Overview – Startup Competition


  • What defines a concept v. a seed stage company? (updated April 2018)

    We recognize that determining which stage a company is at is a fluid process. Given the variety of businesses applying to the start up competition, we cannot offer a black and white definition separating concept v. seed. However, we can provide general guidelines.

    • A “Concept” stage company is generally very early in the process of developing a business. These companies/ entrepreneurs are still in the process of customer discovery and validation and generally are pre-revenue or are generating little revenue. We would also expect a concept-stage business to have had very little capital investment (e.g., less than $250K largely raised from friends and family).
    • A “Seed” stage company, on the other hand, is moving into creating clear customers (going from an ad-hoc sales process with one customer to scaling your sales process) and is building customers. These companies will be formed, have existing teams and products, and be approaching commercialization of their offering. We would expect seed-stage businesses to have revenue (unless they are in an industry where that is not reasonable such as biotech) and have raised capital, but still be on the smaller side of raising capital (e.g., less than $2M raised).

    We encourage entrants to use their judgment when selecting a track. In rare cases, we will suggest to an entrant that they are in the wrong track and switch them. If an entrant feels that he or she has chosen the wrong track, the entrant may request a judge’s review no later than 10 days following the application deadline date. Requests must be made in writing and emailed to Mary Hope Garmon at mgarmon@edpa.org. Requests for a review will not be accepted during any other stage of the competition.

  • How will my application be evaluated?

    Generally speaking, judges will review your application based on these evaluation criteria.

  • If I created a YouNoodle account before, do I need a new account in order to apply for another round?

    No, users with YouNoodle accounts do not have to open a new account.

  • What must be submitted in order to apply?

    Please review the application page for exact criteria.

  • Is there a fee to apply?

    The application fee is $150.00 (Paid through Paypal, credit cards accepted). The application fee is required when you submit your completed application, but is not required to begin an application. Application fees offset some of the costs of administering the program and help to ensure that only serious candidates are entering.

  • What information do I put in the video pitch presentation?

    Your video pitch presentation should be directed to potential investors who have never seen your innovation before.

  • Where can I find templates of the required documents?

    Templates can be downloaded from the resources page.



If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Mary Hope Garmon.

Mary Hope Garmon