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 May 5 thru May 31, 2024.
  • Entry is limited to residents in the following NC counties: Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union.
  • The 53 finalists will be announced in early June 2024. 
  • Mid-June finalists participate in online training sessions to help prepare for the next round.
  • The 53 finalists pitch the week of July 7, 2024 (on July 8, 9, or 10) for a chance to place as a top semi-finalists.  
  • The top ten semi-finalists will be announced on Saturday, July 13, 2024. Watch our social channels for the reveal. 
  • The top ten compete for first, second and third place at Virtual Pitch Day which will be broadcast to a public audience.

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for more details.


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

Pitch Day Finale

Watch and cheer on the this year's top ten competing in the Pitch Day Finale!

When: Thursday, July 25, 2024 at 12 pm
Where: Online

Sign up now to receive the link to the livestream of the event.

Competition Entry

Entries for the 53 Ideas Pitch Competition will open May 5, 2024. When you are ready to record or upload your 53-second business idea click the button below. Recording and uploading will vary based on the device you are using to submit your entry.  If you need instructions to record or upload check out these available guides. 

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: Business Model Canvas
Tuesday, June 11; 4-6 pm
Register now


53 Ideas: Customer Discovery
Thursday, June 13; 4-6 pm
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53 Ideas: Understanding the Pitch
Tuesday, June 18; 4-6 pm
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53 Ideas: Figuring Out Your Financials
Thursday, June 20; 4-6 pm
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53 Ideas: Your Business Bankable

Tuesday, June 25; 4-6 pm
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    53 Ideas: Polishing Your Pitch
Thursday, June 27; 4-6pm
Register now

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