Connect with the Crowd – You are permitted to work individually or in teams of up to 3 people, at least one of whom must be enrolled in the January Immersion. Please refer to the Immersion 1 and Immersion 2 channels in Slack for updates about the competition. We will use a public DI Platform page to showcase your proposed initiatives and enable you to gather feedback from HBAPers and the broader Harvard network. You can also post a link to your DI Platform entry in the Entrepreneurship and Incubation Lab Slack channels to get advice from peers and find teammates.

Please also be aware of the following competition policies: a) each student should only be officially affiliated with one submission and b) for finalists, one participant from each team will deliver the pitch in order to streamline the logistics of the event.

In addition to the availability of peer feedback, our stellar teaching fellows Marily Nika ( and Lauren Moores ( have offered to advise teams on their pitches. Please feel free to reach out to them as needed!

Craft a Perfect Pitch – In 10-12 slides, describe your entrepreneurial idea or proposed change initiative in a way that demonstrates the solution’s value to your audience. As with the personal cases in DSI, change initiatives can be generalized as a recommended strategy for Company X, operating in Y industry, and no sensitive internal information should be shared. Similarly, HBAP’s Community Values and Academic Honesty policies apply – any entrants who violate the integrity of the competition may be disqualified, so we ask that you uphold these values at all times. Remember, selected finalists will only have 10 minutes to present to our panel of judges, and must include the following details in their proposal:

  • Team members (individual submissions accepted)
  • Problem statement – clearly articulate why your solution is needed
  • Proposed solution – how will you meet this need?
  • Value proposition – what benefits are derived from addressing the problem, for both the organization and its target market?
  • Implementation plan – indicate the steps you will take to make this solution viable, including plans for scaling and contingencies to address potential pitfalls

If you need help getting started, this template (Google slides file, for Powerpoint click here) from the HBAP short course might help to formulate your pitch.

Submit Your Pitch – Please Read Carefully – You will submit your pitch by logging into this platform in the upper right corner of the screen and submit via the Submit link on the Rounds page. If you cannot recall your password from when you submitted your DSI Personal Case, you can perform a password reset.

Important: You must load your slides in one by one as exported PowerPoint images and not as a link to an existing PowerPoint deck. For each slide, you have the opportunity to provide context and notes for each image to the judges and audience. A video illustrating the recommended upload steps can be found below. (Note: the steps should be identical for Macs and PCs.)

You will be able to edit and upload revised versions of your presentation until December 18 at 5 p.m. ET. Submissions will be open for comments and revision until that date, so you can incorporate any edits throughout that window, with only the final submission formally reviewed for selection.

Finalist Selection – Three submissions will be selected by HBAP co-chairs Karim Lakhani and David Parkes to present their pitch via Zoom in the final round of the competition. Finalists will be notified of their selection by early January 2021, and are permitted to make additional minor edits prior to the final round. Practice Zoom sessions with peers or advisors who can offer thoughtful feedback are encouraged, and will prove helpful in keeping the presentation precise, on topic, and within the 10-minute time limit.

The Championship Bout – Final contenders will present their pitch before a panel of guest judges at 5:30 p.m. ET on January 13. These judges are experts in their fields, and will provide contestants with valuable feedback and suggestions to aid in making their endeavors a success. To give ample time for the judge’s responses, the 10-minute time limit will be strictly adhered to, so it is recommended that pitches with multiple team members designate one person to control screen sharing of the presentation over Zoom. The schedule for these presentations will be as follows:

  • Welcome and Competition Overview
    • Introduction of Judges
    • Selected Finalists and Honorable Mentions
    • Reminder of Final Round Outline: Presenter and Audience Expectations
  • Presentation 1
    • Judges: Questions and Comments
  • Presentation 2
    • Judges: Questions and Comments
  • Presentation 3
    • Judges: Questions and Comments
  • Deliberation/Audience Q&A
  • Announcement of Winners

This Zoom session will be open to all members of the HBAP community, but the audience will remain muted throughout the presentations. Chat will be available for HBAPers to provide encouragement and questions, which will then be consolidated and relayed to presenters during the Audience Q&A while judges deliberate.

Announcements congratulating the winner(s) will be posted shortly after the session to both Slack and the DI Platform, and HBAP will reach out to the winner(s) with details about receiving their prize.