New Venture Competition

Calling All Creators, Inventors, and Aspiring Entrepreneurs! The UCI New Venture Competition offers you the opportunity to form a team, launch a startup and potentially fund a business idea – all within five months. The competition is open to all UCI students, staff members and researchers as well as community members. Teams compete for $75,000 in cash prizes plus additional professional services!

Competitors have full control and ownership over what their team creates. We connect you with potential teammates, provide you with the tools to transform your idea into a concept, and even match teams with industry mentors to help you develop your concept into a viable business.

Dates & Deadlines

Competition Kickoff and Beall Bash Networking Mixer ( REGISTER ) November 14, 2018
Workshop 1: Ideation and Brainstorming ( REGISTER ) January 16, 2019
Workshop 2: From Problem to Solution ( REGISTER ) January 23, 2019
Workshop 3: How to Write a Winning Concept Paper ( REGISTER ) January 30, 2019
Bonus Presentation: The Next Generation of Social Enterprise  ( REGISTER ) January 31, 2019
Workshop 4: Intellectual Property ( REGISTER ) February 6, 2019
CONCEPT PAPERS DUE (11:59 pm) - Submit Concept Papers February 24, 2019
Semi-Finalist Teams Announced March 12, 2019
Workshop 5: Go to Market Strategy ( REGISTER ) April 3, 2019
Workshop 6: Financial Models ( REGISTER ) April 10, 2019
Workshop 7: How to Build a Winning Pitch Deck ( REGISTER ) April 17, 2019
Workshop 8: How to Pitch and Deal With Q&A ( REGISTER ) April 24, 2019
Bonus Workshop: How to Influence, Persuade, and Sell Anyone and Anything ( REGISTER ) May 1, 2019
PITCH DECKS DUE (11:59 pm) May 10, 2019
Competition Finals Awards Ceremony and Reception ( REGISTER ) May 22, 2019

*All dates are subject to change

NVC Kickoff

About the Competition

Team Formation Criteria

Team Rules
  1. The UCI New Venture Competition is open to every UCI graduate and undergraduate student. Affiliation with the business school is not required.
  2. To submit a concept paper, there is no team requirement, however, once teams make it to the Pitch Deck phase, you will be required to have a minimum number of four people on your team and at least two team members must be UCI students.
  3. At least 2 team members must be enrolled students at UCI. A registered student is defined as a bona fide student registered at UCI for at least two quarters during the 17-18 academic year.


Developing a robust and multi-talented team is essential to any new venture. Success in the New Venture Competition is no different. Reach beyond your classmates to form a team of many strengths and talents from across campus.
Don’t forget that only 2 team members must be enrolled at UCI. Consider recruiting UCI faculty, staff, alumni and others to your team!

Business Concept Criteria

  1. Teams must present an original idea for a venture which may not have been in existence for more than two years. 
    Note: Practice makes perfect. Teams who competed last year can likely compete with the same idea this year.
  2. 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.
  3. All business concepts must be created by the participant/team who has registered for the competition.

Competition Tracks

UCI New Venture Competition 2019 Business Types - Consumer Products, Consumer Services, Business Products and Services, Life Sciences, Social Enterprise

New ventures have unique considerations based on business type. This has a direct impact on business formation and other early-stage considerations.

Teams compete in 1 of 5 tracks. NVC programming addresses unique considerations for each track. Teams also benefit by working with industry mentors and judges familiar with their type of business.

All teams, regardless of track, are eligible to apply for the Tech Surge Specialty Award.

Tech Surge Specialty Award

Tech Surge, sponsored by UCI Applied Innovation, is a specialty award track that offers extra prize money and support resources to eligible teams in order to encourage the commercialization of UCI-generated inventions. To be eligible, teams must use UCI IP as a core element of their business plan AND be participating in one or more of the following entrepreneurial/ translation related programs at UCI:
  • Wayfinder Incubator at UCI Applied Innovation (current / former participant or applicant)
  • i-Corps @ UCI (current / former participant)
  • POP Grants (current / former applicant or grantee)
  • Grad Slam (current / former participant) 
  • Exception: nomination by Invention Transfer Group licensing officer
UCI intellectual property is defined as UCI-generated innovations that have an assigned case number or Record of Invention (ROI) on file with the Invention Transfer Group at UCI Applied Innovation. Participation must be pre-approved.

For more information about Tech Surge, contact:
Hayley Young
Assistant Director, New Venture Group
UCI Applied Innovation


Competition Prizes

The 1st place winners of all six tracks (five verticals plus Tech Surge) will receive automatic acceptance to the Wayfinder Incubator program at UCI Applied Innovation for the C12 cycle (July-December 2019) to continue to develop their ventures post-competition. Teams must submit an application to Wayfinder by the corresponding application deadline in June in order to receive automatic acceptance. If the completed application is not received, this prize will be forfeited by the team missing the deadline. Visit the UCI Applied Innovation Wayfinder Incubator page for more information and to download the application.

ROUND 1: The Concept Paper

Workshops 1 – 3 prepare teams to submit a 3-page concept paper, a document similar to an executive summary. Judges score the papers to determine the semi-finalists who will advance to the next round.

Concept papers are due by 11:59 pm on Sunday, February 24, 2019.

The UCI ANTrepreneur Center personally meets with every team to discuss judge feedback and deliver results on March 13 – 15, 2019.


ROUND 2: Pitch Deck and Presentation

Semi-finalists continue to develop their business concept. A pitch deck is prepared and is presented to a panel of judges. The Final Presentations will be hosted at the Merage School on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

Teams present for 12 minutes followed by an 8-minute Q & A session. Using a 5-point scale, judges grade team presentations on whether or not each topic that is addressed favors success.

The highest scoring teams within each of the 5 tracks receive awards. Additional awards may also be announced. 

Please consider the Judges Criteria when creating your pitch decks:

Example of a good pitch deck:

Competition Resources

Contact Us

General Information:

Beall Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Or stop by the Merage School SB1-2300

Tech Surge Specialty Award Information:
Hayley Young
Assistant Director, New Venture Group
UCI Applied Innovation

Sponsorship Inquires:
Breanna Hale

2018 - 2019 Competition Resources

Workshop 1: Ideation and Brainstorming

David Ochi and Dan Jenkins

Workshop 2: From Problem to Solution

Matt Bailey

Workshop 3: How to Write a Winning Concept Paper

Larry Wilk and David Ochi

Bonus Workshop: The Next Generation of Social Enterprise

Richard Matthew

Workshop 4: Intellectual Property

Alvin Viray

Workshop 5: Go to Market Strategy

Dan Jenkins

Workshop 6: Financial Models

David Ochi

Workshop 7: How to Build a Winning Pitch Deck

Dan Jenkins

Workshop 8: How to Pitch and Deal with Q&A

Larry Wilk

Bonus Workshop: How to Influence, Persuade, and Sell Anyone and Anything

Karen Nguyen

Judging Criteria

Concept Paper Judging Criteria

Tech Surge Judging Criteria


Business Products Services Judging Rubric

Consumer Products Judging Rubric

Consumer Services Judging Rubric

Life Sciences Judging Rubric

Social Enterprise Judging Rubric


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:

  • Size and growth rate of the market addressed
  • Likelihood that the team can create a sustainable competitive advantage
  • Simplicity of the business model described
  • Believability of the team’s vision and plan

Specifically, judges evaluate each semi-finalist team on the strength of their plan and overall presentation, often this includes 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
  • Communication of Evidence of a Return on Investment

Judges' Assessment of Scalability/Investment Potential

Campus Resources

Past Competition Resources


Beall Center Board of Directors

UCI Masters of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

UCI Applied Innovation        UCI Blum Center      Cove Fund logo          suzhou-logo.jpg

Ken and Carla Neeld        Delphi        Experian        Boeing

Johnson Chuang      Ariel Gabriel      Ramin Mousavi      Dr. Emanuel Shaoulian      

      Numan Siddiqi                   Fiza & Mansoor Shah                  Matt Bailey

Gabriel Holdings        Edwards        Baker Hostetler      genea.png

Become a Sponsor

Support This Program

The Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship strives to inspire innovation and entrepreneurship for the 21st century through all our events and activities. Support from the corporate community enables us to produce research and programs to empower future innovators and current business leaders. Support our vision by supporting this program.

Learn more about sponsorships by contacting, Breanna Hale.

"The New Venture Competition defined my college experience. It provided me with a platform to pursue my entrepreneurial ambitions, meet inspiring and talented people, and ultimately leave my mark at UCI." - Keene Do, UCI BA, Business Administration 2018, 1st Place NVC Winner: Social Enterprise Track in 2018