The 2021 PitchFork Challenge: Money and Momentum

Please fill out the Correct Hannah Grimes Intake form based on the county you live in :

If you’re unsure if you should apply – come talk to us! Or if you’ve never pitched before and are nervous about talking about your business- don’t worry! Our program director and a team of SBDC coaches will help you develop your presentation and practice with you. Don’t think “Shark Tank”. This is a very supportive and friendly pitch competition. The PitchFork Challenge is a great opportunity to get your business name out to a wider audience, meet new people who are building a business just like you and others who like to support small businesses and build a skill of talking about your business in a clear and succinct way.

If you are not able to answer or supply the required documents for the application, please let us know ( as we can help develop the materials with you.

Who’s eligible?

The PitchFork Challenge is open to any resident and business that is located in an NH town with a population of 30,000 or less:

Rural Small Business Track:

  • Business must be for-profit and is currently earning revenue
  • May not have won the PitchFork Challenge Rural Small Business Track in previous years
  • May not have raised more than $250,000 in funding
  • May not have earned more than $250,000 in past year revenue

What will I win?

  • $10,000
  • Print and digital media coverage in The Keene Sentinel

Winner Requirements:

  • Complete a business form for three years after the award is received
  • Document the first year with photos if applicable the use of the award and the impact of the award
  • Be available for social media, blog, and website marketing and promotion

How do I enter and what is required?

Round 1: Application is due by the end of business day on Monday, July 19th, 2021

  • Those who are accepted into the PitchFork Challenge will be required to attend a Pitching overview with SBDC on Wednesday, July 28th, 2021 12 pm – 1 pm (Via ZOOM)
  • August 9th, 9 am- 3 pm & August 10th, 9 am – 3 pm: Each participant is required to book an appointment on one of the two days for 90 minutes of pitch training and coaching.

Round 2: Required live Closed Round pitch event on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, 5 pm – 7 pm at the Hannah Grimes Center- participants will present their 6-minute pitch to a panel of judges

  • Up to two people may be eliminated
  • Semi-finalists will be notified of their status before the semi-finals live PitchFork Challenge Event

Round 3: Required Semi-Finals event on Thursday, September 1, 2021 – semi-finalists will prepare and present their 6-minute pitch to the judges and audience.

  • Up to two people may be eliminated.
  • Thursday, September 7, 2021 – Finalists for the rural small business track will meet with judges for Q&A and further develop their final pitch at 5:00 PM -7:00 PM by appointment

Round 4: Required: The PitchFork Challenge final event on Thursday, September 22, 2021, during the Radically Rural Summit

  • Live pitch to the judging panel and live audience

How will I be judged?

You will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Traction
  • Team
  • Product
  • Market
  • Community benefit
  • Pitch – pitch performance

Important Dates For PitchFork Challenge Presenters (REQUIRED for Participation):

  1. Monday, July 19th, 2021: The application is due by end of the business day. See the list of questions here.
  2. Wednesday, July 28th, 2021 12 pm – 1 pm (Via ZOOM): Pitch Overview
  3. Monday, August 9th – Tuesday, August 10th, 2021, 9:00 am-3 pm: Pitch Clinic with NHSBDC- each participant will be scheduled one 90-minute timeslot to work on their pitch with a team of advisors (in person by appointment)
  4.  August 11th- August 18th: Follow-Up at least once with your SBDC advisor for 1:1 pitch support (Via Zoom)
  5. Wednesday, August 18, 2021, 5 pm – 7 pm: Round 1: Closed event with a live pitch to the panel of judges (in-person)
  6. Monday, August 30, 2021, 9 am – 5 pm (in person by appointment): Tech check and dress rehearsal of pitch
  7. Wednesday, September 1, 2021, 5:00pm – 7:00 pm: PitchFork Challenge semi-final event (in-person)
  8. Tuesday, September 7, 2021, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm (Zoom by appointment): Small Business Track finalists meet with the judges for Q&A
  9. Monday, September 20, 2021, 9 am – 5:00 pm (in person by appointment): Tech check and dress rehearsal of pitch
  10. Wednesday, September 22nd, 2:15 pm-4 pm: The PitchFork Challenge, the final live event will be held during the Radically Rural Summit (In Person)
  11. Wednesday, September 22nd,  5:30 pm-7:30 pm: Announcement Ceremony of the winners will be during the CONNECT event. Finalists will need to register for the CONNECT event. (In Person)
Apply Today!