The River Pitch Competition was created to help innovators and entrepreneurs with new ideas and early-stage businesses obtain feedback on their work and potentially win one of 10 different $1,000 prizes. There is no entry fee, and the event is open to students, faculty, staff and community members. The slate of competitors will be divided into separate booths with several individuals competing at one of ten different booths. If a team is entering, only one person can present. That individual will have up to 3 minutes to pitch the idea, and the judges have up to 5 minutes to ask questions of the presenter. After all teams have pitched, the judges will deliberate and prize winners from each booth will be announced.


NOVEMBER 12, 2024


Click Here to See the 2023 River Pitch Winners

Event Details

  • Date: November 12, 2024
  • Location: Tuscaloosa River Market
  • Address: 1900 Jack Warner Parkway, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
  • Time: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Food and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided

Additional Details

Beyond the opportunity to win $1,000, River Pitch provides a way for each competitor to get valuable feedback on the idea presented. Contestants may meet someone who can help develop the idea into a business. AEI is hosting a series of workshops to help you prepare for the event. You can check out these workshops here.

River Pitch is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. For one week each November, thousands of events and competitions in 160 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors, and even investors. Powered by the
Kauffman Foundation, the initiative is supported by dozens of world leaders and a network of more than 20,000 partner organizations.

Competition Rules and Judging Criteria

  • There is no entry fee to attend or participate in River Pitch.
  • Teams must register in the Fall of 2023 in order to compete.
  • Competitors must reside within West Alabama.
  • This competition is geared towards early-stage businesses/ideas. If the AEI team deems that an idea is too far along, the team may be disqualified from participating.
  • Previous River Pitch competition winners should not pitch the same idea. People who pitch a more established business and perhaps one that won a different competition (e.g., Aldag) can compete ONLY if there are other people at the same level so we can create an established concept booth and if there is space left to add this type of booth. You may contact the AEI team with further questions.
  • The venue will be divided into several different booths for the competition. Student and Community competitors will be assigned to separate booths. Teams only pitch at their designated booth and judges will determine the booth winner.
  • A booth is a limited space within the River Market, divided by drapes. Everyone is pitching at the same time, and the room does get noisy. The judges are sitting right in front of the person pitching; however, you still need to project enough when speaking to assure the judges can hear the responses.
  • Only one person can pitch an idea; however, if needed a team member in the audience can assist to answer a question.
  • The presenter may use notecards or showcase a prop/prototype to help convey the idea. However, no slides/presentations will be allowed.
  • Contestants will have up to 3 minutes to pitch and up to 5 minutes to answer questions from the judges.
  • All ideas pitched must be the original work of the entrants.

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Previous River Pitch Winners

See the 2023 River Pitch Winners

See the 2022 River Pitch Winners

See the 2021 River Pitch Winners