Dear Entrepreneur: you didn’t win and we’re not going to tell you why (the problem with most start up competitions and what Alabama Launchpad is doing about it)

One of the most frustrating things about startup competitions is being rejected. But it’s not because of the fact that you were told no. Rather, it’s because it’s so hard to get any lessons out of it! In my experience, having submitted to a number of competitions, the rejection usually comes in the form of an email that reads something like this:

Dear Entrepreneur:

Thank you for applying. We regret to inform you that you were not selected to advance to the next round. We received a lot of applications and it was very competitive and… well… there were a lot of other reasons, but we’re not going to tell you those because it takes too much time and effort on our part and we just don’t feel like it.

But thanks for applying and putting a whole bunch of time and effort in on your end. Go you!

Sincerely,

Someone who has never started a business

OK, the first half is real and the second half is a little creative interpretation. Truth is, I understand why most competitions do this – it does take time and effort – but honestly, it’s pretty inconsiderate. If these competitions really wanted to advance solutions to problems, they would provide structured FEEDBACK not only to winners but also to almost winners. That way, these entrants might adjust and improve. Moreover, it would frankly be the honorable thing to do.

So that’s why this year, the Alabama Launchpad will provide structured feedback to every application.

Every entrant will receive feedback on their business or idea. This way, even if entrants don’t win, at least they will learn and have the chance to improve. And that is well worth the price of admission.