Everything you need to know about the SSC

What is The Start Something Challenge: Earthrise Edition, and how is it different than last year?

[Based off of Tatyerra Copy]

What are these business sectors?

For The 2018 Start Something Challenge: Earthrise Edition we are asking you to think about the value your business provides to the Community. If accepted into the competition, you will be assigned to one of 5 business sectors: 

  • Food
    Entrepreneurs that are delivering food services and experiences, creating innovative food products, or re-educating their communities on food through activism and tourism
    Community Kitchens, Food Products, Restaurants, Food Education 
  • Health
    Entrepreneurs striving to optimize physical and mental wellness by creating affordable and effective methods for prevention, diagnosis and therapy for individuals and communities
    Fitness, Holistic Living, Medical Support
  • Sustainability
    Entrepreneurs working to sustain human life on the planet with businesses that create safe, clean, green solutions that optimize the Earth’s ecosystems
    Energy solutions, Environmental education or activism, Water
  • Community
    Entrepreneurs creating structures and access to information and experiences that connect people-whether in virtual or physical communities
    Construction, Real Estate, Learning, Security, Technology
  • Expression
    Entrepreneurs generating outlets for creativitiy within their communities, inspiring other humans to give meaning and value to each other’s lives.
    Fashion, Beauty, Art, Entertainment

How much does it cost to enter?

Entry is FREE

Why enter?

Aside from the obvious $5,000 prize–business pitch competitions are one way to cultivate new relationships, learn new skills and generate cash – three important components to help start or grow your business. By competing in the Start Something Challenge, your business idea will receive valuable feedback from expert judges, significant web exposure, as well as up to $5,000 to grow your business.

What do I do after I submit my application?

Wait to hear if you have been accepted as an Earthrise 50! Getting your clients ready to support you in the weeks prior to the voting period could really help you in the second round!

Can I purchase Social Media Ads to help me in the competition?

No. Your promotions must be completely organic. 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.


Who is eligible to apply for the Competition?

You must be a client of Rising Tide Capital with an open business making a positive impact on the community. 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 benefit of families and communities.

When is the deadline for submission?

Noon on Monday, June 11, 2018.

What are the prizes?

$25,000 in Cash Prizes!

There is one $5,000 prize in each of the five sectors, totaling $25,000.

All prizes are presented, at the annual RISE Celebration when all SSC finalists are honored. Event details to follow.

How does it work?

  • Check to see if your qualify.
  • Fill out the application by June 11 at noon.
  • Wait to see if you have been accepted as one of the Earthrise 50.
  • If you are accepted into the competition, between June 25 and July 2, promote your business profile to accrue votes.
  • After one round of online voting, three contestants in each sector will be chosen to pitch their ideas live in front of a panel of experts.
  • If you have questions, please email us at SSC@RisingTideCapital.org.

What are some of the key dates in the 2018 Start Something Challenge?

  • 6/11| Deadline to Submit Application
  • 6/25 – 7/2 | Voting Round
  • 7/12 | Pitch Tutorial
  • 7/19 | The Summit
  • 11/8 | RISE Event

Do I have to own a business?

Yes, though in previous years, this was not a requirement, this year we will only be accepting contestants who own open businesses (have completed at least one sale).

What are the competition rules?

You can find the official rules here.


Contact us at SSC@RisingTideCapital.org or 201-432-4316 Ext 106