reserve the right to disallow your submission to offer the fairest playing field for all teams.

Team ventures cannot have more than $25,000 in all time sales, as of the date of their e-Fest submission.

If we are selected as finalists, can we change our presentation from what we provided for the first round?

Yes. Your first round performance earned you the chance for a live pitch during the e-Fest championships rounds. For the final round, you can update or change your slides. You can have more than 15 slides. However, live presentations are limited to 15 minutes. The judges will have 5 minutes for Q&A.

Can we bring a product prototype, sample, or other props for our live presentation?

Yes. However, do not bring anything that could make a mess, or which is potentially dangerous or hazardous. If TSA lets you fly with it, it is likely OK to use as a prop in your presentation. Keep in mind, you have 15 minutes to set up, present, and wrap up.

Is Wi-Fi Available?

Yes. University of St Thomas has an open wi-fi network. Details will be provided. The open network times out every 3 hours, so plan to refresh your connection periodically.

Dress Code

There is not an “official” dress code for e-Fest. We would encourage participants to treat the Saturday presentations as an important business event, so dress in business attire. Note, that there will be press and video cameras running throughout the 3 day event, with Friday being a dedicated day for the media to interact with student teams and advisors.

Food, Hotel, Expenses

Are there any meals that are NOT provided during e-Fest?

We provide either full meals OR heavy hors d’oeuvres throughout most of the event, starting Thursday evening and continuing through a dessert reception early Saturday evening. If you like having snacks around, there are plenty of local places to buy some!