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External Competitions & Opportunities

Competitions held by other universities and organizations are a great way for Washington University entrepreneurs and ventures to win prizes and gain national recognition. Below is a list of competitions and opportunities that are currently open. If you have any questions about applying or need help with the application please schedule a venture development meeting, where a member of our team can help you through the process. 

  • Get up to $2500 to fund a grant writer for your SBIR (apply now) Missouri Small Business Development is offering a Phase 0 FAST Grant to fund up to $2500 toward a grant writer/consultant for your Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or STTR grant submission. Must have an SBIR/STTR grant-worthy technology and complete the necessary market and customer research to qualify. For more information reach out to our Innovation & Technology Counselor, Ed Lahue at
  •  BALSA Grant (apply by July 24) BALSA Grant designed for first-time St. Louis entrepreneurs wanting to start or grow their early stage business in St. Louis.  We welcome applications from all business sectors, and from non-profit as well as for-profit organizations. Submit your application for the chance to win $1,000, 10-week learning series, mentoring, and much more!
  • Startup Battlefield 200 (apply by July 31) TechCrunch editorial is curating a select set of founders to feature on the show floor at TechCrunch Disrupt in person in San Francisco this October 18-20. Out of thousands of applicants, 200 will be selected. From those, 20 will be selected for additional training and the opportunity to pitch on the Disrupt Stage as a Startup Battlefield Finalist company. TechCrunch is looking for early-stage startups, with a minimally viable product. Companies can hail from anywhere in the world and in any industry or vertical. 
  • Endless Frontier Labs (EFL) (apply by August 1) EFL’s mission is societal impact through science and technology through a nine-month performance-driven mentoring program to select startups, regardless of their location or affiliations. Participants receive unparalleled access to some of the world’s top business leaders, venture capitalists, and scientific experts to move their business forward and business development support from MBA students at New York University’s top-ranked Stern School of Business. EFL is suitable for early-stage science and technology-based startups that are looking to fundraise during the course of the program.

  • The TechCrunch Student Pitch Competition (apply by September 9)  Looking for the best student-led startups, both at the ideation stage with product/market fit and those that identify as scaleups. Opportunity to win a full-access pass to TC Disrupt 2022, TechCrunch’s three-day flagship event in San Francisco on October 18-20, and a free three-night stay in a San Francisco hotel.
  • .406 Ventures Student Fellowship (apply now for the fall cohort) A two-year program for exceptional student entrepreneurs. Selected students are given access to mentorship from experienced venture capitalists, $20k+ in vendor credits, and a dedicated network of founders. Only for students who have already started a company or plan to within the next two years. To apply, you must have at least two years left at your current academic institution.
  • Greater St. Louis Inc. Diverse Business Accelerator (apply now) For ethnically, racially, and gender-diverse business owners looking to advance their enterprise’s capacity to grow. In the span of three months, program participants will learn how to develop actionable business expansion goals, market and communicate their services, make meaningful business connections, and identify the capital and resources required to support growth.
  • Catapult (apply now) The Catalyst @ PennGSE virtual accelerator, Catapult transforms education entrepreneurship. From idea to scale, we help companies shape, develop, and deploy innovative, proven solutions to meet critical educational challenges. Catapult features high-quality educational content and tailored recommendations to help your venture take the next steps. Register for the chance to earn $25,000 in validation grants through Catapult's Advanced Member track.