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Fast Pitch Competition


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Fast Pitch encourages proposals for ideas on improving or transforming the work environment at a library, or any information-related enterprise or organization in educational technology.

Webcast for More Information:

Want to find out more information, or wondering whether your ideas or project would be a good fit for the Fast Pitch Competition? Watch the recording of our Fast Pitch Bootcamp webcast!

About the Competition: 

Recognizing and rewarding new innovation in academic library and information management

Each year, the Charleston Conference presents several well-received panels about startups, innovations and entrepreneurship. The Charleston Fast Pitch Competition is designed to expand on those themes by actively encouraging creative solutions for our stakeholders.

This call for participation is open to all who are in the process of developing new, innovative, and implementable ideas to improve their academic libraries or related organizations. The intent of the competition is to showcase innovation in information management and to award the most deserving examples of innovation.


There will be two awards of $2,500 each for winning proposals from U.S.-based tax exempt non-profit organization, generously supported by the Goodall Family Foundation.


Fast Pitch 2019 will be in multiple parts:

Fast Pitch first stageJune 24 to September 30

Open Nominations from the information industry and the Charleston Conference Community. Do you know of a project in a library or publishing entity that deserves attention? Perhaps that could be adapted/expanded by others to generate influence in the wider community? We are particularly interested in the scholarly communication and publishing as well as academic and research library initiatives but we are not limited exclusively to those areas. These nominations should be brief “thinking” pieces. This will be shared with your Fast Pitch colleagues. The FP Community (Past Fast Pitch winners and honorable mention colleagues) will react and help you expand on the implications of your nomination. You can nominate yourself or a colleague. Nominations and proposals should be sent using this form and will be distributed to the FP community anonymously.

Fast Pitch second stageOctober 1 to October 14  

Selection of four finalists from the open nominations by the community and selection of an international award winner by a panel of judges.

Fast Pitch third stageOctober 15 to November 1

Coaching of the chosen FP nominations. Nominees will be vetted during the 2018 Charleston Conference

Fast Pitch fourth stage Date/time TBD

Finalists will appear at a Neapolitan session at the 2019 Charleston Conference to present their “pitches.” Two votes will be taken from attendees and a panel of judges to determine the award winners.

Areas of Interest:

  • Enhancing the user experience
  • Collaboration for scholarly communication
  • Collaborative solutions for social media education
  • Incorporating social media strategies
  • Managing teams
  • Changing or adapting platforms
  • Collaborating or managing teams across departments, systems, groups
  • Digital aggregation and sharing
  • Innovative approaches, eg blockchain, analytics, research data management, open educational resources, etc.
  • Emerging technologies in digital services, acquisitions, technical services, reference
  • Big data and analytics management applications
  • Artificial intelligence solutions
  • Developing new apps for collection use
  • Other areas of interest are encouraged.

Past Award Winners:




  • Illinois Institute of Technology for their FetchCounter project
  • Smith College for their Smith Inventory System (SIS)
  • Write up available at: https://www.charleston-hub.com/2018/11/fast-pitch-competition-2/
  • Video of the session available at: https://youtu.be/wup1V14Xxyc

Runners Up:


  • University of Michigan Press: Fulcrum
  • Auraria Library: RelaxMap


  • Brown University Library: POOF!
  • West Virginia University Libraries: Vega


  • Auraria Library: SILLVR (Streaming Interlibrary Loan Video Resources)
  • University of Connecticut: Charles V|R


Support for the two $2,500 awards for US-based non-profit organizations comes from the Goodall Family Charitable Foundation, an independent foundation focusing on making grants to support educational endeavors.


For details on eligibility and selection criteria, please see our Application Information Page. If you have questions, please contact fastpitch@charlestonlibraryconference.com.

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