Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Win $50,000 in the Duke Start-Up Challenge

Do you have an idea for a startup company? Tell us your business idea, and earn a chance to win $50,000! Along the way you'll receive support for getting a business idea off the ground.

Last year we had over 100 Duke student teams, and 50 Duke alumni teams compete.
All Duke students (as well as postdocs and medical residents) are eligible for the prize money.  Alumni, Faculty, and Staff are also welcome to participate, but will not be eligible for the prize money.  They will, however, receive feedback and support. 
Student Prizes:
  • $50,000 Grand Prize (thanks to Rich Lee of Hosted Solutions)
  • $10,000 Prize for best Women-led Startup
  • $10,000 Prize for best Undergraduate-led Startup
  • $10,000 Prize for best Products & Services Startup
Want to compete? All it takes is a startup idea, and some time to put your idea down in writing.  Participation in the fall events is *not* required. 

Get started by submitting an Idea Summary (two to five page document) of your business idea. It's due at 5pm EST, Thursday, February 9th, 2012. Last year we had over 100 Duke teams submit ideas.

Up to 49 semi-finalists (up to 7 per track) will be selected by a panel of judges to advance to the second round.  If you advance to the second round, you will submit business plans and make investor pitches to a panel of judges.

The most important thing is to just write down your idea and submit it! If you want to go above and beyond, we suggest you refer to Guy Kawasaki's thoughts on Executive Summaries.  Also, check out executive summaries from past competitors.

Note: Participation in the Elevator Pitch Competition in November 2011 is not a prerequisite to participate in the Executive Summary competition.

How to submit your idea: Your submission for the Duke Startup Challenge is limited to two to five pages.  

Additional Links


  1. My idea to form a limited liability company in Thailand would be something that of an FMCG that processes orders from UK Highstreet and passes the orders to distributors or suppliers so they can dropship the item straight to the customer's address. Does that work?

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