Contest Info

INNOVATE! Business Challenge is a high school competition to create an idea for a business startup. Winners receive thousands of dollars in cash and prizes to help get their business off the ground! To enter, just record a 60-90 second video "elevator pitch" telling us about your idea and upload it here.

40 ideas will be selected to move on to a second round, and the top five or so ideas are selected for a finale, where students present their ideas to a panel of judges.


Phase I: Upload Your Video "Elevator Pitch"

Create a business start-up idea, then record and submit that idea as a 60-90 second elevator pitch video recording. Ideas can be an item that does not exist, a new or improved product or service. The first 100 video submissions will receive a prize. It will be sent via school courier service for distribution to each student who submitted a video of their idea. One prize person and per team.

This website is your portal to submit it online. You may also mail a thumbdrive or DVD to HCOE INNOVATE! Business Challenge 901 Myrtle Avenue, Eureka, CA 95501. Videos must be at least 60 seconds long and no longer than 90 seconds, and must be less than 95MB in size. For help with video file size, click here.

The Contest Resoursces page has all kinds of tips to help you dream up with your idea, record and submit it. The idea workshop video explains how the Challenge works. Make sure your 60-90 second video has your Video Slate included so we know who you are and what school you go to. To see some good examples, watch the videos from previous finalists. Good luck!

Deadline: Friday, February 15th, 5 p.m.


Phase II: Business Concept Questions

40 Semi-finalists will be selected to expand their idea by answering 13 Business Concept Questions. Semi-finalists will need to officially register in the Challenge by March 9th. The 13 Business Concept Questions’ form is a fillable PDF. Download the form and save it in YOUE NAME. Your answers and information are inputted in the space provided, saved and when completed your answer set is uploaded, by the deadline.

There will be two workshops to help Semi-finalists develop their concept in order to answer their questions. Semifinalists are highly encouraged to attend at least one workshop. Local experts will be available to consult with the students.

Deadline: Friday, April 3th at 5 p.m


Phase III: Top 10 Presentations

The top business start-up ideas are selected to present their ideas to a panel of judges. The top five ideas will pitch their ideas live at the Finale! To help prepare the students for these presentations, business mentors will provide feedback during a formal practice and one-on-one. The top five are competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and awards. Five additional start-up ideas will present their concepts to judges during a Design Review where smaller prize values are awarded. They will be recognized at the Finale.

Five Design Reviews: Friday, May 17th, Humboldt County Office of Education (2:30 - 5 p.m.)

Top Five Finale: Thursday, May 30th, Sequoia Conference Center (5 p.m.)


If you have questions call (707) 445-7563 or e-mail

Begin now by uploading your elevator pitch video!