How it works

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

  • Ideas can be submitted thru May 31, 2021.
  • 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.
  • June 11, 2021 the 53 finalists are announced.
  • Finalist will receive a monetary award and have an opportunity to receive training and coaching to prepare for the next round.
  • The week of July 19, 2021 the 53 finalists will pitch and top 10 semi-finalists will be selected.  
  • July 26, 2021 the top ten semi-finalists will be announced.
  • August 12, 2021 virtual Pitch Day - the top ten compete for first, second and third place.


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

Competition Entry

The entry period is open through May 31, 2021. When you are ready to record your 53-second business idea click the button below!


Depending on the device you are using to enter there are slight difference in using the recording solution. Download instructions based on your device iOS or Android mobile phone or a desktop or laptop computer.

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
Monday, June 14
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

53 Ideas: Understanding the Pitch
Thursday, June 17
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.


53 Ideas: Business Model Canvas
Tuesday, June 22
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

53 Ideas: Figuring Out Your Financials
Thursday, June 24
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.


53 Ideas: Your Business Bankable    
Tuesday, June 29
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

53 Ideas: Developing Your Pitch          
Thursday, July 1
4:00 - 6:00 p.m. 

Title Sponsor and Host




Training and Promotional Partners


Frequently Asked Questions

Rules & Conditions
Terms of Service