Small Biz Start-Up:



The 2017 New Venture Competition at the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Paul Merage School of Business and UCI Applied Innovation is one of the nation’s premier new venture competitions offering all UC Irvine students, staff and researchers the opportunity to form a team, create a startup and potentially fund their idea all within six months.


After registering on Startup Compete, participants form a team, submit their concept papers and attend competition-related workshops. This culminates in the selection of the semi-finalists and finalists.

The Final Presentations and Awards Ceremony for the Competition will be held on May 12. Winning teams will be awarded more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind awards on that day.

Between the kickoff and the finals, we offer more than 8 workshops covering a broad area of startup development skills led by experts and New Venture Competition judges.

A special thanks to our sponsors:


  Gold Level Sponsors:



        UCI Blum Center


Silver Level Sponsors:





Bronze Level Sponsors:








Hannah Thompson

Program Manager

Beall Center for Innovation

and Entrepreneurship





Workshop #6 "How to Build a Pitch Deck"
April 5, 5:30 to 7:00 PM
Merage School
Register Here
New Venture Competition Workshop #7 “How to Deal with Q&A”

April 19, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Merage School
Register Here
New Venture Competition Final Presentation and Awards Ceremony
May 12, Presentations (All Day)
Merage School
Presentations will be private, but all are welcome to attend the awards ceremony, which will be held on the same day at 5:30 p.m.



1. Competition Format BACK TO TOP MENU

Teams must identify with one of the following Competition Tracks:

1. Consumer Products

2. Consumer Services

3. Business Products and Services

4. Life Sciences

Part 1 of the Competition:

Submit a Concept Paper -- Participants are required to submit a concept paper that is no longer than 3 pages (not including the cover page). Concept papers are due by January 30, 2017. Judges will grade the papers to determine who is moving to the next round. Teams are required to submit a document similar to an executive summary. Please consider the Judges Criteria when writing your Concept Paper.


Examples of good concept papers:

Part 2 of the Competition

Teams who advance to the next round will verbally present their pitch deck to a panel of judges at the New Venture Competition Final Presentation on May 12, 2017.

There will be a 12-minute presentation followed by an 8-minute Q & A session. Judges will grade whether or not each topic that is addressed favors success, and will again grade teams on a 5-point scale. Teams with the highest score will receive the award.



All UC Irvine Graduate and Undergraduate students are invited to participate in the New Venture Competition. Teams are required to have at least three (3) total members, two of whom must be registered UC Irvine Students*.

* A “registered student” is defined as a bona fide student registered at UC Irvine for at least two (2) quarters during the 16-17 academic year.


If you are looking to join a team, please join the 2017 New Venture Competition Facebook group.

You may also post a brief video pitch on the New Venture Competition channel on If you are looking to join a team, be sure to mention the skills you can provide. If you have an idea, be sure to mention the idea and let people know what kind of teammates you are looking to recruit.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Please see the FAQ for Beall New Venture Competition for more information.

3. Business Plan/Idea BACK TO TOP MENU

Teams must present an original idea for a company which may not have been in existence prior to January 2015. Teams must be in pre-incubator form and must not have received financial backing by professional third-party accelerators, incubators, existing companies or venture capitalists in an amount greater than $10,000.

All business concepts must be created by the participant/team who has registered for the competition.


4. Judging Guidelines BACK TO TOP MENU
Our judges are professionals who come from various business backgrounds and include experienced investors, entrepreneurs, and senior business practitioners who interact with early stage companies. Each judge is an expert in the process of starting a business. The judges consider specific criteria when evaluating concept papers and pitch decks, however, ultimately, winning teams are those in which the judges would most likely invest their own money. This decision is influenced heavily by several factors, including:

1.    Size and growth rate of the market addressed;
2.    Likelihood that the team can create a sustainable competitive advantage;
3.    Simplicity of the business model described; and
4.    Believability of the team’s vision and plan.

Specifically, judges will evaluate each semi-finalist team on the strength of their plan and overall presentation, often this wll include criteria such as:
Quality of Business Environment Assessment and Model Design
  • Executive Summary & Company Overview
  • Products or Services
  • Market Need
  • Market Potential for Product or Service
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Management
  • Financial Forecasts
Impact of Presentation
  • Communication of Evidence of a Market
  • Communication of Evidence of Ability to Execute
  • Commnication of Evidence of a Return on Investment

Judges' Assessment of Scalability/Investment Potential

5. Award Divisions BACK TO TOP MENU

Teams will enter into 1 of 4 competition tracks based on the nature of their business idea.

  • Consumer Products: Concepts focused on a tangible product that could be used by a person or a household for non-business purposes.
  • Consumer Services: Concepts related to a range of services provided to consumers of a product that produces, markets or supports the product.
  • Business Products/Services: Concepts related to a range of products or services that supports businesses.
  • Life Sciences: Ideas related to medical devices, instrumentation, biotechnology, therapeutics and diagnostics.

Teams will compete against other teams within their specific track.

6. Special Awards BACK TO TOP MENU

The following awards exist for the purpose of encouraging and supporting commercialization activity for promising businesses after the New Venture Competition has concluded. Prizes are given to the winners of these awards in two phases: 1) an initial unrestricted cash prize to be distributed at the close of the competition and 2) a restricted grant to be distributed upon completion of specific future milestones set forth by the respective granting entity and the individual team. As part of the second phase, winning teams in these tracks are given the special opportunity to further develop their businesses during a structured summer residency at The Cove.


Designing Solutions for Poverty Award: The 3rd annual Designing Solutions for Poverty Award builds on past competitions to engage the campus and broader community in submitting proposals of a design or technology-based solution with the capacity to be applied to a real world, poverty-related problem, in areas such as financial inclusion, energy, water, health and services. The winning ideas will receive up to $20,000 in funding as well as mentorship and support. Learn more about the Designing Solutions for Poverty Award.


School of Medicine Award: The School of Medicine Award, sponsored by the UCI School of Medicine, is provided in an effort to encourage the transformation of knowledge into the next generation of life-saving medical technologies. To qualify for this track, a team must either be using UCI School of Medicine intellectual property (IP) as a core element of the business it is entering into the NVC or have at least one team member with current UCI School of Medicine affiliation (faculty, staff, or student). The winning team is awarded $15,000, distributed as a $1,000 unrestricted cash prize and a $14,000 grant for commercialization activity. Teams competing in this track will give separate pitches at a to-be-determined date in the spring. To register for this track, indicate "UCI School of Medicine Award" when submitting your Concept Paper.


Tech Surge Awards: The Tech Surge Awards, sponsored by UCI Applied Innovation, are provided in an effort to encourage the translation of UCI-generated innovations. To qualify for this track, a team must use UCI intellectual property (IP)* as a core element of the business it is entering into the NVC. Teams in this track compete for over $20,000 across four awards and will give separate pitches at a to-be-determined date in the spring. To register for this track, indicate “UCI Tech Surge Awards” when submitting your Concept paper and SEE BELOW for required intermediate steps. 

In order to be competitive in the Tech Surge Track, teams must have had adequate time to access, review, and analyze UCI IP ahead of the NVC Concept Paper submission deadline. Thus, teams wishing to enter the Tech Surge Track must register with UCI Applied Innovation by no later than January 23, 2017, one week prior to the Concept Paper deadline. To initiate this process, email Doug Crawford ( to discuss the technology and associated participation in the Tech Surge track. For more detailed information, see About Tech Surge.


The prizes for Tech Surge Awards are as follows:



Overall Prize

Unrestricted Cash

Restricted Grant Funds

In-Kind Award






Cove Share

Summer Program





Honorable Mention




Honorable Mention




Outstanding Undergraduate**





** Only awarded if there is a qualifying team for which the award applies. If an undergraduate team places in one of the main prize categories in the Tech Surge Awards, that team will be awarded the undergraduate prize in addition to the main prize won.


*A partial list of the available Tech Surge IP from which to choose is listed below and will be continually updated. Teams instead wishing to use UCI IP not listed may browse the library of Available Technologies published by the Invention Transfer Group (ITG) at UCI Applied Innovation. In either case, you MAY NOT contact or engage in any way with a UCI inventor on any UCI IP prior to getting approval from the ITG; doing so will result in your disqualification from the Tech Surge Track. Contact Doug Crawford ( with any questions regarding this process.

7. Tech Surge Award BACK TO TOP MENU

Click here to view the Tech Surge IP Descriptions.


Tech Category

(*= Also eligible for School of Medicine Award)

 Case #  NVC Title
Biotechnology 2013-884 Protein Refolding Device For Industrial Production Of Biologics
Computers 2014-605 Referenceless Clock Recovery Circuit With Wide Frequency Acquisition Range
Diagnostics* 2011-032-3 Infant Movement Diagnostics
Diagnostics* 2014-673-2 Asthma Inhaler Compliance
Diagnostics 2016-922 Malaria Detection From Saliva
Diagnostics* 2013-720 Exhaled Breath Disease Diagnosis / Bedside Monitor
Diagnostics 2016-927 Soluble Fluorescent DNA Redox Probe
Diagnostics* 2014-805 Autism Diagnostic
Diagnostics 2013-232 Microfluidic Peristaltic Pump
Drug Discovery 2009-437-2 High-Throughput Platform /Angiogenesis In Perfused Human Capillaries
Engineering 2001-446 Hydrogen Gas Sensor
Engineering 2009-611 Hydrogen Gas Detection/Paladium Nanowires
Engineering 2016-035 Defending Side Channel Attack/3D Printing
Energy & Environmental 2014-267 Cephalopod Electrical Conduction
Energy & Environmental 2015-217 Infrared Ink Inspired by Cephalopods
Gemstones 2016-275

  Method to Characterize Cut   Gemstones

Healthcare* 2015-665 Selective Facial Nerve Stimulation For Unilateral Facial Paralysis
Healthcare 2016-612 Wheelchair With Gait Trainer
Healthcare* 2011-621-2 Fluid Management Device
Healthcare 2016-338 Controlled Med Dispenser
Healthcare/Computers* 2016-971 Clinical Operations Management/Patient Analytics System (C.O.M.P.A.S.)
Healthcare/Diagnostics 2016-761 High Efficiency  Production Of Medical Radioisotopes
Life Sciences 2012-771 Faster Resistive-Pulse Sensing
Materials 2017-064 Enhancing Mechanical Properties Of Nanostructured Materials
Materials 2016-931 Shape Reconfigurable Material
Materials 2015-409 Graphene Nanoribbons (Polyquinolines)
Medical Devices* 2016-278 Artificial Cornea Device
Medical Devices* 2010-033-3 Direct Drive Micro Hearing Device
Medical Devices 2014-927 Imbedded Oxygen Sensors
Medical Devices* 2016-333 Silent MRI
Nanomaterials 2014-264 Nanostructured Arrays On Flexible Polymer Films
Ophthalmology* 2011-816 Photodynamic Therapy Of The Cornea
Therapeutics 2016-031 Small Molecule Cancer Therapeutic
Therapeutics* 2015-413 Boosting Activity Of Pharmaceuticals
Therapeutics* 2014-219 Vaccine Against Herpes Simplex Virus
Therapeutics* 2012-570 Anti-Viral Therapy
Therapeutics* 2006-560 Breast Cancer Treatment
Therapeutics* 2015-408 Spiroindolinones And Their Uses
Therapeutics* 2016-464 Extracellular Nano-Vesicles For Applications In Therapeutic Delivery
Therapeutics* 2016-767 Alzheimer's Disease Therapy


8. Competition Registration BACK TO TOP MENU

Register on Startup Compete and create your own profile. You will be asked to submit your concept paper and pitch deck via Startup Compete.

9. Competition Calendar BACK TO TOP MENU
Tech Surge Track Registration
January 23, 2017
Email Doug Crawford ( and REGISTER HERE
Concept Paper Submission
January 30, 2017
Sumit via Startup Compete
Specialty Track Presentations
Awards Ceremony
May 12, 2017
2017 Beall New Venture Competition Kick-Off
November 9, 2016 p.m.
Merage School Auditorium
4293 Pereira Drive. Irvine, CA 92617
Tech Surge Mixer

November 30, 5:30 to 7:00 PM

The Cove @ UCI Applied Innovation

Register Here


New Venture Competition Mixer

January 11, 5:30 p.m.

Merage School Lobby and Courtyard

Register Here



Sponsored by Boeing


Workshop #1 "Assessing the Market"

November 15, 5:30 to 7:00 PM

Executive Commons at the Merage School

Register Here


Workshop #2 "How to Create a Concept Paper"

January 18, 5:30 to 7:00 PM

UCI Applied Innovation @ The Cove (5141 California Ave. Irvine, CA)

Register Here


Workshop #3 "How to Transform an Idea into a Business Model"

January 20, 5:30 to 7:00 PM

UCI Applied Innovation @ The Cove (5141 California Ave. Irvine, CA)

Register Here


Workshop #4 "Intellectual Property and Protection"

January 25, 5:30 to 7:00 PM

Merage School Auditorium

Register Here


Workshop #5 "Financials"

March 8, 5:30 to 7:00 PM

Merage School Auditorium

Register Here


Workshop #6 "How to Build a Pitch Deck"

April 5, 5:30 to 7:00 PM

Merage School

Register Here


New Venture Competition Workshop #7 “How to Deal with Q&A”
April 19, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Merage School
Register Here
New Venture Competition Final Presentation and Awards Ceremony
May 12, Presentations (All Day), 5:30 p.m.
Presentations will be private, but all are welcome to attend the awards ceremony, which will be held on the same day at

Register Here


10. Resources for Participants BACK TO TOP MENU

There will be numerous resources available to the teams throughout the competition. They are as follows:

  • Workshops on the key elements of a business plan will be offered from January through April
  • Team coaches for teams selected for Phase II
  • Please visit the ANTrepreneur Center and book a consultation appointment with David Ochi or Breanna Bremer

Resource Center