Event Date: Thursday, October 29th at 6:00PM

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.
Note: This year's competition will be virtual!


How do I enter the competition?
Complete the Crab Pot Pitch Competition Participant Form. Once the form is submitted, participants will be contacted by a member of the Southern Maryland Innovates team with next steps. Participants must submit a Business Model Canvas to be considered. Business Model Canvasses will be evaluated to qualify finalists.

Five finalists will be selected to advance to the Crab Pot Finals.
When is the registration deadline?
All submissions are due Monday, September 21st, 2020.
Who can attend Crab Pot?
Crab Pot is open to the public. Please register via Eventbrite to attend and to receive event log-in information.
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!
Who are the judges?
Chuck Bubeck, Executive Director at Maryland Innovation Center

Mike Steele, Founder of Motobriiz LLC – 2016 Crab Pot Winner

Chris Kaselemis, St. Mary’s County Director of Economic Development

Danita Boonchaisiri, Calvert County Economic Development, Business Development Manager

Lucretia Freeman-Buster, Charles County Economic Development, Chief of Business Development

There will be a total of five judges to evaluate participants.
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.
What is a Business Model Canvas?
The Business Model Canvas reflects systematically on your business model, so you can focus on your business model segment by segment. It outlines nine segments which form the building blocks for the business model in a nice one-page canvas. This also means you can start with a brain dump, filling out the segments the spring to your mind first and then work on the empty segments to close the gaps. This model is great for helping you brainstorm and compare several variations and ideas for your business model innovation.
When and where is Crab Pot?
The Crab Pot Finals will be held virtually on October 29th, 2020 at 6:00pm.
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 $3,500 + 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 has organized the Crab Pot Pitch Competition.
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 other ways to volunteer. Just send us a message or email us at somdinnovates2020@gmail.com.
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.