Startup Challenge 2023 🚀

Join the 7th edition of the challenge for a chance to get expert coaching, to participate at panel discussions and to pitch your idea in front of investors and seasoned founders at the Demo Day on November 11th (16-18h), at the CEMS Career Forum in Barcelona (ESADE).

Registratios for startups are CLOSED!
Registrations for attendees are NOW OPEN!

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Pitch your idea to investors
Pitch in front of investors, corporate partners, seasoned partners and CEMSies!
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Win valuable prizes
Prizes for the winning teams and 0.5 ECTS for all participating students
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Get expert coaching
Receive mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs

This challenge is for you if you are a CEMS student or fresh graduate (<2yrs) who is working on a business idea/startup that is aiming to provide a solution in a market with potential.

Key Dates

Application Opening
20th July

Application Deadline
30th September

Final Selection
10th October

Pitch Event
11th November


(1) Being a CEMS student or fresh graduate (<2 yrs);
(2) Working on a startup idea or Being the founder of a startup;
(3) Coming to the CEMS Career Forum

If you feel you are at a later stage, refer to the investor pitch event !!

Main deliverables

(1) One page executive summary of your startup idea
(2) Investor pitch deck presentation with a maximum of 20 slides
(3) short pitch video (optional)


If you are building your pitch deck make sure to keep in mind the following aspects, as this is what the jury will be looking for: 

Personal and professional diversity, clear responsibilities, passion, motivation, know-how

Product / service

Feasibility, innovativeness, problem-solution fit, sustainable value creation

Market size and dynamics, positioning, USP, sustainable competitive advantage

Business model
Value proposition, customers, resources, cost & revenue structure

Achievements, pilot customers, partners

Check out this guide if you need some help in structuring your pitch

"Startup Challenge Stories of Success"

Watch the “Startup Challenge Stories of Success” recording to hear two winners of previous editions of the Startup Challenge present their entrepreneurial journeys and answer all your questions.

Jana Schellong (@Beams) and Henry Hooper (@Metarina)

"I was impressed by the quality of the CEMS Entrepreneurs Startup Challenge. All aspects of this competition—from the quality of the competing entrepreneurs and startups, to the interaction with the organizing team, and the event’s communication & execution— were marked by the highest degree of professionalism. I also believe the format really helps budding or more confirmed entrepreneurs improve their strategic thinking and funding odds. Well done Team!”

Aram Attar, Founder The VC Factory
Previous Jury Members
Aram Attar
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Johanna Junkermann
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Nico Valenti Gatto
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Eva Arh
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Felix Bensberg
Investment Manager
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Alexander Pinter
Innovation Strategy & Growth Lead
See profile
Alberto Giammattei
Jr. Venture Creator
See profile
Ariadna Masó
Founder & CEO
See profile
Francesco Spolaor
See profile
Previous Winners

CEMS Start-Up Challenge 2021

The annual CEMS Start-Up Challenge has been organized by CEMS Entrepreneurs the last 9th November as part of the Career Forum. Building on the success of the previous years, this event offered students the opportunity to work closely with experienced mentors to develop their ideas and learn more about developing a business.

Keep reading
Reach out if you have any questions!
I'm Jacopo Faini, the head of the Startup Challenge at CEMS Entrepreneurs and I'm very happy to help you if you need some guidance! Write me an e-mail or just find me on Linkedin! 🚀