Pirates Pitch 2019

Seton Hall University pitch competition with $16,000 in prizes!


Pirates Pitch 2019 … is the 9th annual Seton Hall University venture fund Competition. Sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Stillman School of Business, the competition encourages student teams to dream up an idea for a business, or, if a student already has started a business, then an idea to expand that fledgling business. The student teams then pitch that idea to a panel of judges comprised of successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. In a new contest format, four Finalist student teams will pitch their business ideas or ask for funding for their operating startup to a panel of four judges as they compete for $16,000 in front of a live audience. The Pirates Pitch judges will each award $4,000 to the teams to help them develop their businesses. The judges will award varying amounts to each team depending on how well they impresses an individual judge. The live audience will vote for their favorite team.

Who’s eligible?

Student teams can range in size from one to six students.  All members of the team must be an undergraduate or graduate matriculated student who is enrolled at Seton Hall University.(Students who finish their academics in December but will officially graduate in May 2019 are eligible to compete.)

How do I apply?

Create a two-page Executive Summary describing your proposed or existing businesses. Please use this Template as a guideline

Your Executive Summary is due by midnight on Friday, February 15th, 2019.

Please email to Susan Scherreik, Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at scherrsu@shu.edu

What’s next?

A panel of preliminary judges will review the applications and select the four Finalists teams. Finalists teams will be announced by Monday Feb. 25.

What happens if I make it to the Finalist Round?

If your team is selected as a finalist to compete in the Finalist Round you’ll need to write a maximum five-page typed, double-spaced Business Plan that provides more details on the points that you addressed in your Executive Summary. The business plan is a road map to how you are going to turn a great idea into a profit making venture, or a business that provides social good.  You’ll discuss your company and its services and/or products, describe the industry and your competition, and talk about your management team members and their skills. How are your products/services different from what already exists, and how will you market them? How much money do you estimate you’ll need, and how will you finance the venture? What are your goals, and what is the timetable for accomplishing them? You’ll address these issues in your business plan. You will be assigned an experienced entrepreneur to mentor your group and assist you in thinking through these issues. Additionally, there are many online tools available to help you with the business plan format, including a Business Plan template provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The business plan is due Friday March 22, 2019.


The Finale: Pirates Pitch Day

Next, each of the four Finalists teams will pitch their ideas in a 5-minute oral presentation with Power Point to the panel of judges at Pirates Pitch, scheduled for Wednesday April 3, 2019 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Jubilee Hall Auditorium. The judges will ask each team questions and award “seed money” to each team. The total amount awarded to the four teams will be $16,000. The audience will also vote for its favorite team.

What are the judging criteria?

Pirates Pitch: The competition will reward the innovativeness of the business idea, and the quality of the written business plan and oral presentations. The judges will be especially looking for creative and innovative thinking about new markets, products and services. Also important, the teams will be judged on their perceived ability to execute the idea and turn it into a viable, profitable business.

Can I enter if I have already started a business?

Yes, as long as your new venture has not received funding from venture capital firms, and the total amount of outside funding is less than $50,000.

What is the best way to prepare?

The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies will put you in touch with a mentor at any time during the process to assist you. Plus, our Information Sessions and Workshops (see Home Page for details) will provide information about the contest. Mentors who can assist you will be at every information session.

Visit Walsh Library to learn how you can best conduct business research on industry, markets, competition and other topics. Walsh Librarian Ms. Katie Wissel has created a custom resource guide of the University’s library resources specifically for students interested in entrepreneurship. https://library.shu.edu/entrepreneurship You can also email Ms. Wissel directly at Katie.Wissel@shu.edu to further help.