NH Startup Challenge

What is the MYPN NH Startup Challenge?

The MYPN New Hampshire Startup Challenge is a statewide business plan competition created in 2008 to connect entrepreneurs and social innovators with seed capital and key services to help them on their path toward the creation of value, sustainable growth, and profitability. Over the past seven years,  $385,000 in cash and in-kind services have been awarded to New Hampshire startups.

Applicants submit their ideas to an esteemed panel of judges (past judges have included prominent investment bankers, venture capitalists, high-tech experts and leaders of non-profit organizations). Semi-finalists are invited to pitch their ideas to a packed house at the Alpha Loft. These semi-finalists will then go through a rigorous and competitive review process. Ultimately, one winner will be chosen to receive a prize package valued at over $55,000 in cash and in-kind services from Manchester-area businesses.

In 2015, we added a new prize to up the ante: the People’s Choice Award. In addition to the judge’s pick, final event attendees will get a chance to vote and award an additional $3,500 in cash to their favorite business plan.

When does the MYPN NH Start Up Challenge happen?

The NH Start Up Challenge typically runs from March through June of each year, with a series of events narrowing down the finalists.  MYPN will announce details through this website, social media channels and our newsletter. This year’s event dates are:

Who’s eligible?

  • The MYPN NH Startup Challenge is open to any granite state resident with an idea.
  • Applicants must be a New Hampshire resident and an owner or founder of a business.
  • Startups must be for-profit, have been in existence for less than three years, have raised under $100,000 in funding, and generated under $100,000 in past year revenue.

What will I win?

Past winners walked away with the following prize package:

  • Up to $20,000 in cash
  • Seat in the Alpha Loft Accelerator Program and one-year residence at the Alpha Loft
  • Legal services from a local law firm
  • Accounting services from a local accounting firm
  • Marketing services from a local agency

How do I enter and what is required?

Round 1: Initial Application
Due April 17, 2015
2015 Startup Challenge Application

Round 2: Live Pitch

  • Semi-finalists will be notified of their status before the Semi-finalist Live Pitch Event
  • Semi-finalists will prepare and present a 5-minute live pitch at the event

Round 3: Final Judging

  • Live Pitch to the judging panel
  • Finalists will be given the opportunity to submit their business plan and other supporting documents
  • Finalists will prepare and present a 5 minute live pitch at the Final Event
  • NEW THIS YEAR: People’s Choice Award: Finalists will be judged by your peers to win an additional $3,500 in cash!

How will I be judged?

You will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Market Opportunity – is there a clear market need presented and way to take advantage of it?
  • Distinctive Competence – company provides some novel/unique/special that gives it a competitive advantage in its market
  • Management capability – team can effectively develop the company and handle the risks associated with the venture
  • Financial understanding – team has a solid understanding of financial requirements of the business
  • Investment potential – business represents a real investment opportunity in which you would consider investing
  • Pitch – pitch performance