PitchBurner Blog

9 Key Elements to Running a Competition, Contest or Award Program

Posted by Ellen Peterson on Jul 31, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Everyone needs administers to run a successful event and judges to give feedback to applicants, but there are less obvious elements that you can include in your competition that can be highly beneficial, as well. You can utilize mentors to aid your applicants in the submission process or use a post-event page to thank your participants and create awareness about the date that you’ll begin accepting applications for your next competition - the options are limitless. While no two events are exactly alike, there is a common list of components that make up a successful competition, contest or award program.

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Topics: Contests, Competitions and Award Programs, Resources

Judging a Competition Live: A Checklist

Posted by Erin Carey on Jul 29, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Many events these days include a live element where applicants appear before a panel of judges and pitch their idea, business plan, etc. Event administrators seasaw between the ease of evaluating on an online platform and the familiarity, on the judge’s part, of hard-copy judging. On the one hand, online scoring allows for real-time results, easy reporting and instant feedback for applicants. On the other hand, judges can sometimes be stuck in their ways (think “We’ve always done it on paper) and may not be jumping for joy over a new system. However, the old pen-and-paper routine leaves a lot of room for human error in the ways of scoring (what if you add them up wrong?), collecting (what if you lose one?) and sharing feedback (how are you going to give the feedback to the applicants? Mail them a copy?).

Before you break out the No.2 pencils, know that competitions across the globe (big and small) are using online judging during live presentations. The only difference is, instead of double-checking that the printer has ink, you must check these 7 elements before the live portion of judging begins.

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Topics: Contests, Competitions and Award Programs, Resources

Pitch Contests are Rapidly Gaining Popularity

Posted by PitchBurner on Jul 24, 2014 9:30:00 AM

Business plan competitions aren’t the only option available today for entrepreneurs seeking prizes, fundingand the chance to get in front of venture capitalists within a competition framework. More and more competitions are becoming centered around an elevator pitch that gives the applicant the ability to spend a few brief minutes presenting their innovative idea to a panel of judges that often consists of investors and influential members of the entrepreneurial community.

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Topics: Contests, Competitions and Award Programs

Solid Business Plans are Key to Competition and Professional Success

Posted by PitchBurner on Jul 21, 2014 10:00:00 AM

For competitors in business plan competitions, the business plan is the foundational piece that spells eventual success or failure in the competition. Regardless of how well you present yourself or how many connections you have, if your business plan isn’t cogent, thorough and articulate, odds are you won’t win or even place.

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Topics: Contests, Competitions and Award Programs, Beneficial Industry Articles, Resources

How to Avoid Budgetary Concerns

Posted by Erin Carey on Jul 17, 2014 9:32:00 AM

It happens more often than not: The time of year to run an event rolls around and the applicants are all geared up. Unfortunately, the budget is dryer than the sahara in May. Telling those applicants that there won’t be an event this year will be heartbreaking: They’ve all worked so hard and it would have been such good publicity for your organization.

This situation can be easily avoided!

Follow these 5 tips to ensure you and your team can run your challenge, competition or award program to its fullest potential and avoid any budgetary concerns you may face along the way.

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Topics: Contests, Competitions and Award Programs, Resources

New to business plan competitions? Here’s where to start:

Posted by PitchBurner on Jul 15, 2014 9:24:00 AM

If you’re an entrepreneur or business-minded student seeking to enter the world of business plan competitions for the first time, don’t be surprised if you’re overwhelmed by all the options. The sheer number of competitions, rules and deadlines can be confusing.

Here are some guidelines on how to make sense of the business plan competition universe, which is growing and evolving all the time:

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Topics: Contests, Competitions and Award Programs, Resources

How to find sponsorship for your competition or award program

Posted by Erin Carey on Jul 11, 2014 11:45:21 AM

More and more, competition, contest or award program administrators are matching up with sponsors to help fund their event. Sponsors lend recognition and capital to the event while simultaneously benefiting the sponsor themselves. But how does an event administrator go about finding sponsors? And what do they do once they have been found?

Follow the 7 steps listed below to achieve sponsorship success:

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Topics: Resources

Design Ignites & AIGA present: 2014 Sylvia Harris Citizen Design Award

Posted by Erin Carey on Jul 11, 2014 11:44:59 AM

Sylvia Harris (1953 – 2011) is widely recognized as a pioneer, a generous mentor and a vital inspiration to the field of social impact design. Over her twenty-five year career, Sylvia Harris championed “good design for the common good,” tirelessly promoting accessible communications for mass audiences. As founder and principal of Citizen Research & Design, she consulted to the nation’s largest hospitals, universities and civic agencies on strategic design planning, public policy development and innovation management.   

In that spirit, Design Ignites Change and AIGA have established the Sylvia Harris Citizen Design Award to honor her legacy by supporting other vanguards dedicated to public design.

Professional designers that have developed a strong project concept to ignite change in their community, along with a well researched and thought out plan for execution, will have the opportunity to apply for the Sylvia Harris Citizen Design Award for a chance to receive $10,000 toward implementation of their project.

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Topics: Client Spotlights

July Favorites: Aiding Your Applicants

Posted by Erin Carey on Jul 11, 2014 11:44:34 AM


The team at PitchBurner studies market trends and reads, a lot. Between Pulse, Prismatic and Trap.it, it’s pretty difficult not to stay current with industry trends and news. Obviously, our team is always seeking out what others are doing to be successful so that we can share that insight with our partners. However, as any start up should, we do most of our reading simply for the benefit of growing/improving our business.

Each month, we highlight a handful of the articles we read throughout the month and found to be the most interesting and "sharable." July's picks include:

  • Four different kinds of mentors
  • Places to find mentors
  • How to find (and keep) your ideal mentor

Here are July's Newsworthy picks:

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Topics: Beneficial Industry Articles

Writing a Business Plan: An Adventure, Not a Job!

Posted by PitchBurner on Jul 11, 2014 11:43:00 AM

A well-crafted business plan is crucial to success in business plan competitions. And not just any well-crafted business plan; one that stands out from the crowd. For students in business schools, especially those in entrepreneurial tracks, creating such a plan is a huge part of their education. For everyone else, it’s a learned art that combines your passion for a business with the down-to-earth details involved in getting that business off the ground.

If you’re a wanna-be entrepreneur or student who has a great idea for a business and either wants to enter a business plan competition or find funding, here are some factors to consider as you craft a business plan:

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Topics: Beneficial Industry Articles, Resources

 We highlight best practices, advice and current industry news to aid your team in running a successful event.

After running hundreds of successful events, we have compiled our knowledge into articles to ensure entrepreneurial events run smoothly.

Our online platform is used for managing

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  • brand engagement
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