The River Pitch Business Idea Competition was created to help ideas and early-stage businesses further progress. There is no entry fee and the event is open to both students and community members alike. The slate of competitors will be divided into separate booths with several teams competing at each booth. One presenter from each team will have up to 3 minutes to pitch their idea, and the judges will have up to 5 minutes to ask questions of the presenter. After all teams have pitched, the judges will deliberate and a $1,000 prize winner from each booth will be announced.

Get Involved!

Additional Details

Beyond the chance to win funding, River Pitch is also an opportunity to get valuable feedback on your idea. You may even meet someone who wants to help you develop your 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.

The River Pitch Competition is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which runs November 18-24. During 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 be registered by November 14th in order to compete.
  • 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 competition winners (River Pitch or Aldag) should not pitch the same idea. At their discretion, the AEI team may disqualify someone that previously won a competition and pitches the same idea. 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.
  • Only one member from each team may pitch or answer questions.
  • 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.
  • Registered competitors should notify our team well in advance if they have decided not to compete.
  • Teams should arrive at the venue and check-in at the registration table before 5:30 pm. Any teams that have not checked-in by 5:45 pm may be disqualified.

* Last updated November 11th, 2019. Please refer to this document to review the judging criteria.


Location, Timing, and Agenda

Tuscaloosa River Market, 1900 Jack Warner Pkwy Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Tuesday, November 19th from 5:00 – 9:00 PM

5:00 – 5:45 pm – Registration, food / snacks, networking

5:45 – 6:00 pm – Welcome remarks – Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne

6:00 – 6:15 pm – Teams move to booths – meet judges, read through the process

6:15 – 7:15 pm – Pitching!

7:15 – 7:45 pm – Judge deliberations – get ready to announce the winners

7:45 – 8:00 pm – Winners announced

8:00 – 9:00 pm – Networking, pictures

Join Us!


Thanks to our Sponsors!

River Pitch 2019 Sponsors

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