What is Crab Pot?

The Crab Pot Pitch Competition is Southern Maryland’s premier pitch competition for entrepreneurs with cutting edge, disruptive and innovative technologies. Made popular by television shows like ABC’s “Shark Tank,” pitch contests provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to present their ideas to a panel of judges or investors in front of an audience.

Crab Pot provides an opportunity for the community to celebrate the efforts of local entrepreneurs and innovators. Audience members get to see what entrepreneurs in Southern Maryland are up to. Crab Pot provides an opportunity for the community to celebrate the efforts of local entrepreneurs and innovators. Audience members get to see what entrepreneurs in Southern Maryland are up to. Entrepreneurs get to practice their pitches and win cash prizes. This year will be the 6th annual competition! The winner receives $5,000 + a bushel of crabs, while the runner up receives $1,000.

This year Southern Maryland Innovates will be organizing the 6th Annual Crab Pot Pitch Competition.

What is Southern Maryland Innovates?

The mission of Southern Maryland Innovates is to grow and connect the innovation and technology entrepreneurship community in Southern Maryland. And to serve as the connective hub between various groups that represent a casual and high impact opportunity to meet people interested in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Southern Maryland. This group hosts monthly meetups on the 2nd Thursday of every month. Learn more here.

Furthermore, the Southern Maryland Innovates Team is comprised of representatives from TEDCO, Small Business Development Center, NAWCAD Tech Transfer Office, Gaia Wrx LLC, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, College of Southern Maryland, Calvert County Department of Economic Development, and St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development.

All competitors have access to assistance from these resource providers to assist in preparing for this competition. All competitors, win or lose, will also have access to these resource providers after the competition.

How do I enter the competition?

Register on this site. You must attend the Speed Round Qualifiers on Thursday, April 9th, 2020 at 6:00pm at the TechPort Business Incubator. All qualifying contestants will participate.

The 5 finalists from the Speed Round will advance to the Crab Pot Finals in May.

When is the registration deadline?

April 2nd, 2020

Who can attend Crab Pot?

Crab Pot is open to the public. We would appreciate registration for the event at the Southern Maryland Innovates Meetup site or on Eventbrite, however, it is not required.

Who can compete in Crab Pot?

Anyone with a cutting edge, disruptive and innovative technology can register to compete! Pitches can be for new business ventures, products, or processes. Individuals can pitch ideas for brand new businesses. Existing enterprises can pitch ideas for new products. See Contest Information.

Why should I compete?

Great product and idea pitches are critical to the growth of any business, but especially startups. Pitches are used to make sales, obtain financing, and build relationships. This is an opportunity to practice your pitch and receive valuable feedback to help you improve your odds of success. There are also likely to be more than a couple potential investors in the audience. There are also cash prizes!

I have a great idea. How do I compete?

See Contest Information.

What are the competition rules?

See our Rules page.

What is the deadline for entries?

The deadline for registration is April 2, 2020.

Who are the judges?

We provide experienced investors and financial professionals to judge the pitches. The names will be released closer to competition time.

If you are interested in being a judge, please email us at somdinnovates2020@gmail.com.

What are the judging criteria?

Generally, judges evaluate your pitch using criteria in four categories.

Viability of the Business Concept. “How mature is the plan?”

Degree of Innovation. “How novel is the idea?”

Quality of the Pitch. “How well is the plan presented?”

Economic Impact. “What is the potential impact on our community?”

Visit our Rules page for more information.

Do I need a business plan to compete?

No. Crab Pot is not business plan contest. We promote the use of a “Business Model Canvas” to quickly organize your thoughts into a model that you can build and evaluate quickly. We will have sample slide decks available. Please contact us.

When and where is Crab Pot?

The Speed Round Qualifiers will be held on April 19th at 6:00PM at the TechPort Business Incubator.

The Crab Pot Finals will be held on May 14th at 6:00 PM at the Calvert Marine Museum.

What are the prizes?

The large majority of sponsorship funding goes toward the prize packages we offer. The winner also receives a bushel of Southern Maryland steamed crabs!

  • The winner receives $5,000 + a bushel of crabs
  • Runner up received $1,000

Who coordinates Crab Pot?

In the past, Crab Pot has been a joint venture of the Southern Maryland Innovates and PaxSpace. However, this year Southern Maryland Innovates is will be organizing the Crab Pot Pitch Competition this year.

How is Crab Pot funded?

Crab Pot is sponsored by local government and industry sponsors that are interested in growing our local entrepreneurial community. See more at our Home page for sponsors.

How can I contribute to the effort?

It takes a lot of effort and money to plan and coordinate a successful Crab Pot event. Donations are greatly appreciated. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities.

Please email us at somdinnovates2020@gmail.com.

Can I volunteer to help with the event?

The best way to support the event is to come up with a great idea and compete!

However, there are many opportunities to help with the event, including marketing, staffing the event floor, and being a judge.

Email somdinnovates2020@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering.

How often are these contests held?

Annually during the month of May.

I competed last year. Can I compete again?

Absolutely! We strongly encourage previous competitors to compete in Crab Pot competitions. We look forward to seeing your progress.

Can someone help me with my pitch?

Of course! We strongly encourage you to practice your pitches. Pitch in front of friends, family, pets, whatever.

Southern Maryland Innovates is hosting a “Polish your Pitch” Session on Thursday March 12th.

If you are interested in practicing your pitch at this event, please complete this Pitching Interest Form.

To learn more about this event RSVP here.

There will be industry experts present to listen to your pitches, review slide decks, and provide feedback.