biztech CHALLENGE 2019


The Bayou Classic BizTech Challenge is a fun but educational program that will teach you how to solve a real-world problem with a technology-based product or service keeping the end user in mind. It's a skill applicable to any future career pathway, whether you’re working for a Fortune 500 company or starting up your own tech business.  Our private sector partners have provided some real world challenges for you to work on, or you can develop your own idea.  Either way, it’s an awesome resume booster.  We also offer life-changing mentor engagements with industry professionals and business owners that can open doors, connect you to internship and employment opportunities, and jumpstart your career.  All this is FREE!  AND you can compete for cash prizes from $250 to $10,000 and a chance to attend the Bayou Classic with travel expenses paid.   So what are you waiting for?  Here’s how you can get in on this action: 



Team members must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program (including the law school) at one of the following universities: 

Alabama A&M University

Alabama State University

Alcorn State University

Baton Rouge Community College

Delgado Community College 

Dillard University 

Grambling State University 

Jackson State University 

Mississippi Valley State University

Prairie View A&M University 

Southern University at New Orleans

Southern University at Shreveport

Southern University 

Texas Southern University 

Tuskegee University

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Xavier University of Louisiana



Engineering & Robotics

Energy, Environmental & Agricultural Technologies (Presented by Exxon)

Digital Technologies & Software

  • Do you already have a brilliant idea for a product or service that solves a problem? Great! Check the category definitions and select one of the three specialty categories. If you’re not sure, call or email Wendy Overton at 225-218-1100 or and she or one of our other staff members will assist you.

  • If want to participate in the program but don’t have a project idea, don’t worry as we’ve got plenty! Look at the challenge idea list in each of the three categories and choose one that sounds interesting to you. If the idea list sparks an even better idea in that field, feel free to submit that too!



  • Teams should be comprised of a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of (5) students.

  • Teams must have at least one (1) individual majoring in a business or law discipline or who has taken at least one business or entrepreneurship course; and at least one (1) individual majoring in a STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math) discipline (can include Computer Information Systems)

  • We highly recommend that each team have a professor as a mentor. However, it is mandatory that the top 5 teams chosen have a mentor.



  • Would you like more help on your idea? One of the best things about this program is that your team may request to be matched up with mentors from the business world and/or your field of study. These mentors can be a great resource to give feedback about your team’s project, talk to you about your field of study, and maybe even introduce you to potential employment opportunities or business partners. Mentors can provide feedback virtually or in-person depending on their availability.

  • Coaches and mentors are only allowed to provide guidance and feedback, and may not directly prepare any material submitted by the team.

We highly recommend BizTech teams have a faculty coach. However, it is mandatory that teams selected to go to the Bayou Classic live pitch event have a faculty coach. If selected to compete at the live pitch event, you must confirm your faculty coach within five business days.

You'll also have access to a team of advisers who can answer questions along the way. More information will be provided to you once you have registered for the Challenge.




Your goal is to design technology that solves a problem in the marketplace, and create a successful business model around that technology. There are many paths to reach that goal, but for a suggested road map, click here.

  • Deadline: Projects are due on Tuesday October 22nd @ 5 p.m.

  • Requirements: Team project entries will have 3 requirements:

  1. Product or service design that incorporates a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Math)-based element or platform (e.g. mobile app, software product, hardware product, SAAS, Internet-based company, or a product or service based on scientific research). The product or service does not have to be a full working prototype, but should have a minimum set of specifications or features that would allow the team to collect data to validate the concept and its continued development. Projects can be based on prior work as long as that work was completed by one or more students on the team, or is approved usage of University intellectual property. A form to request usage of University IP can be downloaded by clicking here.

  2. Two to five page business summary that describes how the team would create a business based on the product or service idea. The team should use the business summary template.

  3. 30 to 120 second video elevator pitch . This component should be a video of the students giving a live pitch presentation about their product or service. The team can utilize different pitch venues, props, and other creative components, but the video must show the speaker(s) delivering the presentation, and it must include the elements listed in the pitch template format found here. The judges will be looking for the elements shown on the judging criteria summary found here. Powerpoint software is required for pitch presentations - no Prezis will be permitted. Powerpoint presentations must be in 16:9 format. Videos can be shot with camera phones or other devices, and uploaded to YouTube or another easily accessible video sharing site.

  4. Teams should include a demonstration of their product/service during the 5-minute pitch, or they may include an additional 2-minute video demonstration.


  • Intellectual Property: Rights to any intellectual property created by the teams shall remain with the teams. Teams must obtain permission to use any third-party IP as part of their proposed solution, and such IP cannot be used for the basis of the solution. IP used as the basis of the solution must be created by the students on the team, but it can be based on prior work as long as the solution addresses the challenge specifications. The only exception to this policy is for projects that find a commercialization path for University IP. See the guidelines regarding University IP here.



  1. Round 1- Virtual Selection: By 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday November 6th, each team must log into Startup Compete and submit a link to their technology solution, an executive summary of up to 5 pages, and a 5-minute pitch presentation (specs for these as described above). Judges will choose the top three entries* in each of the three categories and award cash prizes to those teams.

  2. Round 2- Virtual Selection: Judges will choose the top 5 teams out of all of the submissions, and those teams will be eligible for Round 3.

  3. Round 3- Live Judging: The 5 teams selected in Round 2 will be asked to travel to New Orleans for the final judging event on Friday, November 23rd, 2018** (travel stipends will be provided), where they will be allotted a maximum of 6 minutes, plus 4 minutes for Q&A, to present their project to a panel of judges who will choose the first place team based on innovation, business model development and technical achievement. The first place team will win the grand prize of $10,000.

* Judges reserve the right to modify the number of teams selected.

**The agenda for the live pitch competition will be announced, though attendees should plan on allocating Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM for BizTech activities.


Your chance to win

The winning teams of the Challenge will receive the following cash prizes, split equally between the team members.  Any changes in the allocation of prize money to team members must be sent in writing by the faculty coach*.

  • Category Prizes: The top three teams selected by the judges in each of the three categories (Engineering & Robotics; Energy, Environmental & Agricultural Technologies; and Digital Technologies & Software) will receive the following cash prizes:

1st Place:  $1,000

2nd Place:  $500

3rd Place:  $250

  • Grand Prize: The 1st place team selected by the judges at the live pitch competition will win the grand prize of $10,000, in addition to their category prize.

  • Bayou Classic Tickets: The team members from the 5 teams chosen for the final judging event in New Orleans will also each receive a complimentary ticket to the Bayou Classic game on Saturday, November 24th.

  • Travel Costs: Each of the five teams selected for the final judging event in New Orleans will receive three complimentary hotel rooms near the venue for each night, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, as well as a travel voucher of $200 per team to cover meals, gas and parking.

*Note that you may be required to submit a W9 to receive your award. Taxes are the sole responsibility of the recipient. 




  • Keep working on your LinkedIn profile to collect recommendations, add accomplishments and stand out to potential employers and business partners.

  • Use the mentor and other connections you gained in the program to seek out internships and employment opportunities.

  • If you'd like your contact information released to our sponsors and partners to learn more about internship or employment opportunities, please indicate this on your Startup Compete registration.

  • Connect with NexusLa for additional help in building your business.


Contact us at 225-218-1100 or

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To download a PDF version of the Official BizTech Challenge Rules, click the link below.