UChicago's first Intercollegiate Pitch Challenge

Friday, February 13th, 2015


Congratulations to our winners!

1st Place: Escherpad: The best place to organize and share your knowledge with the world, in collaboration with your colleagues. Check out the Youtube demo or the website escherpad.com.

2nd Place: Prepify: We provide high-end, personalized, online SAT prep for free to underserved students and charge university recruiters for personal introductions to top students on our platform.

3rd Place: Trash-To-Tomato: We provide an effortless and a cost-efficient waste and recycling services that use small and local restaurants' trash in a closed loop system to bring back organic tomatoes and recycled items back to their doorsteps.

What you need to know

Phoenix Pitch is the first intercollegiate pitch challenge organized by Edge, the student entrepreneurship group at the University of Chicago. In February, we are inviting college students from across the city of Chicago to celebrate the spirit of ideation and problem solving to build teams and address real-world problems.

To register, fill out the registration form here. Once at the event, we will allow students to vote on the top start-up ideas and self-select themselves into teams around those pitches. You'll have 2 hours to build a pitch deck with your team and then you'll present to a panel of judges.

We're bringing both undergraduate and graduate students from Northwestern University, Illinois Institute of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul University, Loyola University, and more. If you're interested in getting hands-on experience with business development, meshing technical experience with startup ideas, or building a pitch deck for a panel of judges, we encourage you to come and participate. No prior experience needed!


  • 2:45 - 3:00 PM:Arrivals and Check-In
  • 3:00 - 3:15 PM: Opening ceremony
  • 3:15 - 3:45 PM: Quick Pitch Round
  • 3:45 - 4:00 PM: Voting, Snacking, and Networking
  • 4:00 PM: Voting closes; top 10 pitches are announced
  • 4:00 - 6:00 PM: Break out into teams
  • 6:00 - 7:15 PM: Final Pitch Round
  • 7:15 - 7:25 PM: Judges Deliberate
  • 7:25 - 7:30 PM: Winners Announced and Closing
University of chicago

Chicago Innovation Exchange

Address: 1452 E 53rd Street, Chicago, IL, 60615 (directions)

Join us in the newly built CIE building, University of Chicago’s new hub for multidisciplinary collaborations with 20,000 square feet of co-working, meeting, event, and incubation space



$500 Amazon gift card

$250 Amazon gift card

$125 Amazon gift card

Strikingly Pro Accounts

Free T-Shirts and other swag

Meet the Judges


Rick Zullo
Vice President of Lightbank


Imran Ahmad
Principal at OCA Ventures


Shradha Agarwal
President & Co-founder at ContextMedia


Bob Rosenberg
Adjunct Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship
at the Booth School of Business


Alida Miranda-Wolff
Associate Manager at Hyde Park Angels


Shreena Amin
COO at PrettyQuick

Our Sponsors


Our Partners


Mad logo
Depaul ceo


Who can attend?

Any and all undergraduate, graduate, and high school students from Chicago are welcome. If you are a high school student and want to attend, please send an email to phoenixpitch@gmail.com.

How much does the event cost?

It's free. We will provide drinks, snacks, and dinner for the event.

What's the format of the challenge?

The challenge will consist of students forming teams around ideas that they are interested in and to build a pitch deck and present to a panel of judges. You'll listen to pitches from other students for the first 30 minutes and then spend 2 hours building a pitch deck using help from our mentors.

How big should teams be? Can I do it alone?

Teams can be up to five people. You can certainly go it alone, but if you are seeking a team, we'll provide resources during the event to help you find a team with an idea you're interested in working on.

What should I bring?

Bring your laptop, laptop charger, and of course, your thinking cap.

How do I apply?

Just click on the application link and complete the application. Make sure to apply with your .edu email address.

Are we allowed to build on past ideas? Can I start working on my idea before the event?

If you are currently working on an idea, we'd love to have you build upon it and get feedback from our judges and mentors. If you've already developed a pitch deck, try pitching to the mentors and see what they think.

How does the judging work?

Judges will use these criteria: Business Description, Market Analysis, Product or Service Analysis, Competition, Marketing Strategy, Operations, Team, Finances, Presentation.

Will Phoenix Pitch be reimbursing travel to the pitch challenge?


I have a question that isn't listed here. Whom should I ask?

Please email any questions to phoenixpitch@gmail.com

Meet the Team


Shaan Sapra
Computer Science, Economics '15
Linkedin Github Email


Jawwad Zakaria
Computer Science, Economics '15
Linkedin Github Email


Shao-Yi Qian
Economics '15
Linkedin Github Email


Cooper Zajac
Political Science, Visual Arts '16
Linkedin Github Email


Grace Lu
Computer Science, Economics '17
Linkedin Github Email