e-Fest 2021 is here with a chance to win $200,000+ in cash prizes for innovative teams and ideas

Submissions are open until March 7 for an e-Fest competition open to all undergraduates at North American colleges and universities.  25 finalists will be selected to compete virtually for more than $200,000 in cash prizes.  Entrepreneurial students from any major are encouraged to submit ventures. This is your chance to not only win cash but to create national exposure for your idea.

e-Fest is presented by EIX.org and the Richard M Schulze Family Foundation.  The mission of EIX.org is to improve the success rates of new ventures by promoting exceptional entrepreneurship teaching and thought leadership.

Key dates:

  • March 7 – Applications close
  • March 22 – Finalists notified (finalists have 48 hours to accept)
  • March 26 – Finalists announced
  • e-Fest 2021 Finals, April 22-24

Here is the agenda for the event and the prize package breakdown:

Thursday: Pitch Slam!

Team Prizes:  1st – $10K | 2nd – $5K | 3rd – $2,500

25 finalist teams will each get 90 seconds to deliver elevator pitches to fellow student competitors. Each student in attendance will vote for the 3 venture teams they’d most want to meet with as a potential investor.

Friday: Innovation Challenge

Team Prizes:  1st – $20K | 2nd – $10K | 3rd – $5K

After a day of workshops, discussions and networking, Friday evening is a change of pace. Teams will be mixed and matched into new teams of four students each. Teams will be given a “challenge” and 3 hours to create innovative solutions. Judges will roam around, listening to pitches and investing “bucks” along the way. The 2017 topic was “autonomous mobile machines”. In 2018, the topic was “addressing problems of waste”. In 2019, the topic is “addressing food insecurity in the educational system”. In 2021, the topic is… to be determined!

Friday & Saturday: Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge

Team Prizes: 1st – $50K | 2nd – $30K | 3rd – $20K | 4th – $15K | 5th – $10K
Qualifying Round 2nd and 3rd Place Teams: 2nd – $2500 | 3rd – $1000

Split over two days for 2021, Friday will feature the semi-finals round (5 groups of 5 teams, each with a panel of 4-5 judges). One team from each group will advance to the championship round on Saturday with a new set of judges. 

Special Recognition

Social Impact Award:  $10K     Global Impact Award:  $10K

Teams that submit entries for e-Fest will be able to apply for consideration for two additional cash prizes, for social and global impact. To qualify for one or both awards, teams will provide an impact statement along with their submission. This impact statement should explain how the venture is mission-driven and can help move the needle in social or global contexts. From among the top 25 finalists considered for each award, a dedicated group of judges will review and score submissions to determine the two winners.

Click here to view the complete rules and eligibility for e-Fest. 

Read the judging criteria here.

Click here to apply.

Learn more at the competition website.