Luby Microgrant Pitch Competition

The UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center proudly presents the Luby Microgrant Pitch Competition, funded by the Joan & Chester Luby Charitable Trust. $90,000 in Luby Microgrants will be offered to UF student entrepreneur teams.

Assemble your team and apply today for up to


in funding for your product or startup!

Registration for the competition is now open!

Congratulations to our 2022-2023 Cohort of Grant Winners

  • Burgo
  • Fauna Conservation and Analytics
  • Eufinity
  • GatorGuard
  • iRotate
  • Lotic Resilience
  • Patella Protector
  • Pest AI

Entry Requirements & Registration

The entry period for the Fall 2023 Luby Microgrant Competition is now open. Please submit your intent to compete by October 6 at 5 pm EST.

  • Students can enter the competition individually or form teams.*
    • *If you are a student (graduate/undergraduate) working with any university-developed intellectual property, please check with UF Innovate to determine if you are eligible.
  • The team leader must be an enrolled student per the college requirement listed above.
  • A pitch is not required to register. You will have an opportunity to develop your grant pitch prior to the submission deadline (Friday, November 3).
  • The pitches submitted must be the team’s own original work and ideas.
  • Have a clear vision of what business you’re trying to create, and have a good idea of the potential as well as the issues of the intended business.
  • Register online by 5 pm on October 6.

If needed, team members can be updated throughout the competition.

Please note that the entrant must certify that at least one member of the team was an enrolled student at the University of Florida during the Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Summer 2023, or Fall 2023 semesters.

Competition Format

Graduate and undergraduate competitors enter individually or in teams to create growth-oriented business models.

Teams will submit their pitch (a YouTube video) by 5pm on November 3 for judging, which takes place November 4-19. On November 20 grant winners will be announced (additional follow-up may be required of teams during the judging week).


Up to $10,000 in grant funding will be provided to the teams selected.

The rules section covers specifics about the competition. The prize money is offered as seed money to promote the pitch’s enactment. The business must actually be started, and prize money checks are written to the new companies, not the individuals.


Judges review the pitches based on the following criteria:

  • Concept strength
  • Market
  • Economics of the business
  • Operations
  • Technical Feasibility
  • Management team
  • Financing

The completed pitches (a YouTube video) will be submitted Friday, November 3 by 5 pm EST. Each video must be no more than 15-minutes.

Note that this is a competition in which both the innovativeness of the business idea and the quality of the pitch are evaluated. The competition rewards creative thinking regarding new markets, products, and services, as well as the team’s strategy to implement its plans.

Rules & Guidelines

In order to qualify, the team leader must be a full- or part-time student, undergraduate or graduate level, who is currently enrolled in a degree program, and who was registered at the University of Florida for the Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Summer 2023 or Fall 2023 semester. Other team members can be non-UF / non-Santa Fe college students or community members, however, non-student members are not allowed to present as part of the team pitch.

Only one submission of a pitch per team is permitted.

The Pitch should contain the following:

  • Company Description
  • Product/Service Name and Description/Elevator Pitch (Customer Value Proposition)
  • Stage of Company Development (Idea, Seed, Emerging, Established)
  • What market are you addressing?
  • What problems are you trying to solve? (Describe your solution to the problem described)
  • What is your unique competitive advantage?
  • What are the most important metrics of success in your business model?
  • How does your company make money?
  • Competitors/Industry Description
  • Management Team & Advisors

Individuals may be a member of only one team. Teams may be as small as one student, and there is no maximum size, but bear in mind that there are practical limits to the size of any working group.

Ideas submitted as part of a team’s new business venture must represent the original work of the team members. Team members will sign a certification to this effect as part of the initial entry.

If the new venture has already received funding from any outside sources (angel investors, other competitions, etc.), amounts, investors, and dates of funding must be disclosed in the initial entry. This competition is intended only for student teams that have not received any formal outside investment from venture capital firms or other certified investors and that have received $50,000* or less in outside funds by the start of the fall academic semester. Most teams have yet to raise any monies.

Submitted pitches are protected in the spirit of non-disclosure, and all entry materials will be treated as company confidential. The only people with access to the pitches will be judges and select members of the organizing committee. Materials will not be distributed to any other party unless requested by an entrant team. No other provisions are made to protect intellectual property.

Entrants must adhere to all submission deadlines and guidelines. Pitches must be submitted no later than the appropriate due date and time. No late submissions will be accepted and any submissions that do not follow the guidelines and requirements will not be reviewed.

Entries will be judged by a panel of faculty and professionals involved in the entrepreneurship and investment space. Judges may be successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, or professional service providers working with the venture community. Any entry is subject to minimum criteria in terms of market potential, viability, and other factors, as determined by the judging panel’s experience. If no entries meet the minimum criteria, prizes might not be awarded. Throughout any and all phases of the competition, all decisions of the judges are final.

Except as stated below, prize money is granted only to the business entity that the winning team forms, e.g. a corporation or LLC. If the winning teams fail to form the business entity and request the prize money from the UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center within one year following the competition, the money remains in the competition fund and is not disbursed. Award money will be granted only to seed the start-up and development of the winning idea (e.g. no substitutions may be made without the approval of the UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center). Teams and their resultant business entities are responsible for any tax consequences of the prize.

At least 25% of the winning business entity formed must be owned by one or more of the UF students on the winning team. If at the time of the competition, the venture has already been formed and the student participant(s) hold less than 25% equity, consideration will be given as to whether the venture was conceived and launched with co-founders who were UF students within the past four academic years.

The university reserves the right to disqualify, in its sole and absolute discretion, any team from the competition at any time. Reasons for disqualification may include but are not limited to, plagiarism and any other form of academic dishonesty, misappropriation or infringement of the intellectual property of others, and any failure to comply with these rules and regulations. Disqualified teams shall forfeit any and all prizes awarded to them.

The prize money will be distributed to the company or entity that is moving the business plan forward in one increment of 100% of the total prize money after the winners have been announced.

About the Luby family

Chester and Joan Luby moved to Florida in 2005 and wanted to work with a major university in the state to strengthen the future of innovation and entrepreneurship. Through the Joan & Chester Luby Charitable Trust, the couple began working with UF Warrington to create the Luby Microgrant Pitch Competition.

The Lubys’ passion for innovation was evident throughout their careers. Chester graduated from the University of Chicago and Yale Law School before spending his career in the automotive industry managing multiple Chevrolet dealerships. He also formed and managed two insurance companies which were created to assist car buyers at their dealerships.

Joan attended NYU and the Pratt Institute. As a professional artist, she expressed her vision through art over the course of her life. Her paintings depict subjects drawn from her love of nature, wildlife and everyday life experiences interpreted with her signature geometric prismatic style. Joan passed away in 2015 after 60 years of marriage to Chester.

The Lubys believe in the importance of entrepreneurship.

“We saw that schools were offering classes and degrees in entrepreneurship, and we knew we wanted to support this endeavor,” Chester said. “I feel strongly that America’s strength comes from innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit. We wanted to support this and thus the microgrant competition was created for UF. The dollars from the trust will continue for years to come to fund some of the UF students’ innovative ideas and thus benefiting America.”