The 150 Startups Pitch Competition is held during the Innovation Rodeo (July 10-14, 2023) and is designed to identify the most promising first-time entrepreneurs at Alberta’s 26 publicly-funded post-secondary institutions.

Students chosen to represent their post-secondary institution compete for $25,000 in cash and often additional prizes.

Contestants are chosen by their school as one of that school’s most promising first-time entrepreneurs.

Contestants must meet the requirements of the first two Lean Startup challenges to compete in the pitch competition, that last year gave away $25,000 in cash and $36,000 US in scholarships to attend Silicon Valley’s top entrepreneurship program.

We’re not focused on grand ideas or great pitches. Instead, what we’re searching for those who are highly likely to become great entrepreneurs. That’s why the scoring rubric – below – is weighted 70% toward the entrepreneur and only 30% toward their idea. These entrepreneurs then become role models, advisors, mentors and investors in the future generation of first-time student entrepreneurs.

During the Innovation Rodeo, we hold three days of regional pitch competitions where the winner from each day wins $2,500 in cash, and the top two from each day move on to the Provincial Finals on Friday afternoon. These regional pitch competitions are typically held at the end of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

On the last afternoon of the Innovation Rodeo, the top six compete for an additional $17,500 in cash. Last year the top three received $12,000 US scholarships to attend Draper University – Silicon Valley’s Top Entrepreneurship Program.


2019 Provincial Finals Winners
Megh Patel & Sonia Lal, Hempact | Daria Venkova, Creative Protein Solutions | Tarandeep Kainth, Sharyeo

Pitch Format:

  • Pitches are 4-minutes long
  • All pitches are in PowerPoint format only
  • After your pitch, you will have up to three minutes for questions from the judges
  • After all teams have pitched and while the final scores are being tallied, there may be a period for Q&A from the audience
  • Students are not be allowed to watch the other students pitching on the same day until after they have completed their pitch.
  • Top 2 scores from each regional pitch competition move on to the Provincial Finals, and the highest score from each Regional round wins a $2,500 cash prize

Pitch Deck Submission

  • Must be emailed directly to Craig and be in his inbox no later than 7:59:59 pm the night before you pitch (please CC his summer student as well)
  • Submission time is based on the time your slides are received in Craig’s inbox, NOT when they are sent (i.e. if your outbox says you sent your slides at 7:59 pm but they did not show up in Craig’s inbox until 8:00 pm, they will be considered late)
  • Slides must be in PowerPoint format only and be attached directly to your email
  • Slides submitted on time but in other formats (e.g. PDF) or through a sharing service (e.g. Google Drive) will not be accepted, and you will still be responsible for sending your PowerPoint as an email attachment before the deadline
  • Failure to submit your slides on time for the Regionals means you have two options:
    • Pitch without your slides but still be eligible to win the daily cash prize and move on to the Provincial Finals, OR
    • Pitch with your slides but be ineligible to move on to the Provincial Finals or win the daily cash prize
  • If you are late submitting your slides for the Regionals and choose to pitch without them, we will include your title slide from your presentation so the judges and the audience know who you and your company are
  • Failure to submit your slides on time for the Provincial Finals means you will be pitching with your slides from the Regionals
  • If you use an uncommon or custom font in your PowerPoint slides, it is unlikely to display correctly on the computer used during the pitch competition

2023 Prize Breakdown*:

Regional First Place Daily Winner: $2,500
Provincial Finals Grand Prize Winner: $10,000 plus a $12,000 US Scholarship to Draper University
Provincial Finals Second Place Winner: $5,000 plus a $12,000 US Scholarship to Draper University
Provincial Finals Third Place Winner: $2,500 plus a $12,000 US Scholarship to Draper University
Provincial Finals Fourth to Sixth Place Winners: $1,000 travel allowance to attend next year’s Startup Fest in Montreal.

*Prizes for future years are subject to change. Please confirm before your competition.

Scoring Rubric:

Each rubric category is given a score out of 10 for a total score out of 100. As you can see, this rubric differs from most pitch competition rubrics in that 70% of your score comes from categories that score you as an entrepreneur. This competition looks for the most promising entrepreneur, not the most promising business idea.

If you do not specifically address a particular category on the rubric, the judges will be instructed to give you the lowest mark possible. In other words, be sure to say the actual words that the scoring is based on so judges are less likely to miss it and more likely to give you a higher score.