AWEsome Business Competition
Rules & Timeline


The AWEsome Business Competition organizers recognize that no set of criteria can apply to every circumstance, therefore potential participants who feel they fit the spirit of the competition, but may be in minor violation of the eligibility criteria, may submit a petition to the AWEsome Business Competition organizers. Similarly, the organizers reserve the right to disqualify any team that it determines to be in violation of the spirit of the competition.

All decisions will be made by the AWEsome Business Competition organizers and are final.

Basic Rules

  • Location: Teams must be connected to Northern California and have the desire to locate here. Teams must agree that, if they successfully become a finalist, they will present in person at the final competition in the Arcata area.**

  • Team Size: Competing teams should consist of no more than five people.

  • Idea Direction: Ventures should be focused on Agriculture, Water, Energy, and (for the first time) something else!

  • Idea Impact: Ventures should consider their environmental and social impacts.

  • Rounds: The contest consists of two rounds. Preliminary round and final round.

Additional Rules

  • Ownership: If the company has allocated equity, then the participating team members must collectively own 20% or more of it.

  • Control: The team must control a minimum of 51% of the venture’s voting rights.

  • Nature of venture: Ventures cannot be a buyout, a real estate syndication, a tax shelter, a franchise, a licensing agreement for distribution in a different geographical area, or a spinout from an existing corporation. Licensing technologies from universities or research labs are encouraged, assuming they have not been commercialized previously. Ventures can be any scale from the idea stage to an existing company as long as the prize money would have a significant positive impact on the growth of the venture.

  • Language: English must be used in all competition submissions and presentations. However, all languages are encouraged for customer discovery, teamwork, etc. The AWEsome Business Competition would love to help find mentors in your preferred language.

Important Dates

All dates are subject to change. Workshops, Q&A sessions, speakers, and other events are shared via our social media and mailing list.


01febAll DayKickoff event


07marAll DayRound 1 Submission Deadline


09aprAll DayFinal Competition Submission Deadline

25aprAll DayFinal Pitch Event

Apply For The AWEsome Business Competition!

Fill out the simple application and sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date on the competition details!

Frequently Asked Questions

See our FAQ for answers and feel free to contact us with any questions!