How it works

Anyone in the 10-counties surrounding Charlotte can submit an idea. It only takes a minute.

  • Ideas in the form of a 53-second video can be submitted online thru (TBD for 2022 program).
  • Entry is limited to residents in the following NC counties: Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union.
  • Employees of participating community colleges in the Southwest region are not eligible to participate.
  • The 53 finalists are announced (TBD for 2022 program).
  • Finalist will receive a monetary award and have an opportunity to receive training and coaching to prepare for the next round.
  • The 53 finalists pitch (TBD for 2022 program) for a chance to place as a top semi-finalists.  
  • The top ten semi-finalists will be announced (TBD for 2022 program).
  • The top ten compete for first, second and third place at Virtual Pitch Day.


  • First place winner $10,000
  • Second place winner $  5,000
  • Third place winner $  2,500
  • Top 10 finalists $     250
  • Top 53 finalists $       50

Pitch Day - Thursday, August 12

Join the livestreamed event to watch and cheer on the top ten finalists in this year's competition! Who will take the top spot and earn $10,000? Register now to view the finale.                                                             

Training Events

Our goal is not only to help you perfect your pitch but to help you learn how to turn your idea into a viable business. As part of this initiative we will have a period for preparation leading up to the round two pitches which will include no cost training and counseling.

53 Ideas: Customer Discovery
Future date/time

53 Ideas: Understanding the Pitch
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53 Ideas: Business Model Canvas
Future date/time

53 Ideas: Figuring Out Your Financials
Future date/time


53 Ideas: Your Business Bankable    
Future date/time

53 Ideas: Developing Your Pitch          
Future date/time

Title Sponsor and Host




Training and Promotional Partners


Frequently Asked Questions

Rules & Conditions
Terms of Service