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 seven months. The competition is open to all UCI students, staff members and researchers as well as community members. Teams compete for $100,000 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.
Please register for the workshops that you would like to attend. Those who have registered will be sent access links to Zoom workshop sessions and live Q&A session.
Dates and Deadlines
January 13, 2021
Workshop 1: How to Come Up With a Billion Dollar Idea
January 20, 2021
Workshop 2: From Idea to Business
January 27, 2021
Elevator Pitch Submission OPENS
January 31, 2021
Workshop 3: How to Write a Winning Concept Paper
February 3, 2021
Workshop 4: How to Form a Winning Team
February 17, 2021
Workshop 5: Is There a Market for Your Product?
February 24, 2021
Concept Papers & Videos Due
February 28, 2021
Workshop 6: Demystifying Intellectual Property
April 7, 2021
Workshop 7: How to Go to Market
April 14, 2021
Workshop 8: How to Make Money
April 21, 2021
Workshop 9: How to Build a Winning Pitch Deck
April 28, 2021
Workshop 10: How to Pitch and Deal with Q&A (Tips & Tricks for Pitching Online)
May 5, 2021
Board Room Pitches Day 1
May 13, 2021
Board Room Pitches Day 2
May 14, 2021
Ant Tank Finale
May 29, 2021
*All dates are subject to change
About the Competition
Team Formation Criteria
The UCI New Venture Competition is open to every UCI graduate and undergraduate student. Affiliation with the business school is not required.
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.
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 19-20 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
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 (but did not win a prize) can compete with the same idea this year.
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.
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.
The first and second place teams in each track at the Semi Final Board Room round will each receive $10,000 and $5,000 respectively. They will then advance to compete in the Ant Tank Grand Finale for a grand prize to be announced. Additional specialty prizes may be announced as well.
ROUND 1: The Concept Paper and Video Quick Pitch
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. 60 Second pitch videos will also be due along with your team’s concept paper to qualify you for the Wildcard round. We will be sharing examples of a quick pitch video shortly- stay tuned!
Concept papers are due by 11:59 a.m. on Thursday, February 20, 2020.
Teams who do not score high enough marks on their concept paper to qualify them for the Semi-Finals will still have a chance to stay in the competition through the Wildcard round. This is a new round designed to recognize great ideas that can get a lot of support.
Each team will have submitted a short 60 second video on February 20 along with their concept papers. After the papers have been scored and results have been announced on March 3, teams who do not instantly advance will have the opportunity to compete for the highest amount of votes on their videos. The top 1-3 teams who receive the most votes will re-enter the competition and compete in the Semi-Final Board Room round! We’ll be posting more rules and information shortly - stay tuned!
ROUND 2: Semi-Finals Board Room Pitches
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 Friday, May 8, 2020.
Teams present for 10 minutes followed by an 10-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:
*Note: Due to COVID 19 and campus closure, this round will be hosted via Zoom*
*NEW* ROUND 3: Grand Finale Ant Tank
New this year, the teams who win first and second place in their tracks not only walk away with their share of the prize money, but they will also compete head to head in a LIVE Shark Tank inspired quick-pitch for our Ant Tank Grand Finale! We have more prize money on the table for the teams who can WOW our judges and the audience in a quick 3 minute pitch with 5 minute Q&A from our esteemed judge panel. Stay tuned for more information and updates.
*Note: Due to COVID 19 and campus closure, this round will be hosted via Zoom*
General Information and Sponsorship Opportunities:
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 Potential for Product or Service
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
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.
"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
This entire competition is subject to the UCI Academic Integrity Policy as outlined in this link.