CU Boulder’s Catalyst for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Through New Venture Launch and New Venture Creation
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At sunset on April 12th, community members, students, alumni, and professors packed the Boulder Theater for the 16th annual New Venture Challenge. The theater is buzzing with liveliness, and the ears of the audience eagerly wait to hear from the finalists. In the past year, more than 70 teams competed to pitch their ventures for a chance to win up to $100,000 in seed funding. After a rigorous selection process, five teams were chosen to present their ideas. Four of the five contestant teams gained the majority of their knowledge on what it takes to build a startup through the classes New Venture Creation (NVC) and New Venture Launch (NVL). Both programs aim to help students start an emerging company, work in the startup ecosystem, or even compete in New Venture Challenge.
From Idea to Impact
Khushang Hirpara, a junior at the Leeds School of Business won first place at this year’s New Venture Challenge competition for his customizable supplement company, CLD-9. CLD-9 aims to revolutionize the supplement industry, providing uniquely tailored options to each athlete based on their nutritional need. Khushang was in New Venture Creation this past semester because he wanted to expand his entrepreneurial toolkit to effectively launch CLD-9. Khushang describes the class as “exactly what I needed”. Utilizing the mentorship and guidance offered in New Venture Creation, Khushang was able to translate his product, services, and opportunities into a functioning venture. By securing 1st place in the competition, he also was granted $50,000 in funding from CU to further his journey making science combined with supplementation a reality. When asked about the competition day, Khushang says
“I probably had one of the best days of my life. Not just because of the check, but because every single person that has been with me on the journey that started 7 months ago was there. I had nothing but support since the beginning. The best part wasn’t even winning, it was knowing everyone I love got to win with me.”
Led by the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship’s Faculty Director Brad Werner, New Venture Creation, and New Venture Launch teaches you how to translate existing products, services, and opportunities into real, functioning ventures. Brad has spent his career building successful businesses. His focus is to help offer his experience to CU Boulder students to launch a viable business and generate impact.
New Venture Creation and New Venture Launch: The First Step in Creating a Viable Business
New Venture Creation is one of the best first steps for CU Boulder students interested in creating a company. The class is for anyone who wants to take a dive into the startup world and work on a venture idea with a team. This class is one of the most unique offerings CU Boulder has and guides students through the ideation process and building phase of a venture. Pilar Pheffer, a student who took home fourth for her venture Climate Scaping, took the NVC class and says that it was one of the most valuable classes she has taken so far at Boulder. She also says
“New Venture Creation showed me that uncertainty can be a fun aspect of a startup. It helps to not be so attached to an idea in the early stage- rather being open to pivoting and watching the venture come together piece by piece is quite rewarding”
New Venture Launch takes New Venture Creation a step further and focuses on already viable and more established ventures. In this application-only class, students receive top-tier mentorship, hear from outside speakers every week, and learn all the essentials to growing and developing your business. Evan Baltman, the founder of LingDisco won third place in this year’s New Venture Challenge. Evan went into the New Venture Launch class knowing that he wanted to continue developing his app where you can listen to music and learn a language by doing so. Evan says
“I certainly wouldn't have gotten as far as I did in New Venture Challenge without the New Venture Launch class. Brad Werner and Betsy Klein ran a fantastic course and I went from knowing almost nothing about entrepreneurship or pitching to making it to the NVC Finals and Demo Day. The course really taught me a lot about team dynamics, fundraising, the incorporation process, pitching, etc.”
Both classes help develop the skills necessary to undertake typical business functions. Students learn and develop the know-how in business legalese, money raising, web presence, selling, innovation, marketing, cash management, and operations management. Brad Werner, the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship’s Faculty Director says that
“The best ventures come from teams with students from multiple disciplines. Don’t have a team? Apply anyway! NVL is looking for entrepreneurial-minded students ready to test their skills and make an impact. If you have an idea, dedication, and grit, we’ll get you on the right team.” said Werner.
Join and Apply Today!
Are you interested in taking New Venture Launch class to prepare for New Venture Challenge or becoming a guest speaker, mentor, or judge? Make sure to fill out the interest form here!
New Venture Launch class is made possible thanks to generous support from the Intuitive Foundation.