SEP Strive!


Multiple locations

A series of regional events, designed to embed the SEP business “pitch” qualifiers into an agenda full of some of our favorite interactive educational experiences. In addition to providing students an opportunity to present their ideas to entrepreneurs, business coaches, and funders with the hope of advancing to SEP Thrive (State Competition), Strive introduces non-competing students to local startup resources and the basics of market research and critical soft skills (e.g., communication, networking).


There is a per-school maximum of 10 presentations for each regional qualifier. Schools with a greater number of entries are encouraged to host an in-house pre-qualifier if necessary.

Next Steps for Students:

  1. Do I need to individually register? YES! All students, regardless of whether competing individually or as part of a team, will need to individually register before the submission deadline of April 15. The student registration link is
  2. Does my video need to be a specific file type? YES! Please make sure that your video is submitted as one of the following file types: MP4, MOV, AVI, M4V.
  3. How do I submit my video? You have a couple options: email me a link (e.g., Dropbox, YouTube) or directly send me the video file through a free service like
  4. When will I find out if I won? The final judging results will be sent to your teachers on April 22.


Divisions1st Place2nd Place3rd Place
1. Concept
2. Startup
(“Up & Running”)

Rules & Regulations

  • Come dressed to present!
  • Presenters may work/present individually or as part of a team (maximum of 4 members).
  • Presenters will have up to 7 minutes to present.
  • Presenters are encouraged to use physical handouts, visuals, or illustrations as needed.
  • Presentations will be divided into 2 divisions:
    • Division 1. Concept (“Pre-Launch” business ideas w/o revenue)
    • Division 2. Startup (“Up & Running” businesses w/ revenue)
  • The weighted average of the competition’s judging results will be used to determine rankings and associated awards.

Download and review the SEP judging Rubric below…


Presenting a Business Plan?

  • There is no required Business Plan template or format for the competition.
  • Recommended components, however, include:
    • Cover Sheet
    • Table of Contents
    • Executive Summary
    • Business Description
    • Marketing Plan (e.g., market research, product/service benefits, description and number of customers, evaluation of competition, advertising strategy)
    • Operational Plan (e.g., location requirements, legal considerations such as licenses/permits/insurance, personnel requirements, potential suppliers)
    • Management Plan (e.g., job titles, position descriptions)
    • Financial Plan (e.g., projected cash flow, startup cost, exit strategy)
    • Appendix (e.g., relevant articles, pictures, floor plans, menus.)
    • Résumé(s)
  • For assistance with layout or content questions, consult the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) or SCORE websites. Additionally, industry-specific templates and examples may be found online through sites like