The Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation provides a number of opportunities for students interested in competitions and funding. Business competitions are a great way to validate ideas and raise seed funding for your startups.  There are a number of local, regional, and national competitions that students can enter on their own.  Our office will help you by getting you ready, and preparing you for the entire process of competing in business plan competitions.  Pre-Approved competitions are faculty led and require a pre-selection process through our office.  Listed below is a comprehensive list of local, regional, and national opportunities in which students are encouraged to participate.


Local & Regional

GVSU Idea Pitch

Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Application: You must submit an application by Friday, September 30th, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. to be eligible to participate.

Competition: The final event will be held on Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 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!

Grand Prize: $1,000

Notes: must be student led, no outside funding

Do you have a new product or business idea? Take your idea to the next level, make business connections and win cash; it just takes 90 seconds! Present your idea to a panel of West Michigan judges for a chance to win a big check. 

GVSU Idea Pitch Competition

The MWest Challenge

Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Application: February 24th, 2017

Competition: April 21st, 2017

Prize Money: $45,000 

Notes: team must be comprised of students from a participating college, no revenue above $10,000

MWest Challenge, a student venture competition designed to create cross collaboration between students that span across several universities from West Michigan. Through MWest, entrepreneurially minded students are able to develop and grow new ventures based on their own ideas. In addition to the $45,000+ in cash prizes, students will have access to resources, mentors, educational workshops, and opportunities to network with angel and venture capital investors. 

Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition

Location: Detroit, MI

Application: October 9th, 2017

Competition: November 3rd, 2017, from 8-5pm

Grand Prize: $10,000 in cash prizes

Notes: company must be 100% student owned, less than 10k in revenue, & less than one year 

Join other student-led teams from across the state of Michigan to pitch your business idea, meet investors from around the country and compete to win money to start your venture. 

GreenLight Business Model Competition

Location: East Lansing, MI

Application: March 1, 2017

Competition: March 29, 2017

Grand Prize: $100K

Notes: focused on the business model canvas, company must be under 1 year and Michigan-based 

The GreenLight Michigan Business Model Competition is an early-stage pitch competition that brings together entrepreneurs and small business supporters from all over Michigan. Competition finalists will pitch ideas to an amazing panel of judges, while also networking with angel and venture capital investors from across the state. Over $100K in cash prizes will be given away. 

Pre Approved

5x5 Night at GVSU - Win $5K!

Competition: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM 

Location: L. William Seidman Center Charles W. Loosemore Forum

Win $5,000 to advance your idea! 5x5 is a collaboration between GVSU, Start Garden and the west Michigan community designed to publicly RECOGNIZE, RESOURCE, and REWARD innovative ideas, research, or engagement projects between GVSU and the surrounding community. 


Competition: November 10th from 1-4pm

Location: Charles W. Loosemore Forum 

Support local entrepreneurs as they pitch their business plans and compete for cash and prizes worth over $53,000. Cash prizes, support services and technical assistance will be awarded to three winners in each category (Lifestyle & Growth). 

ACE' 17 (Detroit)

Competition: Thursday, January 26, 2017 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM 

Location: Westin Southfield Detroit Hotel 

The Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship is an event that celebrates and promotes entrepreneurship in the Great Lakes region. ACE brings together entrepreneurs, service providers, investors, students, government agents and other members of the business community to network, learn and connect.


TCU Competition

Location: Neeley School of Business at TCU

Competition Timeline:

  • March 3, 2017 - Intent to Compete and Executive Summary of Venture Concept (Deadline for Submission)
  • March 7, 2017 - Schools selected to compete notified
  • April 7, 2017 - Deadlines for Business Plans 
  • April 21-22, 2017 - Competition at TCU Campus

Grand Prize:  $25,000

Click here for more information.

Page last modified June 7, 2017