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SCORE Chicago Pitch Competition


SCORE Chicago is excited to offer a Business Pitch Competition for Black and Minority Small Business Owners in the Chicago area. With the sponsorship of AARP, they will offer four grants totaling $10,000 in prize money to the pitch competition winners. Winners will be selected and grants will be awarded by December 15, 2023.

All applications must be submitted by 12 PM (Noon) CST October 27, 2023


There are three steps to this competition:


Step 1:

Make sure that you qualify – your business must be located in the City of Chicago or in the South or West suburbs of Cook County and must be registered in the State of Illinois as of September 25, 2023. It must be at least 51% Black- or minority-owned.


Step 2:

Submit a fully completed application with clear and convincing answers to all the questions, including:

  • Describe the market need or opportunity.

  • Describe the customers and target market.

  • Describe your competition and how your product or service compares.

  • What makes your business unique?

  • What is its current and future revenue potential?

  • If awarded, how will the grant be used?

Click on the APPLY NOW button below to link to the application. If you have any problems submitting your application, contact your SCORE mentor or ch.admin0004@scorevolunteer.org



Step 3:

All applicants will be notified by November 17 of the status of their application. Up to 10 finalists will be selected to advance to the actual Pitch Round of the Competition.


All finalists will be given a pitch event outline for their presentations and detailed evaluation criteria for their pitches. Each finalist will work with a SCORE Chicago mentor between November 20 and December 8 to practice and perfect their presentation.


Presentations will be in-person and held the week of December 11; finalists and their immediate families are invited to attend. For anyone unable to attend in person, virtual presentations via Zoom can be made available. Presentations will be limited to 10 minutes with 5-10 minutes for Q&A from our panel of judges, made up of SCORE Chicago mentors and representatives of AARP.


Winners will be announced and prize money awarded by December 15, 2023.


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