About Crab Pot

The Crab Pot Pitch Competition is Southern Maryland’s premier pitch competition for entrepreneurs with cutting edge, disruptive and innovative technologies. Made popular by television shows like ABC’s “Shark Tank,” pitch contests provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to present their ideas to a panel of judges or investors in front of an audience. Crab Pot provides an opportunity for the community to celebrate the efforts of local entrepreneurs and innovators. Audience members get to see what entrepreneurs in Southern Maryland are up to.


How do I enter the competition?
Complete the Crab Pot Pitch Competition Participant Form. You must attend the Speed Round Qualifiers. All qualifying contestants will participate.

The 5 finalists from the Speed Round will advance to the Crab Pot Finals.
When is the registration deadline?
Fall 2020
Who can attend Crab Pot?
Crab Pot is open to the public. We would appreciate registration for the event on Eventbrite, however, it is not required.
Speed Round Audience Registration
Final Round Audience Registration
Who can compete in Crab Pot?
Anyone with a cutting edge, disruptive and innovative technology can register to compete! Pitches can be for new business ventures, products, or processes. Individuals can pitch ideas for brand new businesses. Existing enterprises can pitch ideas for new products.
Why should I compete?
Great product and idea pitches are critical to the growth of any business, but especially startups. Pitches are used to make sales, obtain financing, and build relationships. This is an opportunity to practice your pitch and receive valuable feedback to help you improve your odds of success. There are also likely to be more than a couple potential investors in the audience. There are also cash prizes!
I have a great idea. How do I compete?
Complete the Crab Pot Pitch Competition Participant Form. This form is used to determine competition eligibility. This provides us with the information needed to qualify your presentation and introduce you to the audience.
Who are the judges?
We provide experienced investors and financial professionals to judge the pitches. The names will be released closer to competition time. If you are interested in being a judge, please contact us.
What are the judging criteria?
Generally, judges evaluate your pitch using criteria in four categories.
Viability of the Business Concept. “How mature is the plan?”
Degree of Innovation. “How novel is the idea?”
Quality of the Pitch. “How well is the plan presented?”
Economic Impact. “What is the potential impact on our community?”
Do I need a business plan to compete?
No. Crab Pot is not business plan contest. We promote the use of a “Business Model Canvas” to quickly organize your thoughts into a model that you can build and evaluate quickly. We will have sample slide decks available. Please contact us.
When and where is Crab Pot?
The Speed Round Qualifiers will be held at the TechPort Business Incubator.

The Crab Pot Finals will be held at the Calvert Marine Museum.

Event will be held Fall 2020
What are the prizes?
The large majority of sponsorship funding goes toward the prize packages we offer. The winner also receives a bushel of Southern Maryland steamed crabs!
  • The winner receives $5,000 + a bushel of crabs
  • Runner up received $1,000
Who coordinates Crab Pot?
In the past, Crab Pot has been a joint venture of the Southern Maryland Innovates and PaxSpace. However, this year Southern Maryland Innovates is will be organizing the Crab Pot Pitch Competition this year.
What is Southern Maryland Innovates?
The mission of Southern Maryland Innovates is to grow and connect the innovation and technology entrepreneurship community in Southern Maryland. And to serve as the connective hub between various groups that represent a casual and high impact opportunity to meet people interested in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Southern Maryland. This group hosts monthly meetups on the 2nd Thursday of every month. Learn more here.

Furthermore, the Southern Maryland Innovates Team is comprised of representatives from TEDCO, Small Business Development Center, NAWCAD Tech Transfer Office, Gaia Wrx LLC, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, College of Southern Maryland, Calvert County Department of Economic Development, and St. Mary’s County Department of Economic Development.

All competitors have access to assistance from these resource providers to assist in preparing for this competition. All competitors, win or lose, will also have access to these resource providers after the competition.
How is Crab Pot funded?
Crab Pot is sponsored by local government and industry sponsors that are interested in growing our local entrepreneurial community.
How can I contribute to the effort?
It takes a lot of effort and money to plan and coordinate a successful Crab Pot event. Donations are greatly appreciated. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities. Please contact us.
Can I volunteer to help with the event?
The best way to support the event is to come up with a great idea and compete!

However, there are many opportunities to help with the event, including marketing, staffing the event floor, and being a judge.

Contact us if you are interested in volunteering.
How often are these contests held?
I competed last year. Can I compete again?
Absolutely! We strongly encourage previous competitors to compete in Crab Pot competitions. We look forward to seeing your progress.
Can someone help me with my pitch?
Of course! We strongly encourage you to practice your pitches. Pitch in front of friends, family, pets, whoever! The Southern Maryland Innovates team is available to help you! Please contact us if you would like help building your pitch.