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Calling All Creators, Inventors, and Aspiring Entrepreneurs!

The UCI New Venture Competition offers UCI students, staff members, and researchers the opportunity to form a team, launch a startup and potentially fund their business idea all within five months. Teams compete for more than $100,000 in prize money!

Competitors have full control 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 at the Merage School ( REGISTER ) November 8, 2017
Mixer & Workshop #1: From Problem to Solution: Developing a Business Idea and Transforming it into a Business Model (REGISTER) January 10, 2018
Tech Surge Mixer at The Cove January 17, 2018
Workshop #2: Creating Your Winning Concept Paper February 1, 2018
Workshop #3: Can You Make Money? Must Have Figures for Concept Papers (REGISTER) February 22, 2018
CONCEPT PAPERS DUE (11:59 pm) - SUBMIT YOUR CONCEPT PAPER February 25, 2018
Concept Paper Scores Delivered to Teams March 13-15, 2018
Mentor Matching 
Workshop #4: Track Tips and Tricks April 2, 2018
Workshop #5: How to Build a Financial Model April 17, 2018
Workshop #6: How to Build a Pitch Deck May 1, 2018
Workshop #7 How to Pitch and Deal with Q&A May 8, 2018
Final deck due to the Beall Center May 11, 2018
New Venture Competition FINAL Presentations and Awards Ceremony May 18, 2018

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.

Recommendations

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!

Form Your Team

  1. Team Formation Database – This is a digital resource to help you find teammates. Whether you have an idea and are recruiting team members or want to participate on any team, you need to be included here. Add yourself by filling out this form!
    Note: If we create an online community to communicate, would you use it? Which platform do you prefer? How else can we help you? Let us know by filling out the form!  
  2. Share information with your networks – Get your friends and classmates interested by inviting them to attend our events and add themselves to the database!
  3. Attend other events – The ANTrepreneur Center hosts daily events on campus which are excellent ways to meet people and gain new knowledge.
  4. The Beall Center is located at The Paul Merage School of Business (SB1) in 2300. Our office is a great location to meet with potential teammates on campus!

Business Concept Criteria

  1. Teams must present an original idea for a venture which may not have been in existence prior to March 1, 2016. 
    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

Competition Matrix

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

Every team, regardless of track, may work with UCI Applied Innovation to develop a business that commercializes intellectual property developed at UCI.

Teams compete for an additional $25,000 in prize money and awards and receive automatic entry into the Wayfinder Incubator Program. This is an excellent opportunity to commercialize real inventions generated from UCI’s world-renown research while gaining access to the vast resources at UCI Applied Innovation including special workshops and hands-on mentoring!

Prizes are awarded to winners in two phases:

  1. An initial unrestricted cash prize to be distributed at the close of the competition 
  2. A restricted grant to be distributed upon completion of specific future milestones set forth by the respective granting entity and the individual team

For more information about Tech Surge, contact:
Hayley Young
Assistant Director, New Venture Group
UCI Applied Innovation
hayley.young@uci.edu

 

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 25, 2018.

The UCI ANTrepreneur Center personally meets with every team to discuss judge feedback and deliver results on March 13 – 15, 2018.

Resources:

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 Paul Merage School of Business on Friday, May 18th.

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
meragebeallcenter@exchange.uci.edu
Or stop by the Merage School SB1-2300

Tech Surge Specialty Award Information:
Hayley Young
Assistant Director, New Venture Group
UCI Applied Innovation
hayley.young@uci.edu

Sponsorship Inquires:
Breanna Hale
949.824.1172
haleb@uci.edu 

2018 Kickoff

2018 Workshops

Workshop #1: From Problem to Solution: Developing a Business Idea and Transforming it into a Business Model 

Larry Wilk, Lecturer, The Paul Merage School of Business

Congratulations on taking the first step of the journey every entrepreneur must start with!

We are including some helpful resources below to aid you in the process. Strategyer, the creator the Business Model Canvas, is a valuable resource and you may access additional tools from their website. One such tool is the Mission Model Canvas which may be helpful to anyone developing a social enterprise.

Larry Wilk also shares suggested reading materials on slide 65.


Workshop #2: Creating Your Winning Concept Paper

Dan Jenkins, Co-Founder & CEO, Monet Networks

NVC mentor and judge Dan Jenkins shared his tips for concept paper success during Workshop #2.

Marc Kelly, Managing Partner, Innovative Financial Consultants


Workshop #3: Financials

Marc Kelly shared his tips for including how to make money and metrics to include in your concept paper.

Resources

Dan Jenkins and Larry Wilk, NVC Judges


Workshop #4: Track Tips and Tricks

Dan Jenkins and Larry Wilk, NVC Judges


Workshop #5: Believable Financials that support your story


Workshop #6: How to Create a Winning Pitch Deck


Workshop #7: How to Pitch and Deal with Q&A

  • Larry Wilk, Lecturer, The Paul Merage School of Business
  • Dan Jenkins, Co-Founder and CEO, Monet Networks

Judging Criteria

Concept Paper Judging Criteria

Tech Surge Judging Criteria

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
  • Commnication of Evidence of a Return on Investment

Judges' Assessment of Scalability/Investment Potential

Campus Resources

Tech Surge Resources

Past Competition Resources

Sponsors

Gold Sponsor

UCIAA 

Silver Sponsor

Edwards       BCPA

Bronze Sponsor

Irvine Company            Niagara           Stradling    Youngry