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It’s all come down to this.


What is it?


The New Venture Challenge is the final phase of the Miller Competition Series. Competing teams showed off their business models in the BMC and now they are ready to present their start-up company. The top 8 teams in the New Venture Challenge will be awarded $15,000 and admitted to the summer-long Founders’ Launchpad accelerator. Throughout the Founders’ Launchpad, students will have the opportunity to work on their business in free office space, receive a personal mentor, attend exclusive workshops, and prepare for future investment.


The  competition will span three rounds beginning on (TBA).

ROUND 1: Online submissions. The top 16 will advance. See Submission Details for more information.

ROUND 2: Speed Pitch and Showcase.

The Speed Pitch will take place from 2:00-3:30pm in W408/W410 Tanner Building. Each of the top 16 teams will give a 90-second pitch to the Founders group. After all teams have pitched, each team will meet briefly with each Founder to answer questions and receive feedback. The Founders will receive a copy of your executive summary from Round 1. They will also be given $1,000 in fake money that they will then “invest” in the businesses they like best at that point. The top three teams that are NOT in the top 8 will win awards:

  • 1st place: $1,500
  • 2nd place: $1,000
  • 3rd place: $500

Winners will be announced at the Final Event.

The Showcase will take place from 10:00am-12:00pm in various rooms in the Tanner Building. Each team will have 25 minutes to present their business and field questions from the Founders and MCS Faculty. The presentation should be an investor style pitch and teams should be ready to answer difficult questions about the launching and scaling of their business. Teams will also receive a mentor and a study room from 9:00am-12:00pm, and are welcome to use this time to help them prepare and polish their presentations.

There is no required presentation format, but typically teams give a 10 minute pitch followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. Teams will use their own computer to run the presentation and should arrive before their scheduled time to make sure their tech works. Teams will receive their time and room assignments via email after Round 1.

After the showcase, the teams will be served lunch from 12:00-1:00 pm. The top 8 teams will be announced at 1:00 pm. The top 8 teams will win $15,000 each, office space, and a place in the founders launchpad.*

*NOTE: The top 8 MUST be available in the summer to participate in the launchpad. If for some reason, your team is not available, contact the MCS team to discuss contest eligibility.

ROUND 3: The Final Event

The Final Event will take place from 3:00-4:30pm in the JSB Auditorium. The top 8 teams will compete in a “Shark Tank” style event in front of an audience of 800+. All 8 teams will then present a 4-minute presentation to a set of onstage judges as well as the audience. The judges will have 2 minutes to ask questions. Teams are competing for two final awards: Founders’ Choice ($5,000) and Crowd Favorite ($2,000).

Submission Details

ROUND 1: Online Submission

Submission Deadline: March (TBA), 2018

Required elements:

  • Executive Summary: Use the following template. The document should be 1 page long, saved as a pdf, and be a stand alone document*.  Upload it to google drive and share the link in the info form below.
  • Video Pitch: a 6-minute narrated presentation or video pitch. Make an unlisted youtube video and copy the link in the info form. This pitch should be an investor style pitch and should include information about the following (as well as answer the judging criteria above):
    • Company Purpose
    • Problem
    • Solution
    • Market Size & Opportunity
    • Competition
    • Product
    • Revenue Model
    • Go to Market Strategy
    • Team
    • Financials
  • Info form: Fill out this form. Includes team members, contact info, cap table (to check eligibility), etc.

*: The Executive Summaries will be used for a preliminary round. After that round, the Videos will be used to narrow the teams down to 16. So make sure your Executive Summaries are all-encompassing.

The top 16 teams will be announced via email by March 23, 2017 at 11:59pm.

Rounds 2 & 3: Speed Pitch and Showcase, & The Final Event

Submission Deadline: March 28, 2018 at 11:59pm

Required elements:

  • Speed Pitch slide: single-slide with no animation for the 90-second pitch competition. Must be in Powerpoint 16:9 format.
  • Final Event slides: 4-minute presentation. “Shark Tank” style presentation. Must be in Powerpoint 16:9 format. (Note: Only the top 8 will give this presentation, but we need everyone’s slides ahead of time as there is no time to prepare after the 8 teams are selected)

Judging Criteria

The following criteria will be used throughout all three rounds of the New Venture Challenge. The judging criteria are as follows:

  • Is the customer pain both clearly identified and legitimate?
  • How well does the solution address the pain?
  • What is the market potential?
  • How scalable is the business?
  • What is the level of validation and/or traction?
  • How unique is the value proposition?
  • How likely would you (the judge) be to invest in this business?

The Founders will be the primary judges for the entire competition. Use opportunities in the Speed Pitch, Showcase, and the Final Event to network, receive feedback, and show them what you’ve got.