Get Ready for the ACE ’17 Challenge


What is the ACE’17 Challenge?

This year at ACE come participate in the ACE’17 Challenge — an investment competition between 25 startup entrepreneurs. This organic, real-world business investment simulation will give entrepreneurs practice presenting their businesses to hundreds of people, making connections along the way and further discovering their strengths, opportunities and weaknesses in. It will be an invaluable learning experience for all involved and a stimulating display of heated business competition. The best part? All attendees get to be the investors using their ACE dollars and eventually determining the winner.

How will the competition play out?

Each entrepreneur in the ACE’17 Challenge will pitch their company at their booth to other entrepreneurs, support professionals and investors attending the event. These 25 entrepreneurs will work to provide a compelling story about their business with the goal of getting attendees to invest their ACE dollars in their venture versus the other entrepreneurs in the competition.

The ACE’17 Challenge will let the crowd decide which entrepreneur has the most compelling story and have the greatest chance at success. Whichever entrepreneur pulls the majority of ACE dollar investments will win over $20,000 in cash and service prizes that will help them jumpstart their success!

What are ACE Dollars and how do they work?

“ACE Dollars” are kind of like Monopoly money. ACE dollars represent a physical investment, but at the end of the competition only the winner will receive compensation through the grand prize.

Each attendee at the ACE ’17 event will receive a predetermined amount of ACE dollars upon arrival, based on their profession and investing experience:

  • Entrepreneurs will receive 25,000 ACE dollars
  • Support Professionals (accountants, marketers, attorneys, consultants, etc.) will receive 50,000 ACE dollars
  • Investors will receive 100,000 ACE dollars

To “vote” for an entrepreneur in the ACE’17 Challenge, attendees can identify participants by booths with a white tablecloth and a fishbowl. To vote for the entrepreneur attendees believe have the most compelling business story, innovative ideas or greatest chance of success, they simply place their ACE dollars in the fish bowl.

Attendees are encouraged to interact with all or as many of the ACE’17 Challenge participants as possible, but can vote at any time. The final call for votes will be made at 5:30 p.m.

How do you compete in the ACE’17 Challenge?

Dozens of entrepreneurs have already applied to participate in the ACE’17 Challenge. The application/registration process for the ACE’17 Challenge closes on January 6 at 5:00 p.m. A senior selection committee will announce the final 25 participants of the ACE Challenge on January 9 by 5:00 p.m.

To all participants who make the cut, we encourage them to get help preparing their pitch and by connecting with the New Enterprise Forum (NEF) or a business counselor for support.

Good luck to all and let the games begin!

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