FAQ

Everything you need to know about the SSC

Who is eligible to apply for the Competition?

You must be a NJ resident who is 18 years or older. If you are a business owner, your business must have an annual revenue of $250,000 or less. The Start Something Challenge is a program of Rising Tide Capital, a non-profit organization that partners with global and local supporters to grow strong businesses for the future benefit of families and communities.

When is the deadline for submission?

11:59 PM on Thursday, June 30, 2016.

What are the prizes?

$30,000 in Cash and Prizes!

  • First place- $10,000
  • Second place- $7,500
  • Third place- $5,000

There is also a People’s Choice prize of $1,000, and every non-placing finalist in the competition takes home an iPad. All prizes are presented, at the Start Something Champions Gala when all SSC finalists are honored. Gala details to follow.

Do I need video experience?

Absolutely not! All you need are original photos and ideas to create your free Animoto video.

What do I do after I submit my pitch?

What do I do after I submit my pitch? Share your video! The top six entrants in each sector with the most views by noon on July 6 will move onto the second round. Their videos will be placed on the Start Something Challenge website, for public voting between July 13 and July 19. The two videos with the most votes in each sector will move on to the Grand Finale where they will get to pitch their ideas before a panel of expert judges on July 28. The winners will be announced and celebrated at Rising Tide Capital’s Start Something Champions Gala on November 5.

Can I purchase Social Media Ads to promote my video?

No. Your video promotions must be completely organic. Rising Tide Capital provides free tutorials and workshops for all Challenge participants, to help you with tips and ideas for promoting your video. Any participants found to be cheating will immediately be disqualified from the competition.

Where can I learn more about starting or growing my business?

Rising Tide Capital offers a 12-week Community Business Academy in Essex and Hudson Counties, teaching entrepreneurs the nuts and bolts of starting a business. The class is tuition-free for anyone accepted through a competitive application process.

 

What are these business sectors?

When you enter the Start Something Challenge we ask you to opt into one of 5 sectors that best match your business or business idea. It’s a way for us to ensure that we are getting a good mix of businesses in the competition. Here is a listing of the 5 sectors and the kinds of businesses that have entered in each sector in the past:

  • Fashion & Beauty
    Accessories, Clothing, Cosmetics
  • Arts, Crafts & Entertainment
    Handmade Arts & Crafts, Music, Performance
  • Food
    Restaurants, Catering, Baked Goods
  • Public, Social & Health
    Education, Nonprofits, Social Enterprises, Holistic Living
  • Other Professional Services
    Finance, Logistics, Technology, Real Estate

How much does it cost to enter?

Entry is FREE

Why enter?

Aside from the obvious $10,000 first prize–business pitch competitions are one way to cultivate new relationships and generate cash – two important components to help start or grow your business. By competing in the Start Something Challenge, your business idea will receive valuable feedback from experts and celebrity judges, significant web and media exposure, as well as up to $10,000 to grow your business idea.

How does it work?

  • Sign up by sending an email to SSC@RisingTideCapital.org
  • Create a 30-second video using Animoto, to illustrate your business idea. Once you’re finished building your video export it to YouTube.
  • Create a short description of your business idea, product or service (150 words max)
  • Submit your entry on the Start Something Challenge website
  • After two rounds of online voting, ten finalists will be chosen to pitch their ideas live in front of a panel of experts and celebrity judges

What are some of the key dates in the 2016 Start Something Challenge?

  • 1/28 | JERSEY CITY– SHARE YOUR STORY: BRANDING BASICS
  • 2/11 | NEWARK– SHARE YOUR STORY: WORDS THAT SELL
  • 3/10 | JERSEY CITY– SHARE YOUR STORY: SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
  • 4/7 | ONLINE SHARE YOUR STORY: HOW TO LAUNCH A WEBSITE
  • 5/5 | JERSEY CITY– SHARE YOUR STORY: VIDEO MARKETING
  • 5/25 | NEWARK– START SOMETHING CHALLENGE VIDEO WORKSHOP
  • 6/6 | JERSEY CITY– START SOMETHING CHALLENGE VIDEO WORKSHOP
  • 6/13 | ONLINE-START SOMETHING CHALLENGE OFFICIAL LAUNCH
  • 6/23 | ONLINE-SHARE YOUR STORY: PR FOR SMALL BUSINESS
  • 6/30 | ONLINE-START SOMETHING CHALLENGE SUBMISSION DEADLINE
  • 7/6 | ONLINE– START SOMETHING CHALLENGE ONLINE VIEWING ENDS
  • 7/7 | NEWARK-START SOMETHING CHALLENGE KICK-OFF
  • 7/11-7/17 | ONLINE-START SOMETHING CHALLENGE SEMI-FINAL ROUND
  • 7/21 | JERSEY CITY– START SOMETHING CHALLENGE FINALIST PITCH TUTORIAL
  • 7/28 | JERSEY CITY– START SOMETHING CHALLENGE GRAND FINALE
  • 9/8 | NEW YORK CITY– START SOMETHING CHALLENGE SHOWCASE
  • 11/1 | JERSEY CITY– START SOMETHING CHAMPIONS GALA

Do I have to own a business?

No! Original business ideas are welcome.

What are the competition rules?

Read our disclaimer here.

MORE QUESTIONS?

Contact us at SSC@RisingTideCapital.org or 201-432-4316 Ext 110