FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who can apply?
Youth entrepreneurs who are between the ages of 13 and 19 years old during the registration period.
Can a team apply?
Yes. To qualify as a team, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have no more than five youth entrepreneurs collaborating on one primary and/or secondary product or service.
- Have identified a team leader who will be the Point of Contact for the competition.
- All members must be 19 or younger during the application submission period.
What is a "demonstrable" product or service?
i.Invest defines a “demonstrable” product or service as a product or service that can be demonstrated upon request. We are looking for proof of concept prototypes or a quality demo of your concept. For example, if your business makes water filtration devices, the youth entrepreneur will need to show how the product will work, tell us what problem the device will solve and provide a prototype or blueprint of the device.
Are youth entrepreneurs required to have a legal business structure to participate?
No; According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), all states require the principals of a company that incorporates to be 18 years or older (to learn more read here). Therefore, i.Invest applicants are not required to have a legally formed business entity; however, entities that are legally formed will be considered for both equity and non-equity investments.
I do not have a business plan but I want to compete, what should I do?
You can still compete. i.Invest has created a customized business plan template. This template is downloadable in Word format under the "Knowledge Center" tab.
Will I be notified if I don’t advance to Rounds 2 & 3?
Yes; if you do not advance to Round 2 or 3 you will receive an email at the email address you provide notifying you about your status.
If I’m selected for virtual group coaching, what will I need to do to participate?
You will need access to the internet and a computer with video capabilities. We will provide instructions on how to log on in the coming months.
How will applicants be scored?
- Preliminary Review: i.Invest will review applications and select the top 100 (or applicant’s in the top percentile) to move on to Round 1 scoring. To be considered for Round 1 scoring, executive summaries must be 100% complete; applicants must upload a two-minute pitch video; parental approvals (for youth 16 and under) must be completed and the product must be verified.
- Round 1: The initial review of executive summaries and pitch videos will be done by select reviewers (i.e. judges and coaches). Two reviewers will score applications. Scoring will include a numerical score and feedback.
- Group Coaching Sessions: The top 15 – 20 applicants in each category will participate in group coaching sessions. During sessions, applicants will learn best practices for revising/improving upon their business plan and pitch video. After group coaching, applicants will be given time to upload a complete business plan and revised pitch videos prior to Round 2 scoring.
- Round 2: This round will include a review of the business plan and pitch video by two judges. The top 5 will advance to Round 3.
- Round 3: Live pitch competition and business expo in a select city. Travel stipends will be considered.
How do I qualify for one-on-one mentoring?
Mentors will be assigned only after select applicants have advanced beyond Round 1.
How much does it cost to apply?
The application fee is $29 per entry.
Can I register multiple business concepts?
No, only one buisness concept per applicant.
What does "Verification" mean?
In order to advance in the competition applicants are required to obtain a verification signature from a teacher, entrepreneur, entrepreneur program manager or business leader. Verification is a way to confirm that the applicant’s work-to-date was derived and developed by the applicant and not by anyone else. Verification is proof of the product or service’s authenticity. Parents and guardians are not allowed to verify products.
My son is only 13, and doesn't have any email address, can he apply?
Yes, we recommend he uses his parent's email address.
Is Parental/Guardian approval required
Yes, for youth 13-16 years old.
What should the pitch video include?
Pitch videos should be no more than two minutes. We recommend you upload the video to YouTube and add the link to the Reviewr system. However, other options are available. Professional quality isn’t required. No more than two team members can participate on pitch videos. Videos should:
- Provide the company name, product/service description, owner’s name, problem to be solved and highlight the product/service’s WOW FACTORS
- Tell why this product should win the i.Invest Competition and what you need to succeed.
Will my business information be kept confidential?
All judges, mentors, coaches and sponsors are required to sign a confidentiality agreement. However, we discourage applicants from uploading any confidential information. Only include information you are comfortable with sharing with the general public.
STILL HAVE A QUESTION?
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