Key takeaways

Not long after Specdrums won the New Venture Challenge, the startup was acquired by Sphero.

 NVC is an annual entrepreneurial competition for teams of CU Boulder students, faculty and staff.

 Colorado Law’s Entrepreneurial Law Clinic gives law students the opportunity to provide legal representation for Colorado startups and small business clients.

Originally published Oct. 3, 2018

In front of a packed house at the Boulder Theater, New Venture Challenge (NVC) finalists had only five minutes to convince a panel of Boulder’s most successful entrepreneurs that their business concept deserved venture funding over the other 100 participating teams. They had prepared for this moment for nine months.

The NVC is an annual entrepreneurial competition where CU Boulder students, faculty and staff form teams, develop innovative ideas for a product or service, refine their products, and then present their pitches. This spring, NVC celebrated its 10th year of fostering innovation and bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and funding sources by providing $75,000 to the most fundable company at the finals.

NVC was a very exciting experience for us. Since not making it past the finals last year, we’ve been working hard to improve our product and build our community. The momentum we’ve achieved since then put us in a great spot to participate in NVC 10, and the countless hours polishing and practicing our pitch paid off.” –Steven Dourmashkin, Specdrums co-founder and CEO

This year’s winner, Specdrums, won the judges over with its creativity, determination and a successful Kickstarter campaign. Specdrums’ product is an app-connected ring worn by users to create music at their fingertips. Not long after the NVC 10 finals, Specdrums was acquired by Sphero, a Boulder-based interactive toy and robot maker.

The Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship cofounded and cultivated the NVC and ran the program for nine years before handing it over to the new CU Boulder Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative last fall.

Before the kickoff of this year’s NVC, Specdrums sought the assistance of Colorado Law’s Entrepreneurial Law Clinic, which gives law students an opportunity to provide legal representation for Colorado’s promising startup and small business clients.

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