NMU Pitch Competition

Event Details

Event Date: Thursday, March 16, 2023 

Location: NMU Forest Roberts Theater

Mini Pitch Submissions Due: February 24


The Big Pitch is the culminating event of the annual New Business Venture Competition at NMU. The campus and Marquette communities are welcome to attend this “Shark Tank” style competition where students pitch their ideas to a panel of judges as they try to win thousands of dollars to get their business ideas off the ground.

Invent@NMU, in partnership with Northern Michigan University and the Lake Superior Community Partnership, presents the second annual Mini Pitch competition. Taking place after the Business After Hours event, this new component of the NMU Pitch was created to draw upon the notion that all ideas, no matter how big or small, are worth exploring.

Panel of Judges

Big Pitch

Stay tuned for announcement! 

Mini Pitch

  • Carol JohnsonDean of NMU College of Business
  • David KronbergDirector of Entrepreneurial Services at Invent@NMU & Innovate Marquette
  • Alex Fekete,  Professor at NMU School of Art and Design, Human Centered Design

Event Schedule

  • 2:00 – 4:00 pm | Trade Show
  • 5:00 – 7:00 pm | Business After Hours 
  • 6:00 – 7:00 pm | Mini Pitch
  • 7:00 – 8:30 pm | Big Pitch

Mini Pitch Information

Similar to the Big Pitch, the Mini Pitch is also a “Shark Tank” style competition where students pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. Selected teams will present their ideas live to a panel of judges for the chance to win one of FOUR $500 cash prizes. Teams do not have to provide a business plan or any documentation to prove that their idea is feasible, we just ask that candidates fill out the application form before the due date and present a smart, FUN, and convincing pitch.

Another key distinction is that the Mini Pitch will not feature a Q&A so participants are encouraged to put their best foot forward and proactively answer questions they think the judges might ask about their ideas.


  • For the Mini Pitch, we want it to be FUN! A formal business presentation is not required.
  • Be smart, convincing, and entertaining! 
  • Participating teams are given freedom to be creative with their presentation format. For example, teams could act out their idea as a performance, role play, wear costumes, use props, etc. to explain their idea.

Who Can Participate & How to Apply

  • NMU students of ALL majors and academic backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to apply.
  • Open to the public to view the pitch competition.
  • Apply online to submit an application.

Application Deadline: 11:59 pm EST on Monday, April 4th, 2022

Mini Pitch Panel of Judges

  • Alex Fekete, Professor at NMU School of Art and Design
  • Carol Johnson, Dean of NMU College of Business
  • David Kronberg, Director of Entrepreneurial Services at Invent@NMU & Innovate Marquette