Details and application for Duke It Out Youth Pitch Competition

By | January 24, 2018

The Martinsville Chamber presents the Duke It Out Pitch Competition for 7-12th graders

About the Competition

How does it work: Students will have 3 minutes to give live, verbal pitches to a group of local judges. Students can use notes and props during their pitches, but will not be allowed to use PowerPoint or video. Judges will select the top 3 pitches. The first-place finisher will receive $250, the second-place winner will receive $100, and the third-place finisher will receive $50!

We’re here to help! The practice session will be held on Thursday, February 8th, 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Martinsville Chamber offices inside the Main Connection at 460 S. Main St. (former school admin building). Mentors will be available to help you with your pitch and go over the rules of the competition. You may contact Jamie Taylor at or 765.342.8110 if you have any questions.


Definition of a Pitch

On the day of the Duke it Out Pitch Contest, we’ll be asking you to give what’s called an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a short summary, usually given in verbal form, to quickly and simply explain a business or idea in an engaging way. The term ‘elevator pitch’ comes from the idea that if you meet someone who could be important to your business unexpectedly, that you need to be able to summarize your business idea in under 3 minutes (the length of an elevator ride) in a way that grabs their attention and makes them want to continue the conversation. The goal of an elevator pitch is not to give the listener every single detail of your business idea, but to help them understand what the business is about and its potential value.

For examples of good elevator pitches, visit and click the link at the top of the page that says ‘Pitch Examples’ or scroll down to the bottom of the page.

5 Parts of the Pitch –  Asking yourself the bulleted questions below each of the five parts will help you to formulate your pitch.  The judges will be looking for answers to these questions, either during your pitch or as part of the Q & A immediately following your presentation.

  1. The Problem and Opportunity
  • Who are you and what is the name of your company?
  • Is it a product (something you make) or service (something you do for someone)? What kind? 
  • What problem are you solving, what need are you going to meet? Why should I care about what you’re selling me? 
  1. What makes your solution unique? What differentiates your product or service from the products and services that already exist to address this problem?
  • What are the features of your product or service? How will I use it? What does it look like? What does it feel like?
  • What are the benefits to your customers? How will they benefit from it?  What’s in it for them if they buy from you?
  • Why should I buy from you instead of someone else? 
  1. The target customer (who else might be experiencing this problem or pain point)?
  • Who will use your product? How old are they? Where do they live?  Are they married or single? Do they have kids?  How much income do they need to afford your product? Does their education level matter?
  • How many people fall into your target market?
  1. How will you make money (business model)?
  • How will you market your business? How will you advertise?
  • How much will your product or service cost? How will you charge for it… (what quantity, payment options)?
  • How many do you think you can sell?
  • How much money do you think you can make each year?
  1. Conclusion (what do you need to make it happen or tagline)
  • If your business has a catchy, memorable tagline you can include it here

Competition Rules

  1. All participants must be 7th – 12th grade students who are enrolled for the Spring 2018 semester in the MSD of Martinsville, Tabernacle Christian School or a homeschool in the MSD of Martinsville district.
  2. Any illegal or inappropriate business ideas will be automatically disqualified.  Please avoid the use of inappropriate language.
  3. Students may register for the competition as a team, but teams cannot exceed two people. If prizes are won, teams will split prizes equally.
  4. If students win 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place, they will write a thank you note to Duke Energy and will have a meeting within 1 month after the pitch competition with staff from the Martinsville Chamber or designated mentors.
  5. No copyrighted materials may be used unless permission has been granted.
  6. Any individual may pitch only one idea. If the individual is on a team, they may pitch 1 additional idea as long they pitch a different idea than the one that is pitched by their team.
  7. All participants will be given 3 minutes to give a verbal pitch to a group of judges. Pitches will be given in verbal format; only notes and props may be used.  PowerPoint presentations and videos will not be permitted.
  8. Please dress appropriately in business professional clothing (no jeans with holes or hoodies, please).

Download Duke It Out Application

Download Duke It Out Pitch Information