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

Competition: The final event will be held on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 at 6:00pm in the Seidman Center Room 1008. 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: Generally due in February 

Competition: Generally held the 3rd or 4th week of April

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



Grand Prize

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 

Competition: March 

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


Competition: Held monthly

Location: Rotating locations in West Michigan

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. 

MICHIGAN WOMEN’S FOUNDATION: Entrepreneur YOU Business Plan & Pitch Competition

Application: June 7, 2018

Competition: November 8th, 2018

Location: Charles W. Loosemore Forum, Seidman Center

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). 

TCU Competition

Location: Neeley School of Business at TCU

Competition Timeline:

  • February 27, 2019 - Intent to Compete and Executive Summary of Venture Concept (Deadline for Submission)
  • March 1, 2019 - Schools selected to compete notified
  • March 26, 2019 - Deadlines for Business Plans 
  • April 5-6, 2019 - Competition at TCU Campus

Grand Prize:  $25,000

Click here for more information.

Page last modified August 8, 2018