Aggie Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition

$14,000.00 CASH AWARDS

(Undergraduates and Graduate Categories)


                        First Place                                                                  $2000
                        Second Place                                                              $1000
                        Third Place                                                                $ 500

Application Form
Competition Guidelines


  • All students who are currently enrolled at North Carolina A&T State University are eligible to participate in the competition.
  • Students may participate as individuals or as teams.
  • Teams should be four or less.
  • If your team is selected as a finalist, each member must attend the competition finals to be considered for a prize

Application Process

  1. Complete the competition registration form
  2. Submit your plan which should include the following: (NO MORE THAN 2-3 PAGES) 

Problem – What is the problem you are trying to solve?

  • Describe the problem your customers are having (what is it? and why is it a problem? Are many people experiencing this problem, give numbers, examples, etc.? How painful is it for customers? Is it something many people want to solve? (convince us that it is a serious problem to solve)

Solution – How will you solve the problem?

  • What is your solution to the problem? i.e. describe the product, device, program or service, etc. that you intend to provide to address the problem, e.g. its features and how it will work to address the problem. What are the benefits to customers? Include a diagram, if necessary. Your solution may be a for-profit or non-profit business. (Your idea/solution MUST be the original work of your team).
  • Competition –Who else is doing it or something like it?

Who are the existing or potential competitions and what are they doing to solve the problem that you have identified? Why are these approaches not working?

  • Competitive Advantage – Why is your solution better/more effective than what is already available? Is it the technology, speed advantage, special features, etc.? (Show that your approach/technology is better)
  • Target Market – Who are you solving it for?
  • Who are your customers? e.g. demographics, lifestyle, etc.  Have you spoken to with potential customers to test your idea? What are they saying?
  • Team - Who are your team – give name and title for each? What are they studying? What year are they? What experiences do they have? Why is your team a good one to invest in? Discuss each team member in a separate paragraph).


  • All entries must be received by 11:59 pm on March 31, 2016.  Late entries will not be accepted.
  • Send all submissions to Dr. Thaddeus McEwen, or Merrick Hall 142
  • Submit an electronic copy of your plan together with the completed application form
  • Individuals and teams may submit more than one entry.  However, only one entry per individual or team will be selected to advance to the finals.
  • Team compositions is FINAL at the close of registration.


  •   Only the Big Idea Planning Committee and the judges evaluating your submissions will have access to the team’s written submissions. Judges will be asked to treat all information with complete confidential.
  • Judges and any individual attending the competition will not be asked or required to sign a non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement.
  • Students are advised not to disclose any proprietary information.

Competition Process

Preliminary Round.  A panel of judges will evaluate all entries submitted. Based on the judges scores, the top five (5) teams will advance to the finals. The judges will also select the top two (2) innovations from each School or College ($300 and $150).  The decision of the judges is final.

Competition Finals.  For teams selected as finalists, each member must be present at the competition finals to be considered for a prize.

  • Each team will have five (5) minutes to make the presentation and the judges will select the winner and the two runners up in each category.
  • At least two members must make the team’s presentation to the judges.  Other team members may participate in the question and answer section of the presentation

Judging Criteria

  • Addresses a real problem/Market Need
  • Uniqueness of Solution/Differentiated from Competition
  • Strong Management Team
  • Clear Target Market
  • Overall Viability
  • Quality of Presentation

Three winners will be selected in both the undergraduate and graduate categories and prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. 


1st           $2,000
2nd          $1,000
3rd           $ 500


The University, in its sole and absolute discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any individual or team from the competition at any time (before or after the judging or the awarding of prizes) for any reason.  Reasons for disqualifying may include, but not limited to plagiarism and any other form of academic dishonesty, misappropriations, or any failure to comply with the rules, and disqualified teams shall forfeit any and all prizes awarded to them.

The CEI, the School of Business and Economics, the sponsors and other organizers of the competition are not responsible for any proprietary information and/or intellectual property included in the submitted elevator pitch.  The protection of intellectual property is the sole responsibility of the individuals or team participating in the competition.  Non-Disclosure Agreements will not be signed by the judges, or anyone associated with the competition.