Duke Start-up Challenge


  • By October 23rd
  • Complete your application on our iStart competition page
    • You must submit:
      • An Idea Summary
        • Here is our Idea Summary template.  You are required to use this template.
        • This is the minimum deliverable to receive feedback.
    • To be eligible for the $5,000 in Fall prizes you will need to submit:
      • An Elevator Pitch Video (1-5 minutes in length)
        • Post it on YouTube and link to it in your application.  Must be publicly viewable.
      • There will be two $5,000 prize pools, one for students, one for alumni/staff/faculty teams



Local US Event
Durham, NC
Submission Date


Awards Date


Total Prize Cash (US Dollars)


Competition Category
  • Undergraduate - Local U.S.
  • Business - Local U.S.
  • Technology - Other
  • iStart
Who's Eligible

There are two competitions that run in parallel

  • Student Competition (winners selected, cash prizes)
  • Alumni / Faculty / Staff Competition (no winner selected, no cash prizes)

For the sake of simplicity, there is only one set of rules written. The rules below are written with students in mind, exceptions where noted.

Definition: "Duke Student": For the sake of cash prizes competition, "Duke Student" is defined as Duke undergraduate, graduate, professional students, but also includes postdocs and medical residents at Duke University.   For the separate alumni / faculty / staff competition, "Duke Student" the reader should substitute those words with "Duke Alumni / Faculty / Staff"

  • We realize that postdocs and medical residents are not technically students, but for the sake of this competition, they are considered to be so, and therefore, eligible. 
  • We also realize that some programs at Duke end during the middle of the academic year, and some students graduate from their programs early. For those that have just graduated during this current academic year (September through April), they retain their eligibility until the final event of that academic year.