UNM Rainforest Innovations

Hosted by the UNM Innovation Academy and UNM Rainforest Innovations

Do you have an innovative idea for a product, service, or technology?

Would you like to win money to help turn your idea into a reality? The Rainforest Pitch Competition provides an opportunity for students of all majors and from any New Mexico university to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas for a chance to win from a pool of over $5,000 in cash prizes.

The final round of the Fall 2024 Pitch Competition will take plan on November 6, 2024 at Bow and Arrow Brewing Co., 608 McKnight Avenue NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102.

Deadline to apply: October 22, 2024 @ 11:59 PM

What is the Rainforest Pitch Competition?

To be eligible to compete in the Rainforest Student Pitch Competition, you must submit an application to pitch

Instructions and Guidelines:

First Round Submission Criteria

There will be one round in the competition.

Record a 90-second video of a student or team of students delivering an elevator pitch for your business/idea. Videos should capture student(s) delivering the pitch to the camera. The pitch should be delivered in a single take. Videos should not be edited together or produced with visuals or effects. This doesn’t mean it needs to be filmed on the first take, but there should be no post-production done to the pitch (i.e. don’t edit two halves of different takes together). Avoid reading from scripts or cue cards. Please be sure to record the video in a reasonably quiet environment to make it easier for the judges to hear and understand. Avoid recording outdoors or in loud hallways.

A panel of judges will view the video submissions and determine the finalists that will move on to the Final Round. 

Final Round

Finalists will present a 90-second “live” pitch to at an evening reception on November 6, 2024 in front of a panel of judges, business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and others in the community.

Family, friends and supporters are invited to attend the final rounds to hear the 10 finalists pitch and participate in audience voting for the top winner.  Registration coming soon. The top winner will be determined by audience voting and receive a $1,000 cash prize. Additional winners will be determined by a panel of judges.  All finalists will receive a cash prize.

Now Accepting Applications

The deadline to apply is October 22, 2024 at 11:59 pm. Submit your application using the link to the right. 


The competition is open to university students enrolled in the fall 2024 semester. 

Judging is based on:

  • Delivery
  • Content
  • Audience impact

Pitch Time:

Submissions will be allowed a maximum of 90 seconds for their pitch.


  • The decisions of the judges are final.
  • All federal, state and local taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the winners.  All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.
  • By entering in the competition, the contestants give permission to UNM Rainforest Innovations, the University of New Mexico, the UNM Innovation Academy and Innovate New Mexico to use the names of the winners and their project for publicity and/or trade purposes without further compensation unless prohibited by law. Contestants grant permission to UNM Rainforest Innovations and the University(ies) to record and publicize their oral and written presentations, in whole or in part.  All submitted materials become the property of the UNM Rainforest Innovations and the University and will not be returned to the contestants.
  • Contestants and any business entities associated with them release and discharge UNM Rainforest Innovations, The University of New Mexico, the UNM Innovation Academy and Innovate New Mexico, the judges, and prize sponsors, from any and all liability associated with participating in the Rainforest Student Pitch Competition and with the start-up and operation of any businesses described in the business plans.
  • Contestants should not present any information to the judges, orally or in writing, which they deem to be confidential, proprietary, or commercially sensitive. Information presented will not be kept secret.
  • Contestants cannot submit an idea that the contestant(s) presented at a past UNM Rainforest Innovations/UNM Innovation Academy pitch competition if selected as finalist and presented in the final round. A new idea must be submitted if interested in participating n subsequent Rainforest pitch competitions.  


If you have any questions, reach out to the UNM Innovation Academy via email

Skip to content