HEARTLAND CHALLENGE STARTUP COMPETITION

The Heartland Challenge is designed to simulate the process of raising venture capital for a high-growth venture. This graduate student competition allows students to gain valuable experience and networking opportunities, while developing new ventures that may be based on their own ideas/technologies or those developed by others.

Heartland Challenge April 11-13, 2024 

Applications for the 2023 Heartland Challenge are now closed. If you submitted an application, you will be notified via email of your application's status by March 5.

 

Important Dates

January 8, 2024

Applications open

February 9, 2024        

Deadline to apply 

March 4, 2024

Notify semifinalist teams of selection

April 1, 2024

Business plans due


COMPETITION INFORMATION

Purpose

‍The Heartland Challenge is designed to mimic the real-world process of raising capital for a high-growth venture. The competition allows students to gain valuable experience and networking opportunities, while developing and building new ventures and technologies or those developed by others.  The spirit of the competition is to allow only ventures conceived and developed during the graduate school experience to participate. Competition directors and faculty advisers are responsible for ensuring and attesting that their teams meet these requirements. The teams are also responsible for ensuring their own eligibility.

 

Eligibility

‍The competition is for student-created, managed, and owned ventures. Students must play a major role in conceiving the venture by having key management roles and owning significant equity in the venture (50 percent or more of the equity allocated to the management team and key advisers). The objective of this rule is to exclude ventures formed and managed by non-students who have token student representation to compete. Read the official competition rules and policies HERE.

 

Team Composition

This is a competition for graduate students, however exceptional undergraduate teams will be considered. Students from any graduate program (not just MBAs) are eligible to participate, including executive and evening format programs. Non-students may be members of the venture's management team and may participate in planning the venture. However, only students may participate in the competition. 

The competition is overseen by the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

To sign up for updates on competition rules and requirements, please email Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Manager of Competitions, Maddy Stricklen, at startup@uark.edu.

Read the official competition rules and policies HERE.

Stay up to date on the Heartland Challenge: Subscribe to Competition Announcements


2023 COMPETITION RECAP


SPONSORSHIP

 

WFF logoThe Heartland Challenge is made possible by generous support from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation. The Heartland Challenge is the first global student startup competition held in the state of Arkansas.

 

 

For more information about sponsorships, contact Deb Williams (dswillia@uark.edu).

2024 Heartland Challenge Sponsorship Opportunities