Frequently Asked Questions

Question:​ Who is eligible to participate in the competition?

The competition is open to students from any school (any city), University of Dayton alumni and the general public.  This is a team-based competition (teams can range from 1-8 individuals). An individual may be a member of a maximum of TWO competition entries (judged separately on each) but may only be on ONE finalist team. If your entry is selected to be one of the finalist teams on the Start-Up Venture Track, your team MUST include at least one currently enrolled UD student (in any undergraduate or graduate degree program), OR at least one alum who has earned a UD degree (graduate or undergraduate). 

Question: Do submissions have to select one track or can an application be submitted to both tracks? 

Application can be submitted to either or both tracks. During the submission process, you are able to select which track you would like to apply for or if you would like to be considered for both tracks. 

Question: When is the submission deadline?

The deadline to submit an idea for considering is October 15, 2021. 

Question: Can I start my submission, save, and come back later?

You will not be able to start a submission and come back later. We recommend drafting the application in a separate document, and copy your information into the submission form once you have all the required information. 

Question: How many teams can an individual be on? 

An individual may be a member of a maximum of TWO (2) competition entries (judged separately on each) but may only be on ONE finalist team.

White Feather

Question: Is there a submission fee?

No, there is no fee to submit your venture idea for the competition. 

Question: What kind of venture will qualify?

All work must be the original work of the applicants. All plans must be based on a legitimate business enterprise--ventures that involve breaking the law as part of their business model are prohibited (e.g., music piracy). Plans or any venture that involves a liquor license to be legal, or whose primary purpose is the promotion or sale of alcohol, are prohibited. All plans must be startups--purchasing a current venture, including Business Opportunities and Franchises, is prohibited. Plans involving pyramid-based marketing are prohibited.

For the social venture track, the competition is open to nonprofits, for-profits, and co-ops, in addition to individuals and community teams without a formally established legal entity. 

Question: When will I be notified if I was accepted into the competition? 

Teams will be notified by October 28, 2021 if they are accepted into the competition. 

White Feather

Question: If accepted into the competition, do I need to be able to attend in-person?

All meetings for the competition will be held virtually, except for the in-person live pitch during the final round which will be held on April 9, 2022. 

Question: How will teams be judged during each round of the competition? 

The judges will assess teams based on the following criteria:


  • Ease of growth potential

  • Level of innovation/creativity/originality

  • Quality of benefits/customer value propositions

  • Competitiveness in the marketplace/concept viability

  • Perceived ability to execute

  • Quality of the presentation

  • Coverage and thoroughness

Question: Does my venture need to be based in Dayton to be eligible for the competition? 

Submissions for the Start-Up Venture Track is open to ventures based in the Dayton area as well as those based in other cities. However, if you are submitting to the Greater West Dayton Social Venture Track, your venture MUST advance social justice and equity in the Greater West Dayton area.

For the social venture track, there are no restrictions on the age or stage of the venture. All are welcome to apply from established organizations and businesses to those that are just in the ideation stage. However, the submission must be a new community action or something that deepens or re-imagines current efforts. The social venture track is not intended to fund pre-existing efforts that will not be modified in any way. 

Question: What stage should my venture be eligible for the competition?  

If the application involves an existing venture, major start-up event (e.g. first sales, incorporation in Ohio, other states or outside the U.S.) dates should be 30 months old or newer, at the time of the competition's launch.