How it works

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

  • Ideas can be submitted now to February 20, 2020.
  • Entry is limited to residents in the following counties Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union.
  • Employees of Central Piedmont and participating community colleges in the Southwest region are not eligible to participate.
  • February 29, 2020 the 53 finalists are announced.
  • Finalist will receive a monetary award and have that ability to receive training and coaching to prepare for the next round.
  • April 27-29, 2020 the 53 finalists will pitch and the field will be narrowed to the top fifteen.
  • May 1, 2020 the top fifteen will be announced.
  • May 21, 2020 the top fifteen move on to the Final Pitch and the remaining 38 exhibit during the Final Pitch event.


  • First place winner:      $10,000
  • Second place winner: $  5,000
  • Third place winner:     $  2,500
  • Top 15 finalists:           $    200
  • Top 53 finalists:           $      50

Pitch Submission

Ready to compete for a chance to win $10,000? Submit your video pitch now! It's simple process, but we've included recording instructions just in case. When you're ready, click the button below, complete the entry form and then immediately record and upload your 53 second video pitch. Be sure to state your first and last name along with your idea when recording.


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 53-day period for preparation in March and April which will include no cost training and counseling.

 Saturday, March 7

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
53 Ideas: The Business Model

12:30 - 2:30 p.m.
53 Ideas: Understanding the Pitch              
 Saturday, March 21

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
53 Ideas: Understanding Your Customers

12:30 - 2:30 p.m.
53 Ideas: Developing the Pitch
Saturday, April 4

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
53 Ideas: Your Business Bankable

12:30 - 2:30 p.m.
53 Ideas: Legal Protection & Formation
 Saturday, April 18

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
53 Ideas: Figuring Out Your Financials

12:30 - 2:30 p.m.
53 Ideas: The Marketing Launch Plan

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