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 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.

Dates and Deadlines

Competition Kickoff and Beall Bash Networking Mixer Registration November 6, 2019
Workshop 1: Ideation and Brainstorming Registration November 20, 2019
Workshop 2: Problem Solving Registration January 14, 2020
Workshop 3: How to Write a Concept Paper Registration January 22, 2020
Workshop 4: Team Formation Registration January 28, 2020
Workshop 5: Market Research Registration February 11, 2020
Workshop 6: Intellectual Property Registration February 13, 2020
Concept Papers and 60-Second Pitch Videos Due February 20, 2020
Semi-Finalists Announced March 3, 2020
Wildcard Voting Open March 3-6, 2020
Wildcard Announced March 9, 2020
Workshop 7: Corporate Responsibility and Social Enterprise Registration March 12, 2020
Workshop 8: Go to Market Strategy Registration April 7, 2020
Workshop 9: Financial Models and Valuation Registration April 9, 2020
Workshop 10: How to Pitch and Deal with Q&A Registration April 14, 2020
Workshop 11: Sales Tips and Bootstrapping Registration April 22, 2020
PITCH DECKS DUE (11:59 pm) April 29, 2020
Semi-Finals: Board Room Pitches May 6, 2020
Finalists Announced May 8, 2020
Grand Finale: Ant Tank Pitches and Reception Registration May 21, 2020

*All dates are subject to change

New Venture Competition Participants

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 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

  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 (but did not win a prize) can 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

NVC Competition Tracks

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.

Competition Prizes

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 p.m. on Thursday, February 20, 2019.

*NEW* The Wildcard Round

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 Wednesday, May 6, 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:

Example of a good pitch deck:

*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.

Competition Resources

Contact Us

General Information and Sponsorship Opportunities:

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


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          

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