Everything You Need to Know About the Startup Challenge

Who Is Eligible:

  • Start-ups (not yet operational) and emerging (in launch phase) businesses may apply.
  • Businesses must be located in the Monterey Bay region (Monterey, San Benito, or Santa Cruz counties).
  • The business idea must be your original work (your business, not someone else’s and not a franchise of another business).
Startup Challenge competitors

Steps to Enter the Startup Challenge Monterey Bay

Attend an Introduction to Startup Challenge session

These sessions will give you valuable information about how to enter, learn, and be successful in the Challenge.  See the Introductory Workshops page for information on upcoming sessions.  If you cannot attend a live session, the informational slides are available on the Startup Challenge Resources page.

Register for the Challenge, and attend a Creating a Successful Pitch workshop

You need to sign up first to apply for the Challenge. After you register, you can then start the application or return at another time to start your application. Registration will help us keep you informed on any updates to this year’s Challenge. After you register you are eligible to attend Creating a Successful Pitch workshop. The schedule for these workshops will be listed on the Introductory Workshops page. The Pitch workshops will be held during  March, 2019.

Complete the application online and submit it before midnight on Monday, March 11, 2019.

Applicants to Start Up Challenge Compete in One of Four Divisions:

Venture – $30,000 Total Prize Money

Businesses intended to scale nationally or internationally and provide venture capital-level returns in three-five years.

Social Venture – $15,000 Total Prize Money

For-profit or not-for-profit businesses that deliver social impact as a major part of their mission.

Main Street – $15,000 Total Prize Money

Local and regional businesses that are not intended to scale but will still have an economic impact regionally.

Student – $1,500 Total Prize Money

Open to all students in middle school through graduate school.