Applications for the 2024 competition have closed!

The UGA Entrepreneurship Program invites current students from any college or university to take part in UGA’s Next Top Entrepreneur Pitch Competition on Thursday, April 18, 2024, from 5–8:30 p.m. in Studio 225 (225 W. Broad St.) at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.

UGA’s Next Top Entrepreneur is open to student startup teams from all over the country. During this live event, teams pitch their existing business plans or business idea in front of a live audience and a panel of judges. At the end of the competition, the 1st place team receives $10,000, 2nd place team receives $5,000, and 3rd place team receives $2,500.

About the Competition

Current students from any college or university with a solid business idea, concept, product and/or existing business are invited to pitch in front of a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs for a chance to win top prize of $10,000.

Teams are evaluated on their business model, the validity of their idea, and their ability to execute. Our judges are looking for the business with greatest potential for success.

Teams traveling out of state for the competition are eligible for travel reimbursement of up to $1,500 (not per student).

Eligibility & Rules

  • Undergraduate and Graduate-level students only.
    • No doctoral students
  • If a member of the team has graduated, they must have graduated within the past three semesters.
  • Businesses must have less than $2 million in cumulative life-time sales plus cumulative lifetime third party funding, grants or awards.
  • There is no limit on the type of business eligible.
  • Only four members of the team may participate in the competition (no exceptions).

How to Apply

In your application, please include:

  • Business abstract: include in your abstract who is the target market and who is the addressable market
  • Two-minute pitch video
  • Statement of revenue for the last 12 months
  • Additional photos, videos, and/or website links to help your business stand out

Only completed applications are accepted.

The applicant pool is judged by an internal committee. The top ten teams advance to the final round in Athens, Georgia.

The pitch competition takes place in front of a live audience with a panel of judges who have experience in the startup and business world. These judges pick the winning team that walk away with top prize of $10,000, 2nd place prize of $5,000, and 3rd place prize of $2,500.

Dates and Deadlines

Competition Day
Join us on Thursday, April 18, 2024 in Athens, Georgia at 5 pm in Studio 225 to see teams pitch their business.

Application Deadline:
Wednesday, March 20, 2024 (midnight EDT)

Finalists Announced:
Thursday, April 4, 2024

Fiserv logo
D12 Cimmerical Interiors

UGA’s Next Top Entrepreneur Competition is sponsored by Fiserv and D12 Commercial Interiors.

Congratulations to our 2024 Winners!

J.D. Thomerson stands with giant novelty check at Studio 225.

John Thomerson from Florida Atlantic University took home top prize with his business Pet HealthCare Innovations. “Pet HealthCare Innovations improves health and quality of life for pets and their owners.”

Three winners posing with giant checks

Tyler Meyer (center) from the University of Georgia won a second-place prize of $5,000 with Fire Truck Rentals of Atlanta, a party entertainment company supplying children’s birthday parties, festivals, events, with decommissioned fire trucks.

Wesley Pitts (left) from the University of Tennessee won a third-place prize of $2,500 with KnoxBots, an automated service company.

Previous winners