Conrad ChallengThe CU Boulder New Venture Challenge (NVC) is excited to partner with the Conrad Challenge in the 2023-24 academic year to bring entrepreneurial learning to Colorado high schools, culminating in the new High School NVC competition in Boulder.

Since its inception, NVC has been known as CU Boulder’s entrepreneurial “flight simulator.” NVC gives aspiring CU Boulder entrepreneurs a chance to build a startup through entrepreneurial programming, community support, mentorship and funding.

The Conrad Challenge is a purpose-driven innovation curriculum and competition, creating the next generation of entrepreneurs who will change the world. With the Challenge’s step-by-step guidance and the support of industry experts, high school students solve problems through collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication skills.

Program Details

Students at any Colorado high school can compete in the Conrad Challenge and/or the High School NVC. High Schools can utilize the Conrad Challenge’s Resource Library to guide them through the entrepreneurial journey starting in August. Learn more about the Conrad Challenge


Aug.-Oct.—Activation Stage

Teacher workshop at CU Boulder. Students embark on their journey by assembling their crew of 2-5 students plus a coach and then submit their registration to the Conrad Challenge.

Oct.-Nov.—Lean Canvas Stage

Student teams plan out their path by brainstorming ideas, selecting their innovation and category, and preparing a Lean Canvas.

Nov.-Jan.—Innovation Stage

Students bring their innovation to life by writing an Innovation Brief, recording an Innovation Video, and creating a website (Cyber-Technology only).

Feb.—Launch Stage

Teams can register for the High School NVC. Teams will submit executive summaries and video pitches.


Regional competition for the High School NVC. There will be tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to be won!


The Conrad Challenge and NVC competitions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a team HAVE to compete in both the High School NVC and the Conrad Challenge?

No. A team can compete in one or both competitions.

Does it cost money to participate?

There is no fee for the Hich School NVC. However, there is a registration fee for the Conrad Challenge. But this is only paid if your team continues on from the Innovation Stage of the program.

Where is the competition for the Conrad Challenge?

The finals are held at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston in early April.

Where is the competition for the High School NVC?

The final competition will be held on the CU Boulder campus in late April.

Do I have to be in Colorado to compete in the High School NVC?

Yes, to compete in the High School NVC, your team must be enrolled in a Colorado high school.