Go to Top

Rainforest Student Pitch Competition

Attention students! Do you have an innovative idea for a product, service, or technology?

 The next pitch competition will be April 24, 2017!
Deadline to apply: April 10, 2017


IMG_7288Would you like to win money to help turn your idea into a reality? Top 5 teams will split the Rainforest Student Pitch Competition Fund. Additionally 2 students will be selected to attend the European Innovation Academy in July 2017 in Turin, Italy (http://inacademy.eu/italy/).  Students with product ideas, crazy innovations, a genuine startup, or just a desire to practice their presentation skills are encouraged to enter.  Open to university students in the state of New Mexico.

To be eligible to compete in the Rainforest Student Pitch Competition, you must submit an Intent to Pitch Application.

Instructions and Guidelines:

There will be two rounds in the competition.

Submission Criteria for First Round
Record a 90 second video of a student or team of students delivering an elevator pitch for your business/idea. Videos should capture student(s) delivering the pitch to the camera. The pitch should be delivered in a single take. Videos should not be edited together or produced with visuals or effects. This doesn’t mean it needs to be filmed on the first take, but there should be no post-production done to the pitch (i.e. don’t edit two halves of different takes together). Avoid reading from scripts or cue cards. Please be sure to record the video in a reasonably quiet environment to make it easier for the judges to hear and understand. Avoid recording outdoors or in loud hallways.

A panel of judges will view the video submissions and determine the finalists that will move on to the Final Round. Judges will also select 2 students to attend the European Innovation Academy in July 2017 in Turin, Italy.

Final Round
Finalists will present a 90-second “live” pitch to at an evening reception on April 24, 2017 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm at Bow and Arrow Brewing in front of the business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and others in the community. Winners will be determined by audience voting.

For questions, send via e-mail to: cmichaliszyn@stc.unm.edu.

Nitty Gritty:

The competition is open to university students currently enrolled in the Fall 2016 semester.

Judging is based on:

  • Presentation Skills
    • Delivery (voice, eye contact, etc.)
    • Slides/handout (if applicable)
  • Content (connected the dots, etc.)
    • Product and/or service
    • Problem they solve
    • Target market, ideal customer
    • Competitors
    • Price, costs, profit
    • Marketing strategy
    • Investment, use of funds
    • What’s the deal
  • Overall presentation
    • Persuasive, convincing
    • Connected the dots
    • Creativity

Pitch Time:

Finalists who move onto the Final Round will be allowed a maximum of 90 seconds for their pitch.


  • The decisions of the judges are final.
  • All federal, state and local taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the winners.  All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.
  • By entering in the competition, the contestants give permission to STC.UNM, the University of New Mexico, the UNM Innovation Academy and Innovate New Mexico to use the names of the winners and their project for publicity and/or trade purposes without further compensation unless prohibited by law. Contestants grant permission to STC.UNM and the University(ies) to record and publicize their oral and written presentations, in whole or in part.  All submitted materials become the property of the STC.UNM and the University and will not be returned to the contestants.
  • Contestants and any business entities associated with them release and discharge STC.UNM, The University of New Mexico, the UNM Innovation Academy and Innovate New Mexico, the judges, and prize sponsors, from any and all liability associated with participating in the Rainforest Student Pitch Competition and with the start-up and operation of any businesses described in the business plans.
  • Contestants should not present any information to the judges, orally or in writing, which they deem to be confidential, proprietary, or commercially sensitive. Information presented will not be kept secret.  The presentation of the elevator pitch competition is a public event.
  • STC.UNM may need to limit the number of presenters due to space and time. STC.UNM reserves the right to select First Round presenters.