CU Denver pitch competition expands scope to startups across state

DENVER — The Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado Denver’s Business School is expanding its annual student business-plan competition to include a track for Colorado-based startups that are two years old or younger.

Submissions for the competition will be accepted from Sept. 1-27. A series of workshops will run through September and October, and the competition will conclude Nov. 10, when finalists will showcase their companies and compete live on stage in a Shark Tank-style pitch to celebrity judges. Winners will be announced and awarded more than $50,000 in cash and prizes.

For the first time in the event’s 15-year history, organizers will accept submissions from students at colleges and universities in Arizona, to compete against students in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Montana.

In addition to the 10 collegiate teams that judges — including businessman Jake Jabs — will advance to the semi-finals, the general audience at the Collegiate & Community Pitch Night event on Thursday, Oct., 13, will have the opportunity to cast their vote.

During the competition, teams will be given opportunities to learn through interactive exchanges with area entrepreneurs, business experts and professionals in addition to free workshops for the startup community.

Students and startup companies interested in participating in the business-plan competition can visit to read eligibility requirements and submit their video pitches and executive summaries.