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Sponsored by Arkansas Capital Corporation

Perfect Pitch

Arkansas Capital Corporation is a community development finance company focused on revitalizing communities in Arkansas and beyond. Along with our five affiliate companies, we offer flexible capital solutions to meet the unique needs of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and other commercial projects underserved by traditional lenders. Since we were created in 1957, Arkansas Capital, its affiliates, and its public and private sector banks and other partners have made more than $1.7 billion dollars in loans and other capital investments to entrepreneurs and businesses.

To create a pipeline of future Arkansas entrepreneurs and business owners, Arkansas Capital launched both the Arkansas Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition in 2001 and the Youth Entrepreneur Showcase (Y.E.S.) for Arkansas business plan competition for 5-8 graders in 2006. (We would love to see you enter that, too, by the way.). The highlight of the Governor’s Cup competition are the live Elevator Pitches at our annual Awards Luncheon each April. (You can watch highlights here). This year, we are excited to work with EAST to challenge you to perform just like our collegiate competitors.

Give us your best 90-second pitch on your EAST project. Being able to concisely summarize what the problem is, what your proposed solution is, and what stage of that solution you are currently at is vital to securing partnerships, funding, and support from your stakeholders in the real world. EAST students, give us your Perfect Pitch!

Tips and Tricks for a Good Pitch

Here are some things you might want to include in your pitches.

  • Who are you? Introduce yourself, giving your name, your title/role in the company, and the company’s name.
  • What need is your project addressing? Tell us the problem.
  • Who is your client? Tell us who you are working for.
  • Who are your partners? Tell us who you are working with.
  • What do you plan to do? What is the plan?
  • Who is working on this project with you? Did you already attend a training? Do you have student partners? Do you have a nonprofit you are working with? Has someone already given you some money for the project?
  • Why is your solution the best? Why is your solution better than the others that have been proposed or are currently being used?
  • What help do you need? What are you looking for from this pitch? Funding, permission to move forward from your teacher, perhaps you need a partner organization, etc.

Practice is key. Competitors need to get the pitches down in 90 seconds or less — and make sense while doing so. Be sure to practice extensively with team members and others, and make sure someone has a clock to time you.

Pitches are limited to one (1) to two (2) students only. If two (2) students are giving the pitch, they must still fit the pitch within the 90-second time frame.

Good luck!

Submission Instructions

The submission deadline is 3 p.m., CST, January 24, 2018.

REMEMBER: DO NOT wait until the last day or the last minute to submit your application. The submission form will automatically disable at 3:01 p.m., CST on the deadline date. If you are in the middle of submitting a form at this time, your submission will NOT be received. If the form does not disable properly, submissions received after 3:00 p.m., CST will still not be considered in order to remain fair and consistent for all applicants. Please remember that upload speeds can vary depending on file type, school bandwidth, etc. Deadline days have a high volume of students submitting, which can also cause delays in uploading files and submitting applications. If you encounter an issue on the day of a deadline, the EAST Initiative staff may have limited (if any) availability to provide assistance. The EAST Initiative CANNOT grant you a deadline extension or help you to submit later if something goes wrong.

Step 1 - Create Your Application Packet

A complete application will include all of the following:

  1. Project Pitch Video (90 Seconds)
  2. Project Photos (3)
  3. Project Team Photo
  4. Additional Evidence (Optional)

Video Requirements

Create a 90 second (maximum) video pitch about your project. This is not a video competition, rather it’s all about the content. The judges want to know the problem being solved, the client, what makes this project real, the deliverable, and any other pertinent information.

  • Format: .mp4 encoded with H.264 codec or .mov
  • HD resolution of 1920 X 1080 preferred
  • Pitches are limited to one (1) to two (2) students only.

Other guidelines to consider:

  • If you are using a mobile device hold it horizontally for a better view.
  • Use one smooth unedited clip or take for your submission.
  • Try to eliminate as much background noise as possible.
  • Try to have as much natural light as possible.

Competition finalists will be chosen based on quality of the pitch, not on the quality of the video. The winning project pitch video may be shown at Conference.

Project Photo Requirements

Submit three (3) photos (jpg or jpeg format) of your project. These can include group photos, screenshots, action shots, community partners, etc.

Project Team Photo Requirement

Submit one (1) team photo (jpg or jpeg format). This photo may be used on stage if your pitch is selected as the winner.

Additional Evidence (optional)

Consider providing additional evidence (max of 5) to support your project. This could include photos, client or partner thank you letters, media coverage, etc.

Student Work Must Be Original

Submissions should be original and completely student-created.

  1. Upon submitting the required items as defined in the competition guidelines (required items) to EAST for this competition, participant hereby grants to EAST a permanent, non-exclusive, irrevocable right and license, free of charge, to (i) use, copy, reproduce, publicly display, edit, revise, perform, and distribute the required items in any format, or otherwise make the required items available to the general public in any format through any medium, including but not limited to making the required items available to users of EAST’s website for downloading; (ii) use the required items, exclusively or together with EAST materials or in connection with EAST’s advertising or promotion; and (iii) use the required items generally in connection with identifying, marketing, and promoting EAST to third parties.
  2. Participant represents and warrants that EAST’s use of the required items shall not violate any law or infringe upon or violate the rights of any individual or entity.

Step 2 - Complete the Application

Complete the application and tell us more about your project.

Note: On the application, you will also upload the zipped file detailed in Step 3

Step 3 - Upload Project Files, Photos, & Additional Evidence

Combine all of the following files into one (1) Zipped File with a 1 GB (1048576 KB) max file size. Be sure to review the requirements in Step 1. For instructions on how to zip a file, please click here for Windows instructions or here for Mac instructions.

  • Project Pitch Video (90 Seconds)
  • Project Photos (3)
  • Project Team Photo
  • Additional Evidence (Optional)

Step 4 - Submit

When the application is complete, click the “Submit” button. When your submission is complete the page will change and state that the submission has been received. Once you see this page, you will not be able to make any changes. Following your submission, an email confirmation will be sent to you and EAST staff. If you do not receive an email, you should assume there was an error, and your submission was not complete. Our recommendation is to go back to Jotform and complete the form again. If you still receive an error, please email, or contact events team directly.

Finalist Selection & Onsite Competition

Finalists will be selected and notified prior to Conference. Each finalist will present their 90-second project pitch on stage to a live audience. The winner will be announced at the Conference Gala. Additional details for the onsite competition will be forwarded directly to the selected finalists.