What is Crab Pot?

Crab Pot is a Southern Maryland pitch contest. 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 also 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 doing. Entrepreneurs get to practice their pitches and win cash prizes… and a bushel of crabs!

What is the format?

On Thursday, April 11th at 6:00PM, we will conduct the Speed Round. All qualifying contestants will participate. Each contestant will have 90 seconds to provide an elevator pitch. This event will be held in a location central to Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties. Stay tuned for specific venue information. The audience will select all 5 finalists that will compete in the Crab Pot Finals.

On Thursday, May 9th at 6:00PM, we will conduct the Crab Pot Finals. The venue for the finals will be announced soon. Please stay tuned for details. Each of the finalists will have 5 minutes to pitch their idea in front of a panel of judges and the audience. The judges will determine the winner and runner-up of the finals

Who can attend Crab Pot?

Crab Pot is open to the public. Coordinators would appreciate registration for the event at the SMIT Meetup site, but it is not required.

Who can compete in Crab Pot?

Anyone 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 How to Compete.

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. So, take advantage of the opportunity!

And yes, there are prizes.

I have a great idea. How do I compete?

Go here.

What are the competition rules?

They are pretty basic. See our Rules page.

What is the deadline for entries?

The deadline for registration is April 6, 2018.

Who are the judges?

We provide experienced investors and financial professionals to judge the pitches.

If you are interested in being a judge, please email us at CrabPot@PaxSpace.org.

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. Don’t get us wrong – we believe in a well thought out approach to your business venture. We promote the use of a “Business Model Canvas” to quickly organize your thoughts into a model that you can build and evaluate quickly.

Is there a mailing list for updates?

Send an email to CrabPot@PaxSpace.org with “Subscribe” in the email title. We will try to keep you informed of our progress and any changes as we approach the event.

When and where is Crab Pot?

There are two events.

The Speed Round will be held on April 11 at 6:00PM

The Crab Pot Finals will be held on May 9 at 6:00 PM.

Venues for both events will be announced soon.

Prizes you say? What are these 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!

Oh, and $5,000 and other goodies.

Prize packages grow every year. Stay tuned!

Who coordinates Crab Pot?

Crab Pot is a joint venture of the Southern Maryland Innovation and Technology (SMIT) meetup and PaxSpace.

What is PaxSpace?

PaxSpace Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, member-operated Makerspace, where people can meet and work on their projects. For more information, visit our website.

What is SMIT?

Southern Maryland Innovation & Technology (SMIT) is an initiative to promote and foster the growth of innovative technology businesses in Southern Maryland. Visit our meetup page.

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 donating,

  1. Visit our PaxSpace website and click on the “Donate” button at the bottom of the page
  2. Enter the amount that you would like to contribute and then enter “Crab Pot” in the Description field at Checkout (on the next page after you select Continue).

For more sponsorship opportunities, email us at CrabPot@PaxSpace.org.

Can I volunteer to help with the event?

The best way to volunteer your time to support the event is to come up with a great idea and compete. We recognize that not everyone will take advantage of this opportunity, though. There are many opportunities to help with the event, including marketing, staffing the event floor, and being a judge. Email CrabPot@PaxSpace.org if you are interested in volunteering.

How often are these contests held?

The first Crab Pot event was held in May of 2015. We intend for the event to be 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?

We encourage you to practice your pitch and actively solicit critical feedback. We are here to help. Visit our Resources page for more information. Also, check out the SMIT meetup page for pitch coaching events.