During Homecoming Week 2017, The New Venture Challenge (NVC), CU Boulder’s premiere cross campus venture challenge, hosted its 10th annual Quick Pitch Nights! Quick Pitches have long been one of the most popular NVC events, and for many ventures, it provides the first opportunity to pitch their ideas to an audience and get direct feedback from coaches with years of experience. Over the course of two evenings, over 60 teams had one minute to get their ideas out, ask for mentors, recruit for teammates, etc., and they did not disappoint this year!
On the first of two nights, pitch coaches Brad Bernthal, a CU Boulder law professor and Director of SIlicon Flatirons, and Krista Marks, CEO and Co-founder of Woot Math, both expressed joy over the quality and originality of the pitches for the night. Brad and Krista not only coached and cheered on teams, but they offered connections for many to other startups in Boulder. Sentiments were similar on night two for pitch coaches Erick Mueller, professor at Leeds Business School and the Director of the Deming Center and Adrian Tuck, CEO of Tendril. This was Adrian’s first exposure to the NVC, and as an entrepreneur with over 20 years in startup experience, he noted the potential teams showed.
In addition to amazing pitch coaches, for the first time this year the NVC got the audience involved in the conversation as well! Audiences at the end of the nights were able to crowdvote for the best idea each night, sending the winning ventures home with a $500 prize. The Grove, a proposed modern collective where trendsetters form a community and are free to socially consume cannabis won the on night one. Statehill, a smart, simple platform to manage legislative affairs took home the prize on night two!
The audience choice winners are just an example of the wildly diverse ventures that pitched both nights. Others ranged from custom made bike repair stations, to a non-profit fighting to keep counterfeit drugs out of pharmacies in Africa. Over 20 different industries, multiple founder backgrounds (age, culture, discipline, gender, etc.), and countless business models were represented, continuing a long standing tradition of the NVC being a space for diverse ideas.
Things are just heating up, so make sure to join us in the spring to see the progress of teams, hear them hone their pitches, and grow their ideas into reality!
For more information about the New Venture Challenge, instructions on how to get signed up (deadline is December 8th), and for information on upcoming events, please visit www.colorado.edu/nvc.