Business Pitch Competition

2017 Business Pitch Competition Finalists

Congratulations to: AboveGeo, Buzz.Tools, Classes.Vegas, ClearSpace Aeronautics, Comped Marketing, Pb+J Collective, StartUpNV, Talage Insurance, The Fernley Reporter and TrenLot, finalists for the 2017 Business Pitch Competition! 


This statewide competition is open to businesses in operation for 2 years or less from all industries. Pitch your business, product or service to our expert panel for a chance to win a prize package that could give a boost to your early stage venture.  In addition, you will  have the opportunity to network with other business professionals and gain exposure for your business to potential customers or investors.

Cash and prizes totaling $31,600 will be awarded for first and second place and for the first time in Reno, we will announce a People's Choice Award based on an audience vote.

  • 1st Place: $5,000 in cash and an in-kind professional services package valued at $14,800
  • 2nd Place: $2,500 in cash and an in-kind professional services package $8,300
  • People's Choice: $1,000 in cash

    Participant Eligibility

    The competition is open to businesses in any industry.  Entrants must meet the following criteria:

    1.       Have a business license in the State of Nevada (proof of licensing required).

    2.       Have been operating for less than two years.

    3.       Generate less than $250,000 in annual gross revenue.

    4.       Represent a business project or concept in the early stages of development, launch or operation.

    5.       Be an entrepreneurial start-up without direct or indirect operating relationship to an existing large scale corporation, investment fund or government agency.

    Employees of the State of Nevada and all associated sponsors of the Pitch Competition are ineligible to participate.  All determinations as to participant eligibility shall be made in the sole discretion of Nevada Department of Business and Industry staff reviewing the initial pool of applications.

      Competition Guidelines and Rules

      1.       A non-refundable $40 registration fee is due at the time of application submission.

      2.       Payment of the registration fee entitles the registrant to have his or her Pitch Application reviewed by the Pitch Competition’s judging panel prior to the conference date.  The fee also entitles the registrant to attend the conference and Governor’s Luncheon at no additional cost.  Additional conference tickets for associates and guests must be purchased separately.

      3.       If a registrant’s application is selected as one of the competition finalists prior to the conference date, the registrant will be invited to compete in a Live Pitch Event at the conference.

      4.       Up to 10 finalists will be selected to compete in the Live Pitch Event.  In the event one or more finalists cannot compete on the day of the conference, alternate applicants may be selected by conference organizers to replace them.  Conference organizers reserve the right to adjust the number of finalists upward or downward at any time.

      5.       One representative of each finalist company will have 2 minutes to make its pitch presentation before the judges’ panel.  Pitches will be hard stopped at 2 minutes.  Time will begin when the presenter begins speaking.  The presentation will be followed by a 3-minute Q&A with the judges.

      6.       Presenters must be physically present for the Live Pitch Event at the Governor’s Conference on Business 2017, which will be held in Northern Nevada at theNugget Casino Resort (1100 Nugget Ave., Sparks, NV 89431) on the morning of Thursday, August 17, 2017.  No prerecorded presentations will be allowed.

      7.       Companies may have a “back up” presenter ready to make the pitch in the event that an emergency arises or unforeseen circumstance prevents the original presenter from participating.

      8.       The use of PowerPoint or slide presentations is not permitted.  Props, posters or prototypes may be used or displayed; however, set up time will not be provided.  Handouts and samples may not be distributed to the judges or audience at any time during your presentation.

      9.       All public sessions of the competition may be recorded and rebroadcast by event organizers, the public at large, or members of the media.  Participants should not expect or assume any rights of confidentiality related to data or information presented or discussed during the public session.

      10.   Winners will be announced at the Governor’s Luncheon the same day and must be present to claim their award.

      11.   Competition organizers reserve the right to disqualify any application submission that it deems inappropriate, unethical or offensive – or to disqualify any finalist that violates the rules of the Live Pitch Event.

        Application Process and Timeline

        1.       Pay the $40 fee.The registration fee includes light breakfast, luncheon and access to the conference for one person.

        2.       Email the following documents in pdf format (with “Pitch Competition Application” written in the subject line) to

        a.      A copy of your business pitch competition registration receipt

        b.      Completed application form

        c.      Executive Summary (4 pages maximum)

        d.      Copy of current Nevada business license(s)

        e.      Copy of your W-9

        f.      Optional – A completed Business Model Canvas

        3.    Failure to submit any of the required documents (except the Business Model Canvas, which is optional) will result in the disqualification of your application.

        4.    Applications will be accepted up to Monday, June 26, 2017 at 8:00 A.M. Pacific Standard Time.

        5.     Finalists will be selected and applicants will be notified by Thursday, July 20th, 2017.  

        6.     Finalists must confirm their intent to participate in the Live Pitch Event at the Governor’s Conference on Business by Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at 5:00 P.M. Pacific Standard Time.  Failure to confirm will result in disqualification.

        7.      Competition organizers reserve the right to delay or extend the registration period and adjust the number of finalists selected to make the presentation pitch at any time.

        8.      By submitting an application, you agree to the competition terms and conditions.

        9.      If your business is not selected as a finalist, you are still encouraged to attend.  You will have a great opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs and learn about business development resources available in Nevada.