Duke Start-Up Challenge 2012


Idea summaries due



Competition Organizer

Duke University

Submission Date


Business Plan Submission Date


Awards Date


Total Prize Cash (US Dollars)


Competition Category
  • Graduate - Local U.S.
  • Undergraduate - Local U.S.
Who's Eligible

Each team must have at least one currently registered Duke University student. No businesses generating revenues of over $50,000, or that have received institutional funding, are allowed to compete.

There are two types of tracks - Functional and Special-Interest. Teams can compete in only one functional track, but may compete in one or both of the Special Interest tracks (Women-led startups and Undergraduate-led startups) as long as they are eligible. 

Important Dates

Idea Summaries are due on February 9, 2012. 40 selected semi-finalists must submit written business plans by March 21, 2012. Seven finalists and seven runners-up will be selected on March 23, 2012. The Grand Finale will take place on April 20, 2012

Competition Prizes

Grand Prize winner: $50,000

Undergraduate-led Track winner - $10,000

Women-led Track winner - $10,000

Products & Services Track winner - $10,000

Social Enterprises Track winner - $1,000

Clean Energy Track winner - $5,000, plus eligibility for a spot in the $100,000 ACC Clean Energy Challenge

Other Info

The Duke Start-Up Challenge includes an Elevator Pitch Competition in November, an Executive Summary Competition in February, a Business Plan Competition in March and the DSC Grand Finale in April. Participants can compete in different functional tracks (Clean Energy, Health Care & Life Sciences, Information Technology & Media, Products & Services, Social Enterprises) and Special Interest tracks (Undergraduate-led Startups, Women-led Startups). A Pilot Track, the China-Focused Startups Track, is also open to entrants.