Learning Through Research

NCUR Fast Pitch Competition


The NCUR Fast Pitch Competition


  • Creates an opportunity for students to present the commercialization potential of their research in an environment that celebrates new venture creation, entrepreneurial thinking, and the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Awards students with cash prizes and certificates of participation based on the merits of their ideas and presentations
  • Provides students with a platform to showcase their talent and passion for entrepreneurship

Competition Details

Entering the Competition

To be considered for the competition, the student should:

  • Submit an abstract describing his or her idea for a new business (300-word maximum) under the abstract category “Entrepreneurship.”
  • Include a supporting video “pitch” for the idea (no more than six minutes).  Use URL links for supporting files (YouTube, Dropbox, Vimeo, etc.).

Abstract reviewers will carefully consider all entries and invite teams to compete in the NCUR Fast Pitch Competition at the University of Memphis.


Participating students will make a 5-6 minute pitch of their business model to a panel of judges. At a minimum, the presentation must include an introduction of the team, a clear description of the problem being solved, the solution proposed, customer segments, competitive analysis, unique value propositions, and revenue streams. Judges may ask questions; answers must be limited to 1 minute. Use of presentation slides is permitted. Props or prototypes may be used and are encouraged. No props, prototypes, or other materials may be distributed once the presentation begins. 


Three winners will be selected to receive the following awards:

First Place:


Second Place


Third Place




Student Status

The competition is for all students attending NCUR 2017 at the University of Memphis . Undergraduate students must be actively enrolled as a full-time student at their home institution at the time of the competition. 


There is no limit on the number of students or non-students on the founding team, but only three students may present in the competition. Presenters must meet student enrollment eligibility requirements, be a founding member of the venture, and a member of the venture's management team. Interdisciplinary teams are recommended. Teams may include any number of undergraduate students. Non-students may be members of the management team and may participate in planning the venture, but only students meeting enrollment requirements may present and answer questions from the judges.

Final Decision on Eligibility

The Director of the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship reserves all rights and will have final say in determining which teams are eligible to compete in the Pitch Competition and reserves the right to exclude any team for any reason.


The judge panel will consist of a minimum of three judges. Judges will be independent and not employed by University of Memphis or the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship. Judging criteria for the pitch competition will be provided to all teams submitting valid applications for the competition.

Judging Criteria

Judges will consider the following criteria for scoring the presentations.  For each item, 0 to 5 points will be awarded, with 5 representing the top score (30 possible points):

Definition of the Problem or Opportunity

The contestant provided a clear, concise, and compelling description of a problem or opportunity.  Consideration is given to the scope of the problem/opportunity.  Market-oriented and social problems/opportunities are considered of equal importance.


The solution to the problem or opportunity is backed by research and is clearly defined, compelling, and believable.   

Impact of Solution

The degree of impact that the solution will have on the problem/opportunity. Solutions addressing larger markets or populations served will receive higher scores.

Solution Feasibility

The degree to which implementation of the solution is feasible considering the time, capital, and other resources necessary for implementation. 

Market Strategy

A clear, compelling, and feasible strategy is provided that addresses how the solution will be marketed or delivered. Likelihood of being able to successfully market the solution will affect scoring.

Presentation Style

Overall quality of the presentation. Clear, concise messaging, degree of confidence, professional appearance and interesting/compelling presentation.  The degree to which the presentation might pique an investor’s interest is also considered.

Changes to Competition Rules

Rules and awards are subject to change at the discretion of the Director of the Crews Center for Entrepreneurship at any time. Changes and/or interpretations of these rules may be made, even though they may appear to be in conflict with previously published information. The Director has the right to interpret these rules according to his/her judgment.

Intellectual Property

By submitting an application, teams acknowledge they or their home institution own any intellectual property rights that exist or may be developed from their idea. The idea and concepts must be the original work of the individual or teams making the pitch.

Important Dates

Registration Deadline: December 2, 2016
Event Date: Thursday, April 6, 2016