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College of Health & Human Services

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Health & Human Services - Make a Difference Pitch Competition


The College of Health & Human Services is proud to announce the inaugural HHS Make a Difference Pitch Competition. The competition is aimed at inspiring innovation and solving real-world problems. Students of Health and Human Services have the opportunity to present ideas on how to improve their lives, and their community, by solving a real-world problem.

Besides a cash prize for the winner(s), the purpose of this event is to help students be career-ready, practice interview skills, and practice putting their ideas into a persuasive presentation. Entrants will gain practical experience in building a case for their social impact or for-profit venture, network with stakeholders, meet potential co-founders, and learn from experienced startup founders of the region.

The College of Health & Human Services pitch competition is run in partnership with the Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The Carlsen Center at Sacramento State is open to all students of the campus and their partners in the region. It provides comprehensive programing for the future entrepreneurs to move their ideas from dream to reality.

Key Dates

  • September 20: Pitch Competition launches

  • September 20: Pitch workshop/bootcamp at the Carlsen Center

  • September 24: Info Session 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Online application opens

  • October 1: Online application submission deadline

  • October 8: Semi Finalists Announced

  • October 22: Demo Day – Semifinalists pitch to a panel of judges. 1:30 p.m. at the Carlsen Center

How does it work?

  1. Ideas for both for-profit and not-for profit ventures will be summarized in a proposal and submitted electronically. Proposals will be evaluated by a panel of judges, and then semi-finalists will be announced.

  2. An info session will be held a week before the submission deadline for students to better prepare their entries.

  3. The Elevate Venture boot camp at the Carlsen Center (September 20-21st) is a great resource for semi-finalists to build on their idea further and improve their entries. Alternatively, they can attend an information session to get suggestions for improvement.

  4. Demo Day: Final round will be held as a Demo Day (in a “Shark Tank” like format). Qualifying entries will give a 5-minute pitch to a panel of judges and also have 2-5 minutes of Q/A.

  5. Finalists will be selected. There may be guest speakers and awards ceremony (possibly a mixer) in conjunction with the announcement of winners.

How to Sign Up

The first round of judging will be based on your application. A crisp and complete application will make for a better entry.  Finalists will be notified of their presentation time and date via e-mail.

Enter into the 2019 Health & Human Services Pitch Competition

Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate each proposal based on the following:

  • Content of the plan.
    1. thoroughness and quality of research.
    2. Analysis and articulation of the problem statement.

  • Clear communication.

  • Feasibility of the solution and probability of a successful launch.

  • Community impact and job creation potential.

  • Quality and effectiveness of final presentation (in the event the applicant becomes a finalist and is invited to present).