Metro East Start-Up Challenge – Final Pitch Event

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Date(s) - October 24, 2019
All Day

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Campus

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Metro East Start-Up Challenge

The Metro East Start-Up Challenge is a $20,000 cash prize business plan competition to identify, encourage, and reward excellence in entrepreneurship in the St. Louis Metro East region. For the 6th year, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois and SIUE School of Business are the competition’s cornerstone sponsors. 2019’s Networking Event Sponsor is Scott Credit Union who is hosting this year’s Mentor-Semifinalist Networking Event. The City of Collinsville is recognized as the Competition’s Angel Investor Level Sponsor. The SIUE School of Business and Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are facilitating the competition. Application opens June 17. Deadlines begin in August.

The purpose of the challenge is to:

  1. Increase the Metro East region’s interest in and excitement for business start-ups through a competitive process;
  2. Identify “growth-oriented” start-ups with plans to operate in the nine-county St. Louis Metro East region;
  3. Generate a greater awareness of network services/resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners; and
  4. To advance the academic mission of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville by strengthening relationships with private enterprise and expanding opportunities for both students and faculty.

The first place winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize accompanied by an array of in-kind professional services. Second and Third Place winners will receive a $6,000 cash prize and $4,000 cash prize, respectively, along with many in-kind professional services.

For more information, visit Deadlines, timelines, and rules are available under the Competition Rules tab.


  • October 16 | Mock Pitch, SIUE Morris University Center, Willow Room
  • October 24 | Final Pitch to Judging Panel, SIUE Morris University Center, Magnolia Room