Contest Rules

This page contains the rules, format, and judging criteria of the Crab Pot Pitch Contest.


  1. All registrations must be received by April 2, 2020.
  2. Anyone with a cutting edge, disruptive and innovative technology can register to compete. Pitches can be for new business ventures, ideas, products, or processes.
  3. All contestants must be physically present at the events to pitch and to win.
  4. All presentations must be PowerPoint.
  5. Contestants must compete in the Speed Round Qualifiers to be eligible to compete in the finals.
  6. Contestants have 90 secondsto present one slide during the Speed Round.
  7. A panel will select four finalists and the audience will select one finalist from the Speed Rounds.
  8. Final presentations must be received by May 7, 2020.
  9. Finalists have 5 minutesto present their primary presentations during the Final Round.
  10. Finalists may present as many slides as they want (we suggest 4-6).
  11. Finalists have 4 minutesto answer questions from the judges, after initial presentation.
  12. The Southern Maryland Innovates reserve the right to eliminate an applicant from the competition based on submissions that are deemed improper in any way.

Contest Format

The competition is divided into two parts.

  1. Speed Round Qualifiers
    1. Hosted April 9th 6:00PM at the TechPort Business Incubator
    2. Contestants will have 90 secondsto present a single slide
    3. The moderator will stop each contestant at 90 seconds.
    4. At the conclusion of the Speed Round, the panelists and audience will vote. Panelists will select four finalists and the audience will select one finalist.


  1. Crab Pot Finals
    1. Hosted May 14th 6:00PM at the Calvert Marine Museum
    2. Finalists will each have 5 minutes to present their pitches to a panel of judges at the Crab Pot Finals
    3. At the conclusion of each pitch, contestants may respond to questions posed by the judges for no more than 4 minutes.
    4. Winners will be announced

Judging Criteria

The judges evaluate pitches using criteria in four categories.

Viability of Business Concept (How mature is the plan?)

  1. Has the market been validated?
  2. Is the technology feasible?
  3. Does the basic financial model work?
  4. Do the value propositions discriminate the model from the competition?

Degree of Innovation(How novel is the idea?)

  1. How “revolutionary” is the underlying technology?
  2. How “revolutionary” is the underlying business concept?
  3. How mature is the technology?
  4. To what extent does this solve a real problem?

Quality of the Pitch (How well is the plan presented?)

  1. Is the idea presented clearly?
  2. Are the value propositions presented clearly?
  3. Does the presentation address the judging criteria?
  4. Is there an “ask”?

Potential for regional business growth (How does the business affect the local economy?)

  1. Does successful implementation create jobs in the region?
  2. What kinds of jobs will be created?
  3. Will the business be located in the region?
  4. Does this create other opportunities for local economic growth?