NH Startup Challenge

What is the MYPN NH Startup Challenge?

The Manchester Young Professionals Network (MYPN) New Hampshire Startup Challenge is a 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 sustainability. Now in its 10th year, the Challenge has awarded over $500,000 in cash and in-kind services to NH startups.

Through the Challenge, MYPN has helped to create business opportunities for young professionals and young companies alike. Furthermore, the Challenge continues to encourage investment in New Hampshire’s early-stage companies and cultivate the state’s entrepreneurial culture.

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). Ultimately, one winner will be chosen to receive a prize package valued at over $55,000 in cash and professional services from Manchester area businesses.

In addition to the judge’s pick, finalists will have the chance to win the People’s Choice Award. At the Final Event, up to four finalists will pitch their ideas to a packed house, and attendees get the opportunity to vote and award an additional $5,000 in cash to their favorite business plan.

When does the MYPN NH Start Up Challenge happen?

The NH Start Up Challenge typically runs from February through May 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. Stay tuned for the important dates for next year.

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?

  • Cash and In-kind services

How do I enter and what is required?

Round 1: Initial Application

  • If you want, send a link to a video pitch as well. You don’t have to but it would be a lot cooler if you did.

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
  • People’s Choice Award: Finalists will be judged by your peers to win an additional $5,000 in cash!
  • Second place for People’s choice valued up to an additional $5,000 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