Center for Innovation Research

Pitch FAQs

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Pitch FAQ


Can anyone attend?

Yes! The event is open to the public from 4:00-8:00pm on April 2nd. Location details: Quad E Fairlane Center, 19000 Hubbard, Dearborn, MI 48126.


Can anyone compete?

The Personal Pitch is open to currently enrolled UM-Dearborn students only.  The Business Idea Pitch is open to teams that inlcude at least one current UM-Dearborn student or individual who graduated from UM-Dearborn since December 2011.


How can I learn more?

More details will be sent when you register, or you can email Professor Joy Beatty at


Personal Pitch

What is a personal pitch?

This article from LinkedIn describes it a bit, but it is like an elevator pitch about why you would be a good fit for a job/career path.


Do I pretend to be applying for a specific job?

You can, but judges will be looking for a pitch that describes why someone could fit on a variety of teams or in a variety of companies.  Tell them why you are a great person to hire at any company and what you can do to help different organizations.


Business idea pitch

Do I need to have a company already or plan to start one?

No. What you pitch can be an idea for a product, service, or company that you may or may not end up doing.  We want to hear creative ideas, and we can help if you want to move forward with them


Do I need to have pro forma financial statements and other details?

No, but you should be able to describe a need in the market for what you are proposing.  Judges may ask what support you think you would need to get started, but you don’t need to have detailed financials.


How long should my presentation be?

You will have 5 minutes, no more.  3-4 is better.


Can I use slides or visuals?

If you would like, sure.  A computer with PowerPoint, projector, and screen will be available.  We prefer you not have audio in the presentation, but you will have a microphone to make your pitch.


How many people can be on a team?

No more than 4, but one must be a UM-Dearborn student or recent alumni.


What are the judges looking for?

Generally, you should describe your product, service or idea.  You should be able to explain why this is needed and who the market would be.  It is good to have some estimates of the size of the market and how you might reach them.  You should have an understanding of any competitors to your idea and discuss how you are different.  All of this should be done as professionally as possible, the judges will reward the best ideas as they are presented.


What other help will I get?

There will be coaching sessions for those interested in participating in Pitch Day.


The College of Business reserves the right to disqualify any individual or team from the competition at any time (before or after the pitch competition or the award of any prize). Reasons for disqualification may include, but are not limited to, misrepresentations in the application process, plagiarism, infringement of the intellectual property of others, and any failure to comply with the rules of the competition. Disqualified individuals or teams shall forfeit any and all prizes awarded to them.


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