Skip Navigation
Oklahoma State University
Riata Center for Entrepreneurship

Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University

Rules & Guidelines

Pitch and Poster Competition

Like our annual business plan competition, the Riata Center Pitch and Poster Competition is designed to spur our students’ entrepreneurial spirit. The goal of the competition is to help contestants define their business idea and communicate it concisely through a variety of mediums. Entries will be judged by a panel of professionals within the greater Stillwater entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Pitch and Poster Competition Tracks:

  • Social Enterprise: Develop, fund, and implement solutions to social, cultural or environmental issues.
  • Big City/High Tech: Change the world by developing new products in a STEM field or launch novel ideas via apps or web-based software.
  • Main Street/Lifestyles: Selling physical products, food or retail in an innovative way

Select a track and submit your intent to compete by October 9, 2020, at 5:00 PM. The deadline for all poster submissions is October 16, 2020, by 5:00 PM. (late submission will not be accepted) The Riata Pitch and Poster Competition is open to all Oklahoma State University students. (no business experience required) All applicants must be registered StartupTree users. Simply signup by following the registration link provided.

Registration Coming Soon!

Poster Component Guidelines:

  • Posters can be up to 40"x30" portrait or landscape. Any submission that exceeds the max size will not be considered.
  • All contestants will be provided with a table and easel for their presentation.
  • Posters must be visually attractive. (legible, self-explanatory, etc.)
  • Props may be utilized as needed for visual aid.
  • Contestants are encouraged to “pitch” their ideas to guests and answer any questions they may have. Throughout the competition, guest will vote on their favorite poster to determine the “people’s choice” award.

Poster information should include:

Business Name / Overview / Team

  • Describe the business in 1-2 sentences
  • Use a logo, pictures, and graphics wherever possible
  • List key team members, including affiliation and education
  • What is it going to take for you to make this idea into a reality?

How do you make money?

  • Who is the user, and who is the buyer (i.e. decision maker)? How do you connect with the buyer? (Retail location, sales team, distributor)
  • What does your revenue model look like? (subscription, retail, B2B) Hard figures are not necessary, but encouraged.

What is the problem/opportunity?

  • What problem will your business address?
  • Is this currently an unmet need in the market?
  • Approximately how many people experience this problem?

Who are your customers?

  • Who are the primary consumers of the product?
  • What/who is your target market?
  • Describe the buyer of your product/service?
  • How will you reach them?

Why your solution?

  • How will your business idea help solve the problem?
  • How does it address a specific need?
  • What are the benefits?

How is it different?

  • Is there someone already doing the same thing?
  • If so, how is your solution different?
  • What are your customers currently using to solve the problem?

Pitch Component Guidelines

  • All students must prepare a 90-second elevator pitch to present to judges and should dress appropriately.
  • Contestants may use visual aids (i.e. poster and props) during the first round of pitches. The track judges will determine the top contestants based on the pitch and poster criteria.
  • The top finalists from each track will be given 3 minutes to pitch their business idea to a combined panel of judges, without any visual aid (i.e. poster); only props and product prototypes will be allowed during the final pitches. Judges will then determine the overall competition winner which will be announced along with track winners and the awards reception.

Rules & Regulations

  • Entrants must adhere to all submission deadlines and guidelines. No late submissions will be accepted.
  • In order to enter, the participant must be a full-time or part-time student, undergraduate, or graduate level, who is currently enrolled in a degree program, and who are registered at one of the OSU campuses for the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Only one submission of a new business venture per team is permitted, and each submission should consist of a pitch and poster component.
  • Individuals may be a member of only one team. Teams may be as small as one student, and there is no maximum size. Typical team size is usually between two and five members.
  • Ideas submitted as part of a teams’ new business venture, must represent the original work of the team members. Team members will sign a certification to this effect, as part of the initial entry. If a student is competing with an OSU-owned technology, all applications must be approved in advance by OSU’s Technology Development Center and all appropriate parties.
  • Teams may not compete if the new venture has already received funding from any outside sources (i.e. angel investors, venture capital, money from other competitions, etc.) exceeding $50,000 by the start of the Fall 2020 academic semester. Investors and dates of funding must be disclosed in the initial entry. This competition is intended only for student teams that have not received any outside investment.
  • The university reserves the right to disqualify, in its sole and absolute discretion, any team from the competition at any time for any reason. Reasons for disqualification may include but are not limited to, plagiarism and any other form of academic dishonesty, misappropriation or infringement of the intellectual property of others, and/or any failure to comply with these rules and regulations. Disqualified teams shall forfeit any and all prizes awarded to them.
  • Scholarship payments for competitors in the Riata Pitch and Poster Competition are only permitted to be distributed into currently enrolled OSU student's bursar accounts. If a balance is owed on a competitor's bursar account, scholarship funds awarded through the competition will be applied to said balance before any remaining funds are available to the competitor. Individuals with scholarship capped restrictions should be aware that additional scholarships received can affect all previous scholarship awards. Individuals should contact the Riata Center at their earliest convenience if they have any questions.  


Contact the Riata Center at or call 405-744-7552.