The Kaplan Pitch Tank is the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship’s business plan competition, where students who have advanced innovation projects into viable business models can compete and share their purpose and passion for the problem that they are solving with a panel of friendly sharks—investors and entrepreneurs from Chicago and the Illinois Institute of Technology alumni community.  

The Kaplan Pitch Tank runs in collaboration with Illinois Tech student organization Intinium.

To qualify for the Kaplan Pitch Tank, a startup must have participated in our Startup Accelerator and be selected as one of its five finalists. Each startup must also have at least three founders, at least one of whom is a current Illinois Tech student. All Illinois Tech students can apply to participate in the Startup Accelerator. 

The scoring criteria for Kaplan Pitch Tank is as follows: 

  1. Problem-solution fit
  2. Competitive advantage (technology or other)
  3. Business model and market traction
  4. Team and ability to execute

Three teams are selected as winners and compete for more than $50,000 in cash prizes. In addition, all Illinois Tech student startups are given an opportunity to share their team’s elevator pitch and compete for more cash prizes in the Audience Choice Competition.

Important Dates (Need to be updated?)

  • Fall semester: Take the Startup Studio’s Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program course, Startup Launch
  • November 18: Applications due to enroll in the Startup Accelerator
  • December 2: Startup Accelerator teams selected
  • January: Startup Accelerator launches
  • March 31–April 14: Pitches begin, with five finalists selected to participate in the Kaplan Pitch Tank
  • April 21: Kaplan Pitch Tank