Antlion Pit Competition


The Antlion Pit Competition will empower ESA members to develop and present their innovative ideas for entomology-related products. The competition encourages the development of the entrepreneurial spirit through idea leadership, innovation, teamwork, and mentorship. Before the competition, participating individuals or teams will receive support in the form of mentorship and webinars to help them identify a user group, ideate problems and solutions, prototype, and test their innovations while competing for a cash prizes. The venture idea may focus on a technology, product, process, service, or social venture.

Competition Information
The  Antlion Pit Competition will take place during the Entomological Society of America 2019 Annual Meeting in St. Louis, November 17-20, 2019, and will take place in two stages. The date and time of each phase will be finalized by July 2019.

Stage I: Antlion Pit Competition Demonstration Day 
Stage II: Antlion Pit Competition Presentation Pitch- At least one ESA member needs to be a (co-)presenter of the pitch and is required to participate in the Q&A sessions during the final events.

Team Structure and Size    
The competition is open to both ESA members and non-members; however, each team must consist of at least one ESA member in good standing. There are no restrictions on team size.

Diverse teams lead to more creative and diverse ideas. We encourage individual entomologists to team with non-entomologists that can help bring their creative idea to implementation (e.g., designers, programmers, marketers, etc.).

Cash Prizes and Awards
As of January 1, 2019, there will be a Grand Prize of $5,000, 2nd Place prize of $2,500, and an Audience Favorite prize of $2,500.  

Each team must indicate their intent to compete in the Antlion Pit Competition by May 1, 2019 (tentative date).  To enter, one team member must be an ESA member in good standing and should complete the online Intent to Compete Form available (coming soon).  Each team member must sign a Rules Acknowledgement and Waiver form. Failure to turn in necessary forms may result in ineligibility for the team.

Tentative Deadlines
May 1, 2019 - Deadline for intent to compete.
September 3, 2019 - Deadline for team deliverables - including a PowerPoint of up to 10 slides providing an overview of the problem, research, solution and product or prototype.  In the case that there is an overabundance of submissions, the judges will complete first round determinations based on the teams deliverables.

Multiple Entries
Each competition participant is only allowed one idea submission as team leader. A participant may be on more than one team, but can only be team leader (or presenter) on one team each year.

Nature of Ventures
The APC competition is for new, independent ventures in the seed, startup, or early growth stages. Ventures should be related to entomology, but this relationship can vary. For instance, the venture can benefit entomological research, can use research done on insects for new innovations, can benefit the human condition through increasing/decreasing insect populations, etc. Licensing technologies from University or research labs is not excluded and is encouraged, assuming these have not been previously commercialized and that the ESA-member involved is a co-founder.

Ventures with revenues (excluding Phase I SBIR/STTR grants) that exceed $50,000 in prior years are excluded. Ventures that have raised equity capital in excess of $50,000 from sources other than the members of the teams or their friends and families before the current year are also excluded from the competition.

Innovative ideas and prototypes that are presented do not need to be tangible items.