Organization:1000 Pitches

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1000 Pitches is an entrepreneurial competition started by its founders, Ashwin L. and Israel V. As great ideas were developing out of the Bay Area (2007), both Ashwin and Israel realized that if the University of Michigan wanted to keep up with entrepreneurial methods, they would have to bring their ideas back to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Soon after this realization, Ashwin and Israel created a student organization called MPowered Entrepreneurship and, as a student group, generated the event called 1000 Pitches. 

The idea behind the 1000 Pitches event is to get students to "pitch" their entrepreneurial idea in a short clip on the internet. Pitches are divided into nine categories and winners are then elected in each of the categories. Each winner is awarded with $1,000 and must be currently enrolled at either University of Michigan - Ann Arbor or Pennsylvannia State University. 1000 Pitches is Ashwin and Israel's neat idea to help bring innovation back to campus and is currently in its sixth year (2013).


The MPowered Entrepreneurship student organization is aimed at achieving an entrepreneurial mindset and to bring students together to be a part of something different. It has been a great way create innovation and entrepreneurship on both campuses as it instills a sense of pride on campus and in the students selected as winners.This competition is a great way to network as well as it is fun to see all of the different videos. Currently, the pitches are being submitted and the goal is to reach over 4500 pitches (remember each person can only pitch 3 times).

Distinct Differences From Other Offerings

Business model competition:

  • Business model - does it suit consumer needs?
  • Process and validation
  • Tool students use
  • Adapt and change canvas - constantly evolving business model
  • Polish entrepreneurial ideas to have a successful process
  • 1st place gets $25,000 (28 awards available)
  • Well-funded

1,000 pitches:

  •  30 seconds to 3 minutes to pitch an idea
  •  Best pitch wins $1,000
  •  8 categories (winner per category)
  •  Help create innovation on campus in Pen state, University of Michigan (local, not international)

Engineers Without Borders:

  • Manage international engineering projects - worldwide impact
  • Relationships with other cultures
  • Create engineering designs
  • Lead and follow through with their designs
  • manage an organization - finances, fundraising, and relationships with faculty and donors
  • Get away from crunching numbers at a desk and work on real live projects
  • 5 year project commitment

Impact Achieved For Students and Campus

MPowered Entrepreneurship and 1000 Pitches have a very positive impact on the University of Michigan campus. In just their first semester (Fall 2007), MPowered held its own career fair, secured a community of over 700 students and built strong relationships with supporting faculty, alumni, and business leaders ( University of Michigan's MPowered Entrepreneurship student group is continually signing up new members each semester. It also has a large impact on the student body around the week of the competition. Students all over campus take pride in wearing "1KP" shirts, which also aids in promoting the organization and competition. 1KP places "Pitch Stations" across campus to give out merchandies to students who have previously entered or need information on how to pitch, which works great as a source of information. The 1000 Pitches event is still in the early stages for Penn State.

Notes About How the Event is Accomplished

The event occurs over the duration of one semester and restarts in the fall  of each academic year. The competition trains student judges, typically about 22 per competition, and  each student will judge pitches as they are submitted throughout the week. Each student judge has a quota of 150 per week. From this process, each pitch will actually be judged three times before the finale. The summit is where the top 200 pitches come together for a large social gathering and from there the sponsors of 1KP will choose the winners for each of the categories. 

Steps Required To Bring Resource to Campus

You would need to reach out to the Co-Director, whom is in charge of jugding as well as the expansion of 1KP. 

MPowered Entrepreneurship will need to see you have a great entrepreneurship team on campus and also your excitement in expanding the idea of entrepreneurship and innovation across your respective campus. 

Contact Information

Diego Calvo 
Co-Director of 1KP