Student Startup

The Student Startup competition brings together high school students during SXSW EDU to pitch their business ideas.

Deadline: November 8, 2019

Apply Now

Photo by Steve Rogers.

Photo by Steve Rogers.

2019 Student Startup Finalist - Vincent Dinh and Nicholas Podolak

I believe that participating at SXSW EDU gave us the experience to go out and try different things, to be bold in what we do, and this could be seen by showcasing our app to five different LISD schools as well as getting into contact with the board of directors of LISD.

Vincent Dinh and Nicholas Podolak
2019 Student Startup Finalist / Screenwise

2018 Launch Winner - Aarushi Machavarapu

Winning the Student Startup Competition in March 2018 lifted me up and empowered me to continue working and dreaming big.

Aarushi Machavarapu
2018 Student Startup Competition Winner / Threading Twine

2019 Student Startup Finalist - Koko Yee (Clutch)

SXSW EDU provides students with an incredible opportunity to bring their voices to the table. This is necessary for both teens and older attendees, especially since the work teachers do is for students.

Koko Yee
2019 Student Startup Finalist / Clutch

About the Student Startup Competition


The Student Startup competition supports youth entrepreneurs, serving as a platform for high school students to showcase their business ideas. The competition provides students with a remarkable opportunity to showcase their talents, validate their business ideas, and gain experience.

Students with a business idea are encouraged to apply during the application process July 1-November 8, 2019. Selected finalists will present their startup product to a panel of judges and a live audience at SXSW EDU, March 9-12, 2020.

Additionally, finalists and attendees will have ample opportunities to connect through various social events during SXSW EDU.

For frequently asked questions and answers, check out the Student Startup FAQ.

How to Apply


Student startup applications can be submitted by an individual or team. Fill out the online Student Startup application to be considered as a finalist for the 2020 competition.

Monday, July 1 – Application Opens
Friday, November 8 – Application Closes

Apply for Student Startup

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be a currently enrolled high school student and 13 years or older in order to be considered.
  • Both national and international applicants are eligible.
  • Solo entrepreneurs and team applicants qualify.
  • The competition is not limited to specific business categories and all types of startups are welcome. To learn more about our past finalists, visit our Competition History page.

Complete an Application

Infographic for application steps.

  • Preview the online application and begin preparing materials.
  • Fill out the short online application. Please note that your contact information will not be shared publicly.
  • Take some time to review your application, no changes can be made once it has been submitted.
  • Submit and stay tuned for word back regarding the status of your application.

Apply for Student Startup

Get Involved

Pitch Your Student Startup

Submit an application to pitch your startup as part of the Student Startup competition, March 9-12 at SXSW EDU. Apply for consideration, July 1 – November 8.

Submit an Application

Student Startup Competition History

Learn more about the history of the Student Startup competition by browsing a full list of past startup finalists and winners.

Learn More

More Competitions

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