Fund Details
Dartmouth Entrepreneurs Forum Startup Competition



The Dartmouth Entrepreneurs Forum Startup Competition is open to all Dartmouth affiliated startups from across the nation and overseas. The startup competition is organized for the benefit and development of Dartmouth related, early stage companies. If your application has been selected, you will be invited to Hanover, New Hampshire to compete in the semifinal round of the startup competition which is a part of the Dartmouth Entrepreneurship Forum (DEF). Three finalists will be selected and will have an opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges and audience members. The winners of the Competition will be announced at the end of the DEF conference.

Hanover Final Competition Prizes: 

  • Jeff Crowe ’78 Prize: $50,000
  • 2nd Place: $10,000
  • 3rd Place: $5,000
  • People’s Choice: $2,500 

Eligibility Criteria: 

Dartmouth Entrepreneurs Forum Startup Competition is open to any startup team or company that meet the following criteria: 

  • At least one team member is a Dartmouth affiliated student, alumnus, faculty, researcher or staff member who plays a primary role in the venture, defined as a member of the founding team and as a significant equity holder, if equity has been distributed. A Dartmouth affiliated team member MUST be the one who applies and MUST be present at all judging rounds. 
  • Past DEF startup competition winners are not eligible to compete with the same venture idea in following years. They may enter the competition again with a new venture idea. 
  • Startup teams must not have received funding in excess of $250,000. 
  • Startup teams must not have annual revenue in excess of $250,000. 
  • If incorporated, startups may not be more than 3 years old as of March 1, 2019. 

Note: Prize recipients who have not already incorporated must do so in order to trigger the prize disbursements, and checks shall be made payable to the incorporated entity. The deadline for claiming and processing the prizes is Friday, May 3, 2019. 


Required items to apply: 

  • All submissions must include a one-page executive summary and a pitch deck(15 slides or less, excluding cover and appendix). It is recommended that presentations cover market, value proposition and product, competition, financials (financing needs, projections), timeline and team (disclosing Dartmouth affiliation is required). 
  • Submission format: Please submit as a single .pdf file with both the executive summary and the pitch deck included. 
  • A primary contact person for each team must be identified and must be a Dartmouth affiliated team member. 
  • Contest entrants understand that the contest is a public competition and that no information disclosed by them will be kept confidential. Further, entrants give permission to Dartmouth College to use the materials they submit for educational or marketing purposes. 


Dates and Deadlines:

Jan 25, 2019: Applications OPEN 

March 4, 2019: Applications are due at 11:59am EST

March 8, 2019: Selected startups notified to participate in the semifinal round at Hanover, NH.


Submissions will be evaluated on the basis of which startup team is most likely to create significant social and/or economic value. Entries will be evaluated and finalists selected by a group of Dartmouth alumni, entrepreneurs and expert business practitioners. Evaluators will focus most of their attention on the following characteristics: 

  • Strong team – founders, advisors or other team members who can operate a growing business successfully. A summary that specifies the current team members (disclosure of specific Dartmouth affiliation per team is required), as well as the future team needed to grow the business to scale and exit along with a realistic recruiting strategy is a plus. 
  • Size and growth of the market – a realistic addressable market for the startup’s product or service that is large enough and growing gives a venture a better chance to succeed. Being very knowledgeable about the competitors in the target market is a plus. 
  • Solid product or service – a product that is built and has beta or paying customers demonstrates advanced traction and is preferred. 
  • Sustainable business model – a credible business model that will allow the startup company to efficiently scale to a size that makes it self-sustainable.
  • Feasibility of execution on the proposed plan, as estimated by the competition-judging panel. 

For questions and concerns please contact:

Search Filters:

Citizenship Required?
  • No
    Eligible Regions:
    • Africa
    • Asia
    • Central and South America
    • Europe
    • North America
    • Oceania
      Restricted By Discipline
      • No
        Begin Accepting Applications Date:
        Deadline Date (EST Time Zone):
        3/04/2019 11:55 AM