The University of Akron $10,000 Startup Challenge

Sponsored by Burton D. Morgan Foundation

Want to win $10,000 for your startup competition? Participate today in the UA10K, where the TOP PRIZE is ten grand for your business idea! Additional prizes are available to runners-up. Think of the competition like Shark Tank, but it's even better, as you don't have to give up equity in your company! How to participate:

Email with a FIVE-sentence overview of your business idea.  In those five sentences, answer three questions: (1) what's the problem you're trying to solve? (2) how do you solve it? and (3) how do you make money?

  • After we receive your five sentences, we will then match you up with a business mentor from the community who will provide feedback on your idea

  • Complete a two-page application packet which provides more detail about your startup by Monday, November 6th

  • Participate in the semi-final pitch competitions on November 9th and 10th

  • Five finalists will be chosen who will compete at the final pitch competition on Thursday, November 30th

  • The top prize will be $10,000, and additional prizes in the thousands of dollars will be awarded to runners-up


  1.  Teams with more than one founder are permitted, though at least 33% of the company must be owned by a  University of Akron student
  2.  The competition is open to both undergraduate and graduate students of any major or discipline
  3.  Startups that have raised more than $40,000 for their business are ineligible


In addition to the Race to 10k, you can win money for your business by participating in:

  1. The PITCHU competition on Oct. 7
  2. The FUEL competition for software startups held by The Bit Factory on Nov. 16

Learn more about entrepreneurship and innovation at UA.

This challenge goes out to the dreamers, the innovators, the hackers, the creators: for anyone whose vision runs ahead of the pack. You are the entrepreneurs of tomorrow and today we are calling you out. It’s time to turn ideas into actions, time to break down barriers, time to stop talking about the future and start building it. Lace up your sneakers and prepare your pitches because the Race for 10K has begun. #GetStarted