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Competitors from 10 Universities to Compete in New Venture Competition this Month

Feb. 14, 2014

By Shelby Blue

Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business will host the third annual New Venture Competition Feb. 28 to March 1. The New Venture Competition is a national, two-day, dual round business plan competition for students.

"The competition is judged by investors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, academic staff, corporate CEOs and executives. It's a great opportunity for teams to gain feedback from such qualified professionals," said Wes Nemec, program manager at the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship.

Competitors go through two online rounds of judging prior to the competition hosted at Baylor. In the first round, teams must submit a two-page summary of their venture. A 10-page business plan is submitted in the following round. The top 12 teams move on to compete in the upcoming competition.

Entries are accepted from across the nation. Both graduate students and undergraduate students can compete. This year there were close to 80 applications from 33 universities.

The top 12 teams competing are:

• Datavis - University of Arkansas

• Giant Otter Technologies, Inc - Harvard University

• pClouds - Baylor University

• LAMARCA - University of Virginia

• NoShowFix - Yale University

• N Squared Medical Solutions - Wake Forest University

• HemaNotics - University of Arkansas

• ProVazo - University of Virginia

• Rollout - University of Texas-Dallas

• Disease Diagnostic Group - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

• LIGHT LINE - University of Utah-Salt Lake

• REEcycle - University of Houston

This year the competition has a technology focus with student start-ups in the IT/Tech space.

Competitors are now in the mentorship phase and will be working with experienced mentors over the phone to refine ideas and craft pitches.

Once competitors arrive Feb. 28, there will be a kickoff banquet, feedback sessions and an elevator pitch competition. The following day will include the semi-final and final round of presentations. The top three grand prize winners are announced at the end of the presentations.

The first-place team receives $25,000 to launch their business plan. In addition to the cash, there are also sponsors providing services to the winning team. Teams earning second place, third place, and honorable mention receive cash prizes totaling $16,000.

According to Nemec, the New Venture Competition started because many students had entrepreneurial ideas, but lacked opportunities to test them. An anonymous donor gave $2 million to the program in 2011, and it has been growing since its inception. The goals of the competition include fostering entrepreneurial education through feedback and mentorship, experiential learning, new venture creation and networking.

This year, the competition has partnered with the Innovative Business Accelerator at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC). The BRIC will also be donating $10,000 to the competition.

The previous first-place team, Vendevor, was founded by Baylor students. The company has experienced rapid growth and raised over $500,000 from different investors. Vendevor provides coding services to companies enabling them to sell products online.

Students and non-students are welcome to attend. Guests are requested to register online.

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