Official Rules & Guidelines
The UMaine Business Challenge, presented by Business Lending Solutions and the Fournier Family Foundation, runs throughout the course of one academic year. In order to help participants reach their goals, the competition is broken up into multiple stages. The competition begins in the Fall (September), and concludes in the Spring (April) with the Competition Pitch Day.
- Any student enrolled in a college or university within the state of Maine during the duration of the competition year is eligible to compete.
- Participants may consist of teams of eligible students.
- Businesses must be headquartered, or plan to be headquartered, in the state of Maine.
- Preference will be given to companies that present an innovative product or service and/or present a business model that could greatly impact the state or local economic landscape.
- Prior funding must not exceed $50,000.
If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact us.
Intent to Participate
This stage is Now Closed
The "Intent to Participate" stage runs from September to December. This stage serves as an opportunity for participants to begin initial work on their business concepts and ideas, and it gives us an opportunity to provide specific resources to help participants get started.
At the conclusion of the Intent to Participate stage, the Executive Summary stage will immediately begin. From December to March, participants will fill out an Executive Summary document (provided by the UBC) to further develop and refine their business idea and model.
At the conclusion of the Executive Summary stage, finalists will be selected by a Screening Panel to compete for the prizes on Competition Day. Finalists will be selected based on the quality of their Executive Summaries. A more detailed rubric will be provided at the beginning of the Executive Summary stage.
If selected, Finalists will have three weeks to prepare their pitch and finalize their business concept.
The official UMaine Business Challenge Competition Day will take place at the end of April. Finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their business ideas in front of a Panel of Judges that have rich experience in the Business and Entrepreneurship world in the state of Maine.
1st Place Overall: $5000
Tech Prize Winner: $10000*
2nd Place Overall: $1000
In addition to cash prizes, all Finalists will receive various prize packages that may include consulting services, opportunities to attend Entrepreneurial Conferences, and more. More details on Prizes will be provided soon.
*$5000 are awarded immediately, and an additional $5000 may be earned only if the Tech Prize winner meets development milestones throughout the 6 months following the competition.
Sound good? Go ahead and get started!
The UMaine Business Challenge does not sign confidentiality agreements. This is standard policy for venture capital firms and angel investment organizations.
The UBC will undertake reasonable efforts to ensure that your information and details of your young business will be kept private. Furthermore, any public information will be appropriate and less detailed in nature. The UBC will not share submissions with any parties outside that of the necessary panel of judges, and all business plans will be given back to the competitors or destroyed following the competition.
Although the UBC will not have confidentiality agreements, please keep in mind that the UBC’s sole intent is to help you and your dream. We do not ask for equity, or financing, just passion and dedication. We are all on one team, the Maine team.