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Rainforest Student Pitch Competition

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

 The next pitch competition will be October 28, 2019!
Deadline to apply: October 21, 2019, 11:59 PM


IMG_7288Would you like to win money to help turn your idea into a reality? Cash prizes available to all finalists. 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 Application to Pitch.

Join us at the Finals!

Family, Friends and supporters are invited to attend the final rounds  to hear 10 finalists pitch to the audience and judges on October 28, 2019,  5:30pm | Bow and Arrow Brewing. Registration available at https://rainforestpitchcompetition.eventbrite.com.

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.

Final Round
Finalists will present a 90-second “live” pitch to at an evening reception on October 28, 2019 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm in front of a panel of judges, business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and others in the community. The top winner will be determined by audience voting and receive a $1,000 cash prize. Additional winners will be determined by a panel of judges.  All finalists will receive a cash prize.

For questions, send via e-mail to: Tiffini Porter, UNM Innovation Academy at tjp0217@unm.edu.

Nitty Gritty:

The competition is open to university students enrolled in the Fall 2019 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.
  • Contestants cannot submit an idea that the contestant(s) presented at a past STC.UNM/UNM Innovation Academy pitch competition if selected as finalist and presented in the final round. A new idea must be submitted if interested in participating n subsequent Rainforest pitch competitions.
  • 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.