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HatchPad People’s Choice Awards: 2017

HatchPad People’s Choice Student Startup Awards 2017

Are you a co-founder 25 years or younger and have an active, legally formed startup? Are you working with an awesome co-founding team? If so, consider entering in HatchPad’s People’s Choice Student Startup Awards where your company has the opportunity to win a $2,500 business grant during the virtual competition. HPC Awards offers participants a way to gain visibility among our audience and our judging panel and to receive feedback and cash awards.


  • $2,500 Grand Prize in one of the two categories
    • For-profit
    • Nonprofit


The Awards Program will take place in a series of rounds:


Format: Virtual via HatchPad.co

Deadline: January 31st


  • Create and publish a complete venture page and profile on HatchPad.co. Include all team members, any PitchIn Requests, and a short 2 minute (more or less) video pitch about your solution. This is not an investor pitch (you will do that in Round 2) but rather a pitch to potential customers.  Make sure to answer all questions on the venture page, include links to your website and social media channels, and check for spelling and grammar.
  • Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Share your campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, tag us, and include #hatchpadawards
  • Follow us on Snapchat (HatchPad) and share a snap of your page with us and your followers
  • Gain 20+ REAL followers on your Venture Page. Followers are different than “likes.” Email addresses must be REAL. Any bouncebacks, Mailinator or other spam accounts will not be counted.
  • Your startup will be evaluated using the following rubric:
    1. Meets all Rules (see below)
    2. Social Currency Criteria
    3. Quality of Video and Venture Page
    4. Overall Feasibility of Startup
    5. Potential Market Size/Social Impact

If you make the cut, you will proceed to Round 2. You will be notified on February 1st.


Format: Via HatchPad.co’s competition and judging platform partner

Deadline: February 24th


  • Complete Round 2 Venture Questionnaire. This questionnaire will be private and for the judging panel only. Questionnaire will include the following:
    1. Target Market
    2. Competitors
    3. Marketing Strategy, Scalability, Cost Per Aquisition, Lifetime Value
    4. Financials
    5. Social Impact
    6. Business Partner Eco-System
    7. Team
    8. Uploads (investor pitch deck, executive summary)
  • Create and submit 5-minute video investor pitch. This pitch will be private and for the judging panel only.
  • Answer questions that may come from the judging panel.




  • Digital technology including video and social technology platforms
  • Virtual Reality
  • eHealth and Wellness Technology
  • Wearable Devices for Safety
  • Manufacturing including 3D Printing and Design
  • Consumer/Retail
  • E-Learning


  • Sustainability & Environment
  • Education
  • Health
  • Technology


13 to 25 years old as of January 1, 2017. For participants 16 – 13, we require a signed parental permission form to enter. Please email us.

Prize Levels

For-Profit Category

  • 1st Place—$2,500

Nonprofit Category

  • 1st Place—$2,500

Judges: Virtual Competition

  • Cristin Frodella, Global Head Marketing, Google for Education
  • Danielle Strachman, Founding Partner, 1517 Fund
  • Renee Farmer, Managing Partner, Rainmaker Capital
  • John Euliano, Angel Investor and leader in education
  • Barbara Raho, Angel Investor and one of the founders of Urban Outfitters
  • Holly Zimmerman, Managing Director, Golden Seeds
  • Mario Ciampi, Partner, Prentice Capital and former President The Disney Store
  • Aaron Easaw, Managing Director, Ace Capital

Judges: Live Competition

To be announced closer to the competition dates

Previous Winners

Greetale — Greetale is the greeting card company of the future. It’s the 2016 way of sending greeting cards. We make it easier, cheaper, and faster to send greeting cards with your own handwriting inside them right from your phone.

Esusu — Crowdsourced savings for communities

Geographic Coverage

The United States only at this time.


  • You must be a US citizen or legal resident with a valid social security number.
  • Your company must be a legally formed entity with a Federal Tax ID number in the United States
  • You must be the founder or co-founder of your company as represented on your website and your social profiles.
  • If you are a nonprofit, you must present your IRS Determination letter.
  • You must be between 13 -25 years old as of January 1, 2017. If you are between the ages of 13-16, you will need to have your parents send us an electronic consent form.


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About the Author: Heather Holst-Knudsen

Heather L Holst-Knudsen, a New York City area native and now resident of Sarasota, FL, is the CEO & Founder of KidBacker and HatchPad. A passionate entrepreneur, Heather has founded and led multiple business units for large organizations. She is founder and former President of Manufacturing Enterprise Communications, a B2B media platform that connects CXOs in manufacturing with senior level leaders in technology around the world. Manufacturing Enterprise Communications was sold to Frost & Sullivan in August 2012. Prior to Manufacturing Enterprise Communications, Heather was founder and President of Managing Automation Media and TechMatch Solutions, all divisions of Thomas Publishing Company in New York City. Heather is a trusted advisor to many top manufacturing and technology organizations including Cisco, AT&T, Google, SAP, Oracle, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Ford, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and more. She has 25 years of B2B media experience, is a veteran digital media expert, and has been in a C-level leadership role for over 20 years. She has won multiple awards for innovation in media. Heather believes in and respects the imagination, creativity, and fearlessness that young business minds bring to the table and is passionate about unleashing their entrepreneurial skills and spirit so they can own their own destiny. Holst-Knudsen has an SBLL from Georgetown University, Washington, DC. Heather also is Chairman of the Board and Founder of KidBacker Foundation for Entrepreneurship, a new 501c3 that will award seed grants and scholarships to young entrepreneurs to help fund their education and their businesses.

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