The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) is the premier entrepreneurship organization at GVSU. We focus on active goal setting and accountability to empower students who are serious about building their personal human capital and taking their business to the next level. 

The Basics: 

Do you have a new product or business idea? Want to win some cash? Business student or not, this is the event for you! The GVSU Idea Pitch Competition provides you 90 seconds to pitch your idea to a panel of West Michigan judges for a chance to win a really big check. Take your idea to the next level, make business connections, and win cash; it just takes 90 seconds! No props, no powerpoints, just ideas. Are you ready to compete?

When & Where: 

The final event will be held on Tuesday, September 30th at 6:00pm in the Mary Idema Pew Library. Light refreshments will be provided. If you have any questions regarding the competition, please us at gvsuceoclub@gmail.com!

Registration & Eligibility:  

Registration is free to GVSU undergraduate and graduate students of all majors. Before registering, be sure to check out the Rules & Eligibility page. The deadline to register is Tuesday, September 23rd by 9:00 p.m. Simply submit the form located here to register. 

Wait... What Exactly is an Idea Pitch? 

An “Idea Pitch” or “Elevator Pitch” is a frequently used term which can be interpreted as “tell me about your idea in the time it takes to ride up an elevator,” i.e. 90 seconds. Presenting yourself effectively is an essential tool in the world of business, and a well-planned idea pitch can open doors in your future. Want some tips on the art of pitching? Check out our Pitching Basics page! 

Competition Process: 

  1. Register online before 9:00 p.m. on September 23rd.
  2. Attend the Pitch Competition on September 30th.
    • Participants will have 90 seconds to pitch their idea WITHOUT any props, powerpoints, or visual aids of any kind. A timekeeper will signal to contestants at the 60 and 30 second mark. Competitors will be cut-off at 90 seconds. 
    • Each 90 second pitch will be followed by a 2 minute Q&A session. Only judges will be allowed to ask questions. A timekeeper will call for the last question when 30 seconds remain on the clock.
    • After each contestant has presented their idea, the judges will deliberate for no more than 20 minutes. To assist in the evaluation, judges will be provided a standardized form, which can be found here. During this deliberation, contestants may choose to do last minute fine-tuning in anticipation of the final round. Light refreshments will be provided. 
    • The top 6 competitors will be announced and judges will be given an opportunity to provide each finalist concise feedback. These competitors will then re-pitch their idea in 90 seconds. No time shall be allotted for Q&A during the final round. 
    • After each finalist has presented their idea, the judges will deliberate for not more than 20 minutes. The judges will, again, be given the same evaluation sheet during the final round. Light refreshments will be provided during this deliberation period. 
    • The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be announced. A networking event will follow the awards ceremony. 

If necessary, contestants will be split into smaller groups in the preliminary round. If this is the case, the top contestants from each room will continue on to the finals.


  • 1st Place - $1,000
    • 1st place winner is also automatically entered in the National Idea Pitch competition, held during the CEO National Conference in Florida. Conference ticket and travel expenses will be covered for the grand prize winner, paid for by GVSU CEO Club.
  • 2nd Place - $750
  • 3rd Place - $500

Past Winners: 

2013 IPC Winners

  1. Jake Dykstra & Matt Freundl, Welder Shield

  2. Justin Herd, the Bowl with Holes

  3. Autumn Modena & Jenna Petersen, RefuTea

2012 IPC Winners

  1. Jason Sissing, Pop-Top

  2. Jacob Hall, Capable Solutions

  3. Tran Pham, Cultural Program

2011 IPC Winners

  1. Miles Smith, Break Away Coupling
  2. Sam Rasmussen, Designer Vents

2010 IPC Winners

  1. Frank Leonard, Keg Regulator

2009 IPC Winners

  1. Michael Henke & Michael McCarthy,
    Showerhead LED
  2. Ashley Van Roekel, Community Biking System
  3. Molly Gagnon, Spider Fighter

2008 IPC Winners

  1. Katie Racey, Formal Freedom, LLC
  2. Ben Demuro, The Tall Bike
  3. Chris Young & John Levandowski,
    At Your Service Valet

2007 IPC Winners

  1. Joel Soelberg, Clean Scrapper
  2. Matt Senko, Tattoo Software
  3. Joe Pohlen, DormTshirts.com

2006 IPC Winners

  1. Allison Morrow
  2. Geoff Patterson
  3. Thomas Sanders, Jr.

2005 IPC Winners

  1. Joe Pohlen
  2. Erik Winquist

Interested in participating in a similar event? Click here to check out our comprehensive list of other competitions! Want to improve your pitching skills? Check out our Pitching Basics page! 


updated august, 2014