WomanUp Programs

WomanUp & Pitch

Business Plan and Pitch Competition

Our 2024 WomanUp & Pitch Finalists have been selected. Head to our finalists page to read all about these amazing female entrepreneurs and register to watch them pitch live in March 2024.

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 contests will be held in March 2024.

Forty total finalists are selected, ten in each location, divided into two categories: Idea phase/Startup (in business less than 3 years and revenue less than $150,000) and Established/Growth (in business for 3 years or more and/or revenue greater than $150,000). All finalists receive support services and technical assistance.

Winners in each category at each location are awarded cash prizes as follows:

  • 1st Place — $10,000
  • 2nd Place — $5,000
  • 3rd Place — $2,500

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%.

2024 Competition Dates

  • March 7 – West Michigan Virtual Pitch Competition
  • March 14 – Mid-Michigan Virtual Pitch Competition
  • March 21 – Southeast Michigan Virtual Pitch Competition
  • March 28 – Statewide Food Competition (Note: this competition will be in person in the Detroit area. Pitches will be recorded ahead of time with a live Q&A. Finalists are expected to provide samples of their product for approximately 80 people.)

Eligibility

Businesses must meet the following criteria to participate:

  • For-profit
  • Based in Michigan
  • At least 51% women-owned
  • Have not pitched in a previous MWF WomanUp & Pitch competitions
  • In a qualified industry – not a cannabis or adult entertainment-themed businesses

A BIG thank you to our sponsor: