Student presenting ideas at the Entrepreneurial Mindset workshop

Competition details

The Science Spark 3K Pitch Competition recognizes and inspires innovation and entrepreneurship in Science. The competition is open to any undergraduate student, graduate student, or postdoctoral fellow in the Faculty of Science (or any team up to 5 members) who has an idea, innovation, invention or technology to pitch and who has undertaken entrepreneurial or commercialization activities or plans to do so in future.

Students must submit an application to be eligible to pitch at the Science Spark 3K Pitch Competition.

If you are interested in learning more or have questions about the pitch competition, please contact Minli Huang at Minli.Huang@umanitoba.ca

Pitch training, coaching and mentorship will be offered by the Science Innovation Hub to all selected applicants to help support and prepare you for the pitch competition.

If you do not have a commercialization or entrepreneurship plan, but you do have an idea, innovation, invention, or technology, we will support you in developing some commercialization or entrepreneurship plans for your pitch.

Application details

How to apply:

Click here to access the application form. Please sign in with your UM email.

Select applicants will be invited to pitch at our 2023 Science Innovation Showcase - Pitch Competition Finals on April 27, 2023.

Timeline of activities

Info session 1: November 8, 2022, 1 pm, via Zoom.

Info session 2: December 7, 2022, 11 am, via Zoom. Register

Info session 3: January 19, 2023, 2 pm, via Zoom. Register

Info session 4: February 9, 2023, 10 am, via Zoom. Register

Application deadline: March 1, 2023, 11:59 p.m. CST

Pitch Bootcamp

Please note: Applicants will be advised by March 7, 2023, if they have been selected to pitch at the 2023 Science Innovation Showcase – Pitch Competition Finals on April 27, 2023.

Selected applicants will be expected to attend a Pitch Bootcamp to prepare for the competition. Students may choose to attend either Monday, March 13, 2023, 2-3 p.m. or Thursday, March 16, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

For competition finalists selected to compete for a grand prize at the 2023 Science Innovation Showcase Pitch Competition Finals:

  • Pitch scrubbing intensive workshop for finalists: Thursday, April 20, 2023, 1 - 3:30 p.m.
  • 2023 Science Innovation Showcase Pitch Competition finals: April 27, 2023

Eligibility and evaluation

Eligibility

The pitch competition is open to all current undergraduate and graduate students as well as postdoctoral fellows in the Faculty of Science who have an idea, invention, or technology to pitch and who have undertaken or plan to undertake entrepreneurial or commercialization activities. Applicants may be individuals or teams of up to five members. The primary applicant and presenter have to be from the Faculty of Science. The prize will be distributed equally to all registered team members. All team members need to be registered on the application form.

At least one member must be a Faculty of Science student or postdoctoral fellow and that team member must:

  • be the primary applicant, and
  • have contributed substantially to the idea or entrepreneurial activities and not merely be a spokesperson.

I don't have a company. Can I still apply? Yes!...

There is no requirement to have formed a company in order to apply for this competition. If you have an innovation or idea with potential impact, have undertaken and/or plan to undertake entrepreneurial or commercialization activities, you are eligible to apply.

I don't have a business plan. Can I still apply? Yes!...

You do not need to have a business or even a comprehensive business plan to apply. Research and development activities are considered as entrepreneurial and commercialization activities if they are undertaken to advance the technology readiness or commercial feasibility of your idea, technology, or invention.

My innovation, invention or discovery is part of a research project. Can I still apply? It depends...

If the idea, innovation, invention, or technology submitted is the result of a collaborative research project or PI-driven project, the student applying needs to be a significant contributing factor in the idea, innovation, invention, or technology and/or to entrepreneurial and commercialization plans surrounding it, and not just a spokesperson. To address this question on an individual basis, please contact Jolen.Galaugher@umanitoba.ca.

My innovation, invention or discovery is not part of a research project. Can I still apply?

If you are a current undergraduate or graduate student in Faculty of Science or a current postdoctoral fellow in Faculty of Science you are eligible to apply, even if your idea, innovation, or invention is not the result of a scientific research project and your commercialization plans do not involve scientific research and development.

My idea, invention, or technology was the result of team effort or collaboration. Can I still apply? It depends...

Teams of up to five members may apply provided:

  • The primary applicant is a current undergraduate or graduate student or postdoc in Faculty of Science
  • A current undergraduate student, graduate student or postdoc in Faculty of Science has contributed to the idea or entrepreneurial activities substantially and is not merely a spokesperson

However, this question is best addressed on a case by case and individual basis.

Please contact Jolen.Galaugher@umanitoba.ca to determine if your idea is eligible for this competition.

Evaluation

Applications to the Science Spark 3K Pitch Competition will be evaluated by a selection committee and selected applications will be invited to pitch at the Science Innovation Showcase - Pitch Competition Finals on April 27, 2023.

Applicants will be notified by March 7, 2023, whether they will be invited to participate in the pitch competition.

The pitch competition will be judged by 3 external judges and the top prize of ($3,000) will go to the individual or team with the highest score.

Pitch Evaluation criteria

 

  1. Technical merit (25 percent)
  2. Novelty and potential impact (25 percent) 
  3. Entrepreneurial/commercialization activities (25 percent)
  4. Structure and Style – how compelling was the presentation (25 percent)

Research and evelopment count toward entrepreneurial/commercialization activities if it advances the technology readiness or commercial feasibility of your idea, invention, or technology.

What is the prize value?

The top prize for the Science Spark 3K Pitch Competition is up to $3,000 and will be awarded to the student or team with the highest score in the pitch competition.

Additional cash and/or in-kind prizes may be available at the pitch competition. For instance, a prize may be awarded to the competition runner-up and/or audience favourite. If additional prizes are available, they will be announced prior to the pitch competition.

Who will evaluate my application?

Applications for the Science Spark 3K Pitch Competition will be evaluated by a committee that will select applications to advance to the pitch competition stages.

Finalists invited to pitch at the Science Innovation Showcase -Pitch Competition Finals on April 27, 2023, will be evaluated by a panel of three external judges and the highest-scored pitch will win the prize.

For more information, please contact: Minli.Huang@umanitoba.ca

Science Innovation Showcase – Pitch Competition Finals April 27, 2023

Science Spark Innovation & Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition Finals

At this event, we will spotlight research innovations and inventions in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Science with Science teams pitching their ideas and technologies to compete for the grand prize. This event will facilitate connections between the Faculty of Science and the innovation ecosystem, the business community, funders, and partners.

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