Genesee County Student Pitch Competitions

Pitch Competitions Spark Entrepreneurial Mindset in Genesee County Youth
Posted on 02/08/2023
Student making a pitch at a youth entrepreneur competition.

Genesee County high school students have three upcoming opportunities to pitch their business ideas for accolades, cash prizes, and the opportunity to compete at the college and national levels. The Youth Entrepreneurship (YE) program, a service of the Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD), helps prepare students for these upcoming competitions through workshops, field trips, coaching, and mentoring from local entrepreneurs and business leaders.

On February 16, students will pitch their business ideas at the Investor Pitch competition for a chance to win start-up money for a business or idea. The top prize will be $500. High schoolers can submit pitch videos by March 8 to vie for a spot to compete against college students in UM-Flint’s Zillion Solutions Pitch Competition taking place in early April. This competition offers a top prize of $2,000. On March 16, GISD will host the YE Final Pitch Competition geared toward students in local Youth Entrepreneurship Clubs from high schools throughout Genesee County. Lead-up competitions will yield the top ten entries who will compete in person on March 16 for a top prize of $2,000. The YE Final Pitch winner will compete nationally in New York.

The goal of the Youth Entrepreneurship Program is to foster an entrepreneurial mindset by providing opportunities for Genesee County high school students to explore their business ideas. “Youth entrepreneurship has proven to improve academic performance, interpersonal skills, job readiness, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities,” stated Kim Dehmel, Youth Entrepreneurship Coordinator at GISD. “Our hope is the YE program sparks an entrepreneurial mindset in Genesee County youth that presents opportunities for them to be prepared for a competitive workforce and even launch their own business.” 

Students interested in competing should contact their high school YE Coordinator. Criteria for entries in each competition require the pitch to involve a creative new product or service that does not already exist, or it can be a problem-solving modification to an existing product. The pitches should reflect creativity, clearly define the target market, be persuasive, and include convincing financial information. 

The YE program and upcoming pitch competitions are made possible thanks to funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.