WomanUp Programs

WomanUp & Learn and
WomanUp & Pitch

WomanUp & Pitch

Business Plan and Pitch Competition

The WomanUp & Pitch Business Plan and Pitch Competition is a funding opportunity for women who wish to start or grow an existing for-profit business. Entry applications will be accepted starting in October and four virtual contests will be held in 2022. Forty total finalists will be selected, ten in each location, divided into two categories: Idea phase/Startup (in business less than 3 years and revenue less than $250,000) and Established/Growth (in business for 3 years or more and/or revenue greater than $250,000). All finalists will receive support services and technical assistance. Winners in each category at each location will be awarded cash prizes as follows:

1st Place — $10,000
2nd Place — $5,000
3rd Place — $2,500
Audience Choice — $1,000 (One winner per location)

The top forty finalists are connected to advisors, coaches and mentors who provide professional services and expert advice as the women create viable business plans and prepare to take the stage to pitch their idea to a panel of business experts and an audience of other entrepreneurs, small business owners, potential investors, and business and community leaders. The business plans, reviewed in advance of the pitch by each judge, account for 60% of the final score; the pitch accounts for 40%. Businesses must be at least 51% women-owned.

Important Dates
October 15 – Applications open (concept paper and $20 application fee)
October 27 – First WomanUp & Pitch information session. Register here.
November 3 – Second WomanUp & Pitch information session. Register here.
November 10 – Applications close for WomanUp & Pitch Competition.
March 3 – West Michigan Virtual Pitch Competition*
March 10 – Mid-Michigan Virtual Pitch Competition*
March 24 – Southeast Michigan Virtual Pitch Competition*
March 31 – Statewide Food Business Pitch Competition*

*All competitions will be virtual; however, finalists will likely pitch in the region their business is located unless you are a food-based business.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative is Sponsored by

WomanUp & Learn

Classes and conferences to help no matter what stage your businesses is in.

Upcoming Events

Preparing to Pitch (Virtual & In Person Options)

Date: September 13, 2021

Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Location: Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids


Business Owner’s Guide To Commercial Real Estate Leasing Strategies

Date: September 22, 2021

Time: 9:00 am to 10:00 am

Location: Online