Who is eligible to compete in the New Venture Championship?
The University of Oregon New Venture Championship is open to university student teams with 2-5 members that have at least one graduate student involved with their venture. Students should be enrolled in a degree program or have finished their studies in the current academic year.
Do participants need to be a legal entity to apply?
Participants in NVC are not required to have incorporated their business.
How are the tracks and teams determined for the semifinals?
The 16 semifinalist teams are selected from their scores in the qualifying round. Semifinal plans are then seeded into four tracks with a goal of achieving balanced tracks across all teams.
How are teams selected for the finals competition?
One semifinalist team from each track will advance to the final round. During the semifinal round, a combined score of business plan, presentation, and venture viability are used to evaluate which team will advance. Ultimately judges deliberate after the last presentation and come to a consensus on which team will move forward. This decision is made separately from any other judging track and judges do not know other teams that will be moving forward.
What is the role of the moderator in each session?
The NVC uses moderators to enforce the strict time limits approved for presentations and Q&A. Moderators do not participate in the judging process, but are available for points of clarification for both teams and judges.
What about technical difficulties connecting to virtual meetings and other systems?
NVC staff and our event team will do everything possible to ensure that teams have equal access to technology and systems for the competition. However, connectivity and technology challenges may arise that fall outside of the domain of the event. Issues that directly affect the competition will be addressed on a case by case basis.
How do you select judges?
Our judges are drawn from a diverse population of entrepreneurs, service providers, angel venture capital investors, and seasoned business executives. Each panel is formed to create a well-balanced team of individuals that has a broad understanding of the process of evaluating new venture opportunities.
Do you accept paper copies of the business plan or other materials?
No. NVC is a paperless submission competition, all competition submission documents must be uploaded through the systems provided. The plans must be uploaded by the business plan due date and must be submitted as a single document in a printable PDF format.
Can we display product prototypes for the competition?
Yes, you may bring prototypes for the competition and they may be displayed as part of your presentation materials.
You mandate that the business plan length plus appendix can only be 16 pages. Why?
NVC's requirements are designed to reflect a typical request to provide information to an angel or venture capital investor. Plans are limited to 10 pages of text. Detailed spreadsheets and appropriate appendices can follow the text portion of the plan but will be limited to six pages (total 16 pages). Plans must be formatted in 1.5 line spacing with 1 inch, bottom, left, and right margins. This line spacing and font requirement applies to the textual content of the document and not to titles and descriptions accompanying pictures, graphs, tables, worksheets, or graphics.
Is a faculty advisor necessary?
Yes. As stated in the rules of eligibility, all entries must be prepared under faculty supervision and for credit in a regularly scheduled course or as an independent study for credit. We also strongly urge the faculty advisor to participate in the competition.
Do the team members receive the cash prize or does it go to back to our school?
We provide two options for issuing checks:
- We can issue a check directly to any team that has formed a business entity for tax purposes and provides us with a completed W-9.
- For those teams who have not formed a business, award checks will be issued directly to your university itself. Each individual university is free to determine how the prize money is allocated. We suggest you talk to your advisor or other university personnel to determine their policies regarding this issue.
How does my business idea stay protected? Does everyone sign confidentiality agreements?
None of the judges or other participants of the New Venture Championship are required to sign non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements. Teams should consider the activities of the event to be in the public domain.