PCV Ideathon Official Rules

The PCV Ideathon is an annual student climate tech pitch competition hosted by Penn Climate Ventures at the University of Pennsylvania. The PCV Ideathon will open on 9/9 and run until 10/26. Competitors will pitch a business plan to address a climate issue. Competitors will receive access to mentorship opportunities with experienced investors and operators in the space. The contest will be open and accessible to Penn students of all backgrounds — those without experience in climate entrepreneurship will have the opportunity to work with mentors to develop ideas to tackle challenges in climate space.

Challenge prompts will be provided to competitors to guide their project development. The top pitches will be awarded cash prizes in the intent of further developing their platforms.

2 pitches may be offered a chance to directly compete in the finalist round of the spring PCV Prize along with additional funding and mentorship support from the PCV team.

1. Eligibility

  • All competitors need to be Penn students that are currently enrolled or on a gap year with intention to be enrolled full time within the next 2 years.
  • Competition submissions can be made by 1 person or a team of up to 5 students. Teams will need to designate a team leader who will be the main point of contact.

2. Registration

  • All competitors on all teams need to be registered for the PCV Ideathon.
  • Registration closes on October 16, 2021 at 12:00 AM.
  • There is no limit on the number of competitors registered to compete. Some events hosted alongside the Ideathon may require separate registration; there may be participant limits for these events.

3. Submissions

All submissions are due October 26, 2021 at 4:00 AM ET. Once you feel ready, submit your team's deck and presentation here.

(We encourage teams to plan to submit early, in case of technical difficulties! The PCV team will not be available to help troubleshoot submissions after 8 PM on the 25th!)

Submissions need to be in response to a challenge prompt. Find this year’s challenge prompts here.

Submission requirements are as follows:

  • 1 pitch video (maximum 3:30 minutes)
  • The pitch deck used in your video
  • A completed submission form where you will be asked the following questions:

    • Your team name
    • Your team members: full names, headshots, school, graduation year, LinkedIn
    • Your team point of contact and their contact information
    • The challenge prompt you are answering
    • One-sentence description of your proposed solution
    • One-sentence summary of your inspiration, process, or mentorship experience
    • A climate-related meme you feel strongly about

We encourage submissions to:

  • Further contextualize the problem you are solving
  • Quantify and qualify the impact of your solution
  • Assess the competitive landscape
  • Propose a development plan and budget
  • Introduce us to your team!

4. Judging

Each pitch submission will be judged by a minimum team of 3 judges.

  • Please view the judge panel here
  • Please view the judging rubric here

All submissions will be reviewed and scored using the rubric. (We have a method for normalizing scores 🙂) Top teams based on rubric scores will enter final rounds of judge deliberations. Top 5 teams will be selected and awarded cash prizes. Two out of the 5 teams will have the chance to pursue the Continued Engagement Fund, a $1000 fund to cover materials costs for future development. These two teams will have the chance to compete directly in the Final Round of the PCV Prize in the spring.

5. Closing Ceremony

The closing ceremony which will take place on October 29th, 2021 at the ARCH building in room 208. Winning teams will be announced at the ceremony. Please email our organizing team for extenuating circumstances under which your team will not be able to attend!

6. Prizes

Prize Amounts:

  • 1st Place: $500
  • 2nd Place: $400
  • 3rd Place: $300
  • 4th Place: $200
  • 5th Mention: $100
  • Continued Engagement Fund: 1 team will be selected to have the opportunity to pursue an additional $1000 each to cover development costs should they continue to develop their pitch into a startup

Winning teams will be contacted directly to coordinate logistics for prize distribution.

7. Disqualification Circumstances

  • Teams may be disqualified on the basis of:

    • not meeting eligibility requirements
    • violating mentorship office hours terms