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MIT Sloan Students Prepare for Second of Three Contests in MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition

Each year, the Martin Center for MIT Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan School of Management hosts the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, a year-long series of three contests designed to help students through the new venture construction process. This week, students are working furiously to prepare for Accelerate, the second contest in the series, in which they are tasked with transforming the business pitches they gave as the first part of the series into demos to present to a panel of judges.

Thirty teams were culled from 270 applications to pitch their business ideas at Accelerate. Teams began making their presentations earlier this week, on February 5th, and will continue over the course of three nights. A grand finale and announcement of the winner will take place on February 20th.

The winning team will bag the $10,000 Daniel M. Lewin prize. Additional prizes include a $2,000 AARP Foundation prize and a $2,000 audience choice award. Each team is given five minutes to present, followed by a question-and-answer period with the judges.

The Pitch Contest, the first in the $100K Competition series, is a speed contest in which participants are judged on their one-minute pitch of a business concept. For the Accelerate Contest, in contrast, students spend weeks taking those ideas much further – performing customer analysis, building and testing prototypes and building a case that their idea is not only just worth exploring, but that it is viable.

Each team in the Accelerate Contest gets a $1,000 expense account with which to bring their ideas to life, along with access to mentors to guide their work and connections to potential customers who can provide feedback. Teams compete within six industry tracks: emerging markets, energy, life sciences, mobile, products and services and web/IT.

The final contest in the series, the Launch Contest, will take place in March. Considered the main contest of the MIT $100K Competition, this final phase brings teams together to develop business plans that would launch their startups. Winners of the Pitch and Accelerate Contests get to bypass the first phase of the Launch Contest (which is open to anyone meeting the eligibility requirements) and advance directly to the semi-finalist round, in which an average of 10 teams per track – 50 semi-finalist teams in total – compete for the $100,000 grand prize.

Learn more about the MIT $100K Competition.