About the Big Pitch

The Big Pitch is a student entrepreneurship program run by the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CEI), a business incubator located on the GateWay Community College Campus in Phoenix, Arizona. This annual program takes place during Maricopa County Community College District’s Spring Break, from March 15th – 19th, 2021.

Students across the district are invited to apply to program and represent their college. The winner of the competition will receive over $20,000 in cash and business services, plus access to CEI’s business advisors, private events, and facilities for one year. The goal of this program is to help one Maricopa Community College student hone their business skills and give them access to professional development resources. If you have what it takes to compete, please reach out to your college's faculty contact (listed below) to find out specific deadlines and how they plan to select a candidate.

Qualification Requirements

In order to be accepted into The Big Pitch program, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:

  • You are able to attend the accelerator week from March 15 – 19 and the pitch competition on Wednesday, March 24th
  • You are enrolled in at least 3 credits at your college during the spring semester
  • You have a basic business plan for your idea OR you've recently launched a business and are looking for guidance and support to help it grow

Selection Process

Each college in the Maricopa Community Community College District has a unique selection process that is determined by a designated faculty or staff member. Once you have submitted your application, that individual will receive and review your application accordingly. They will then select a semifinalist to represent their college, and all applicants will be notified of their acceptance or denial into the program by March 8, 2021. 

There are 10 seats available in The Big Pitch accelerator program and pitch competition (one per college). If you have questions about how your school plans to handle the application process, please reach out to your college's Big Pitch representative below.




Competition Details


Lana Short
Lisa Farmer



Estrella Mountain

Kortney Song




Tina Wixom




Gabriela Cojanu


GCC Innovation Challenge


Dan Piercy



Paradise Valley

Kishore Dash


PVCC Innovation Challenge


Dawson Dopp
Sherlyn Celaya




Sue Sandblom


SCC Big Pitch Competition

South Mountain

Bruce McHenry



Rio Salado

Dr. Lily Davidov


Rio Salado Nomination Event

Participant Expectations

Please read through the following information to ensure that you are willing to commit to participating in The Big Pitch and contact your college's designated faculty contact before submitting your application.

Important Deadlines & Dates

All participants will be expected to meet the deadlines listed below and must be available from March 15 - 19, 2021, and on the evening of March 24, 2021. Participants are required to attend the accelerator and pitch competition to be eligible for the grand prize.

October 1, 2020

The Big Pitch application submissions open

March 1, 2021

Applications close (please note, your college may have a different deadline. Please reach out to your college's faculty contact to verify)

March 8, 2021

Registration forms are sent to selected candidates

March 12, 2021

Student registration forms are due

March 15 – 19, 2021

The Big Pitch accelerator takes place each day

March 24, 2021

The Big Pitch live competition takes place



Before filling out this form, please reach out to your college's designated faculty contact to learn about your school's selection process.