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Winner of 2018 Pirates Pitch


Pirates Pitch 2020 is the 10th annual Seton Hall University venture fund Competition. Sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in the Stillman School of Business, the competition encourages student teams to dream up an idea for a business, or, if a student already has started a business, then an idea to expand that fledgling business. The student teams then pitch that idea to a panel of judges comprised of successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Four Finalist student teams will pitch their business ideas or ask for funding for their operating startup to a panel of four judges as they compete for more than $20,000 in front of a live audience. The judges will award varying amounts to each team depending on how well they impresses an individual judge. The live audience will vote for their favorite team.

Who's eligible?
Student teams can range in size from one to six students.  All members of the team must be an undergraduate or graduate matriculated student who is enrolled at Seton Hall University.

How do I apply?
Create a two-page Executive Summary describing your proposed or existing businesses. Please use this Template as a guideline.

Or, instead of the written executive summary you have the option of creating a 3-minute video about your startup addressing the issues outlined in the Executive Summary Template.

Your Executive Summary or 3-Minute Video is due by midnight on Friday, February 14th, 2020.

Please email to Susan Scherreik, Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at (The video should be posted on YouTube and the link emailed to Susan Scherreik.)

What's next?
A panel of preliminary judges will review the applications and select the four Finalists teams. Finalists teams will be announced by Wednesday February 26.

What happens if I make it to the Finalist Round?
If your team is selected as a finalist to compete in the Finalist Round you'll need to write a maximum five-page typed, double-spaced Business Plan that provides more details on the points that you addressed in your Executive Summary or 3-minute video. The business plan is a road map to how you are going to turn a great idea into a profit making venture, or a business that provides social good.  You'll discuss your company and its services and/or products, describe the industry and your competition, and talk about your management team members and their skills. How are your products/services different from what already exists, and how will you market them? How much money do you estimate you'll need, and how will you finance the venture? What are your goals, and what is the timetable for accomplishing them? You'll address these issues in your business plan. You will be assigned an experienced entrepreneur to mentor your group and assist you in thinking through these issues. Additionally, there are many online tools available to help you with the business plan format, including a Business Plan template provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The business plan is due Monday March 23, 2020.

What happen if I don't make the Finalist Round?
New! In 2020 you can still be a contest winner! If you have attended at least two of the five entrepreneurship workshops, you can submit a two-minute startup pitch video to the contest by Friday March 20 at midnight by posting to You Tube and emailing the link to We'll pick the three top videos and invite those student startup teams to make their two-minute pitches during the April 1 contest. The Audience will select the best pitch and that team will win $500!  

The Finale: Pirates Pitch Day
Each of the four Finalists teams will pitch their ideas in a 5-minute oral presentation with Power Point to the panel of judges at Pirates Pitch, scheduled for Wednesday April 1, 2020 from 6–8 p.m. in Jubilee Hall Auditorium. The judges will ask each team questions and award "seed money" to each team. The seed money available to the teams is over $20,000. The audience will also vote for its favorite team.

What are the judging criteria?
Pirates Pitch: The competition will reward the innovativeness of the business idea, and the quality of the written business plan and oral presentations. The judges will be especially looking for creative and innovative thinking about new markets, products and services. Also important, the teams will be judged on their perceived ability to execute the idea and turn it into a viable, profitable business.

Can I enter if I have already started a business?
Yes, as long as your new venture has not received funding from venture capital firms, and the total amount of outside funding is less than $50,000.

What is the best way to prepare?
The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies will put you in touch with a mentor at any time during the process to assist you. Plus, our Workshops (see Home Page for details) will provide information about the contest. Mentors who can assist you will be at every workshop.

In addition, Walsh Library has created a custom resource guide of the University's library resources specifically for students interested in entrepreneurship.