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IF AN IDEA KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT, DON’T SLEEP ON IT.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER CAN EARN MORE THAN $100K IN FUNDING.
Do you believe you have a great idea for a business? Well, if you’ve stayed true to yourself and your ideas despite the doubters then we’ve got your back. We’ll select the innovators with a relentless commitment to their idea and help them jumpstart their businesses with up to $200k in prize money, seminars, live pitch opportunities, and access to mentors, like Shark Tank’s Daymond John.
2017 Calendar
February 9 - April 14
Online Application Period
May
Semifinalists Announced
July - August
Live Pitch Events
September
National Finals
Competition Logistics

The competition takes place in three phases:

  1. Business Plan Submissions
    The submissions begin on February 9 until April 14. Each application will be judged and scored by a team of business experts at BMO Harris bank.
  2. Semifinals
    LIVE Pitch Events - The top 25 semifinalists as selected by our judges will participate in LIVE Pitch Events taking place in five cities across the U.S.: Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. One winning business team from each location will win $20K and advance to the National Finals.
  3. National Finals
    The top five winning businesses (one from each LIVE Pitch Event) will present before our national panel of judges as Miller Lite Tap the Future finalists. One will be named the grand prize winner and be awarded a $100K business development prize.
Digital Press Kit
Click file to download
Press Shot Press Release Fact Sheet
SEMIFINAL JUDGES PANEL
Daymond John

An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Daymond John has come a long way from his $40 budget by growing FUBU into a six billion dollar brand. The Founder of FUBU, Presidential Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship and Co-star of ABC's Shark Tank, is a celebrated pioneer in the fashion industry, New York Times best-selling author, branding guru and highly sought after motivational speaker. More...

An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Daymond John has come a long way from his $40 budget by growing FUBU into a six billion dollar brand. The Founder of FUBU, Presidential Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship and Co-star of ABC's Shark Tank, is a celebrated pioneer in the fashion industry, New York Times best-selling author, branding guru and highly sought after motivational speaker.

Daymond's passions for music and fashion led him to create FUBU (“For Us By Us”), one of the most iconic fashion brands in recent years that created the untapped urban apparel space. Furthermore, Daymond grew up in the community of Hollis, Queens, which was an incubator for Hip Hop stars. With acts like RUN DMC, Salt-N-Peppa, and LL Cool J rapidly making names for themselves, Daymond was surrounded by people who gave him the inspiration to create a clothing line.

FUBU hit a tipping point when Daymond convinced Hollis native and Hip-Hop superstar, LL Cool J, to wear FUBU for a promotional campaign. This was the catalyst behind the Hip-Hop community supporting the new brand and instantly gave it credibility. FUBU soon had a contract with the New York City-based department store chain Macy's, and it began expanding its line to include jeans and outerwear. With the brand transcending into mainstream markets, at its peak FUBU recorded annual sales of $350 million, placing it in the same stratosphere as designer labels such as Donna Karan New York and Tommy Hilfiger.

In 2009, John joined the cast of ABC’s three-time award winning series, Shark Tank, produced by acclaimed TV producer Mark Burnett. As one of the “Sharks,” Daymond and four other prominent executives listen to business pitches from everyday people hoping to launch their company or product to new heights. Investing his own money in every project, Daymond partners with the entrepreneurs helping turn their dreams into a reality. Millions of viewers tune into the show as Daymond demonstrates his marketing prowess and entrepreneurial insights, which have earned him his nickname as “The Shark." Additionally, Daymond is set to launch blueprint+co, a creative executive co-working space with a mission to educate and empower by building a community of like-minded entrepreneurs that can benefit from Daymond’s resources and track record of success. Follow Daymond John on Twitter @TheSharkDaymond.

Past Winners

2016 Grand Prize Winner

HoneyMoon Brewery | Santa Fe, New Mexico
Ayla Bystrom-Williams and James Hill
www.honeymoonbrewery.com
Grand Prize — $200,000
Houston Live Pitch Event Winner — $20,000

With a joint passion in hops, health and happiness, Ayla Bystrom-Williams and James Hill founded HoneyMoon Brewery. HoneyMoon Brewery produces an adult probiotic Kombucha tea with a touch of alcohol. More...

2016 Grand Prize Winner

HoneyMoon Brewery | Santa Fe, New Mexico
Ayla Bystrom-Williams and James Hill
www.honeymoonbrewery.com
Grand Prize — $200,000
Houston Live Pitch Event Winner — $20,000

With a joint passion in hops, health and happiness, Ayla Bystrom-Williams and James Hill founded HoneyMoon Brewery. HoneyMoon Brewery produces an adult probiotic Kombucha tea with a touch of alcohol. Think of it as the marriage of a dry Champagne with a Belgian Lambic. It is a probiotic, refreshing and unlike anything available on the market.

Past Winners

2015 Grand Prize Winner

Edovo | Chicago, IL
Brian Hill
www.edovo.com
Grand Prize — $200,000
Detroit Live Pitch Event Winner — $20,000

Eager to close the educational gap for inmates and help reduce the recidivism, Brian Hill founded Edovo, a unique business that provides daily access to an immense collection of educational, vocational, and treatment resources for inmates. More...

2015 Grand Prize Winner

Edovo | Chicago, IL
Brian Hill
www.edovo.com
Grand Prize — $200,000
Detroit Live Pitch Event Winner — $20,000

Eager to close the educational gap for inmates and help reduce the recidivism, Brian Hill founded Edovo, a unique business that provides daily access to an immense collection of educational, vocational, and treatment resources for inmates. Edovo’s mission is to provide meaningful access to education and self-improvement tools that can unlock the potential of every person affected by incarceration. Edovo is currently operating in a number of states across the country and they are looking to increase their impact by doubling the number of facilities they operate in.

Past Winners

2014 Grand Prize Winner

Bellhops | Chattanooga, TN
Cameron Doody, Matt Patterson, Trip Stanford and Steven Vlahos
www.getbellhops.com
Grand Prize — $200,000
Atlanta Live Pitch Event Winner — $20,000

A few years after college, these co-founders started thinking about how they could create a business that everyone loved. Thinking back to their college days, they remembered their friends’ parents who used to pay them above market to perform relatively easy moves each semester. More...

2014 Grand Prize Winner

Bellhops | Chattanooga, TN
Cameron Doody, Matt Patterson, Trip Stanford and Steven Vlahos
www.getbellhops.com
Grand Prize — $200,000
Atlanta Live Pitch Event Winner — $20,000

A few years after college, these co-founders started thinking about how they could create a business that everyone loved. Thinking back to their college days, they remembered their friends’ parents who used to pay them above market to perform relatively easy moves each semester. With a passion for providing jobs for college students, Chattanooga-based moving company Bellhops was born. Their mission: to connect awesome people who need help with awesome people who want to work. Today, the startup provides affordable collegiate and small residential moving services to over 121 cities across the U.S.

Past Winners

2013 Grand Prize Winner

Swyft Media (formerly TextPride) | Kettering, OH
Sean O’Brien and Evan Wray
www.swyftmedia.com
Grand Prize — $250,000
Chicago Live Pitch Event Winner — $20,000
Fan Favorite — $10,000

With a shared passion for connecting via technology, Sean and Evan developed TextPride, an app that offers licensed emoji/emoticons for branded content. In 2014 they changed their company name to Swyft Media, and it was acquired for $27 million just one year after winning the grand prize. More...

2013 Grand Prize Winner

Swyft Media (formerly TextPride) | Kettering, OH
Sean O’Brien and Evan Wray
www.swyftmedia.com
Grand Prize — $250,000
Chicago Live Pitch Event Winner — $20,000
Fan Favorite — $10,000

With a shared passion for connecting via technology, Sean and Evan developed TextPride, an app that offers licensed emoji/emoticons for branded content. In 2014 they changed their company name to Swyft Media, and it was acquired for $27 million just one year after winning the grand prize. They have over 2 billion users across more than 35 apps and partner with over 300 brands. Partnering with over 300 of the top brands and distributing their content to over 2 billion users across more than 25 apps, Swyft Media brings users and the brands they love closer together.