Team Guidelines & Requirements
- One founding member of the team must have a CU Boulder BuffOne Card.
- Team members must be current CU Boulder students, faculty or staff members. Members of the non-CU community may join a team, as long as at least one member of the team has a CU Boulder BuffOne Card AND a significant role in the business creation.
- The team must join the StartupTree online community, add their venture/idea on StartupTree and register for NVC.
To participate in the New Venture Challenge, teams must enter one of five Tracks and will select one when they register for NVC.
Not sure which Track to enter?
The General Track is supported by the Leeds School of Business.
For teams whose innovations are not focused on research & development, technology, or creative ventures, the General Track is open to all ideas.
Examples of sectors that fit in the General Track include:
- Consumer Packaged Goods
- Food & Beverage
- Organics & Natural
- Apparel, Textiles, Fashion & Design
- Marketing, Advertising & Communications
- Education & Health Services
- Leisure & Hospitality
- Financial Services
- Trade, Transportation & Utilities
- Professional & Business Services
- Could also be your coolest and first-of-a-kind coffee shop!
For any questions or inquiries, please contact Andrew Morton at email@example.com.
The Research & Development (R&D) Track is supported by CU Boulder Venture Partners (formerly known as the Technology Transfer Office).
The R&D Track is for teams focused on products and processes that were developed or designed in a lab or that require further research and development. If you developed your technology in a University of Colorado Boulder lab, you will likely compete in the R&D Track.
- Polymers and Plastics
- Consumer electronics
- Autonomous vehicles
- Optical Devices
- Food and Agriculture
- Medical Devices
- Research Tools
If your product or service contains novel components (a.k.a. a new innovation) instead of available/off-the-shelf components, it is recommended you enter the Hardware Track.
For any questions or inquiries, please contact Marta Zgagacz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The IT Track is supported by Silicon Flatirons.
The Information Technology (IT) Track is for businesses emphasizing any of the following:
- Software programming/computer science engineering
- Social media
- Digital game platforms
- Data/content aggregators
- SaaS (Software as a Service)
- Data analytics
- Routine automation
- Cybersecurity/data privacy
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
For any questions or inquiries, please contact Amelia Black at Amelia.Black@colorado.edu.
The Hardware Track is supported by the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
This track emphasizes the following as key verticals, core competencies or necessary business drivers:
- Companies should have a hardware product as a key component of their business, including (but not limited to) combinations of hardware and software.
- The products and companies that best fit this track are likely to fall into the following categories, though this is not a complete list:
- Connected devices, wearables and other sensor-driven products
- Consumer products
- Robotics for industrial/commercial/personal use
- Smart home products
- Drones and autonomous vehicles
- Personal health devices
- Tech for women
- And more...
For companies focusing on commercializing technology out of campus research labs, developing technologies that require novel component creation instead of using available/off the shelf components, or facing a multi-year go-to market timeline (like a real R&D project), it is recommended you enter the R&D Track.
For any questions or inquiries, please contact Kyle Judah at email@example.com.
The Creative Industries Track is supported by the College of Media, Communication and Information (CMCI) and the College of Music.
The Creative Industries Track supports ventures that are creatively focused. Teams that choose to participate in this track are focused on art and design, media, and the performing arts. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Advertising (Creative Media)
- Television or film
- Apparel, textiles, fashion
While teams can only compete in one Track, there is a spot in the NVC for everyone; the individual Tracks are for organizational purposes and are not meant to exclude teams and ideas. Each Track will provide different mentors and host their own workshops and events, but all Track events are open to everyone regardless of who is hosting!
- Throughout the NVC season, there are tons of events hosted across campus to help you validate your idea, refine your pitch, find customers, network with others, learn skills as it pertains to your particular industry and more. While these workshops and events are NOT mandatory, it is highly encouraged that you attend as many as you see fit to prepare for the NVC competition.
- If you wish to compete in NVC, the following events are MANDATORY for your team to RSVP and attend:
- Track Semi-Finals: Each Track accepts submissions and holds a Semi-Final competition.
- Track Finals: The winners of the Track Semi-Finals competition then compete in the Track Finals to win funding up to $10,000.
- NVC Championships: Track Finals winners then move on to the NVC Championships for a chance to win even more funding up to $200,000 ($100,000 in cash, $100,000 in a convertible note)!
Submission Requirements and Judging Criteria
Prior to competing in their respective Track Semi-Finals event, each team will need to submit a 2-page Executive Summary and a Pitch Deck (in PowerPoint format ONLY) to their Track Leader by March 1 (might be subject to change, Track leaders will communicate deadline). At each stage of NVC competition, teams will have 5 minutes to pitch and 5 minutes for Q&A from a panel of judges.
2-PAGE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
- Overview (1 paragraph)
- Problem You Are Solving
- Evidence of Market Research
- Brief Business Plan
PRESENTATION DECK: Think of this as an investor presentation; the only difference is that you are not asking for money at the end. This deck usually consists of 10-20 slides that provide a substantive overview of your business. Design and layout matter.
Teams first compete in their respective Track Semi-Finals competition. If selected to move on to their respective Track Finals, teams can win funding up to $10,000.
Compete to win up to $100,000 in cash, in addition to a potential convertible note of up to $100,000 as determined by the judges.
All finalists competing in the NVC Championships will walk home with some prize, with the amount to be determined by the judges.
There have been great strides for women entrepreneurs recently, yet women are significantly less likely to be entrepreneurs because of lack of mentorship and funding. The Women's Entrepreneurship Prize looks to take on these two challenges by providing mentoring events for all applicants as well as a cash prize for the winning team. To be eligible for the prize, teams must have at least one female founder and will compete in an additional pitch competition outside of the NVC Track Semi-Finals, Finals and Championships.
2019 Prize Details
- Prize: $10,000
- The prize application will be an optional portion of your NVC registration application. The application will include three questions about your interest in the Women's Entrepreneurship Prize, how you will use the prize, and a submission of your presentation (applicants can choose between a video file or a PowerPoint with voiceover).
The Social Impact Prize rewards teams who most effectively incorporate triple bottom-line practices into their business model (people, planet and profit). This prize seeks to reinforce social and environmental responsibility as essential building blocks to success for any business. It is open to all teams competing in NVC. To win the prize, teams will compete in an additional pitch competition outside of the NVC Track Semi-Finals, Finals and Championships.
2019 Prize Details
- 1st Place: $5,000
- 2nd Place: $2,500
- The prize application will be an optional portion of your NVC registration application. It consists of a short open essay on why your business should receive this prize, addressing five questions about your business’ social and environmental impact. Teams that make the cut will be requested to submit their pitch presentation for review. Finalists will then be selected in a closed judging process. The selected teams will pitch at the final competition in front of a live audience. A panel of experts will judge the competition and give real-time feedback on the pitches.