Applications are accepted between September 1 and December 31. Once you have submitted your application along with the $150 application fee, IDEA will review it for eligibility. If your application is deemed eligible, you will be accepted into the first round of the competition. If it is deemed ineligible, your application fee will be returned to you. (See the FAQs page for information on eligibility.)
For the first round, you will have to submit a business plan, startup costs, and cash flow projections. The IDEA judging panel will review and score your materials and provide you with feedback on your plan and financials. The highest scoring round one applications will be advanced to the IDEA finals.
If you are chosen as an IDEA finalist, you will be asked to refine your business plan and financials based on the feedback you have received from round one. You will also be required to create a 30 second video and an oral presentation for the IDEA judging panel.