Eligibility

More than $200,000 in available prizes

Eligibility Guidelines

Team Eligibility

The GW New Venture Competition is open to individuals or teams of up to four people. Team requirements include:

  • At least one member of the team must be a currently enrolled GW student. It is required that the GW student be enrolled in a degree program, full-time or part-time, in a semester/term of the academic year in which the Competition takes place.
  • Team may be comprised of up to four people.
  • GW student(s) on the team must have ownership stake of at least 20% in the venture.
  • Only the GW student(s) on the team can present during the semi-finals and finals rounds. No faculty or outside presenters.
  • Only one entry may be submitted per team.

Business Eligibility

The GW New Venture Competition is for new for-profit or not-for-profit ventures. Ventures must meet the following criteria:

  • Less than two years old, as of January 30, 2018.
  • Gross sales of less than $200,000, as of December 31, 2017.
  • Has not won any cash prize in a previous GW New Venture Competition.

Ventures that are a buyout, an expansion of an existing company, a real estate syndication, a tax shelter, a franchise, a licensing agreement for distribution in a different geographical area, or a spin-out from an existing corporation are not eligible.

New businesses that are in the beginning stages and have yet to be formed, are encouraged to enter.

Licensing technologies from GW or other universities or research labs is encouraged.

The GW New Venture Competition has final decision making authority for determinations of eligibility for prizes.

Questions about eligibility for the Competition and for the Special Prizes can be sent to [email protected].

Special Prize Eligibility

Best Undergraduate ($10,000)

Ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility can also qualify for the Prize for Best Undergraduate Venture if at least 50% of the members of the team are currently-enrolled undergraduate GW students.

Fosun Undergraduate Social Venture ($10,000)

Ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility can also qualify for the prize for the Fosun Undergraduate Social Venture Prize if the team is entered in the Social Venture Track and more than half of the GW student members of the team are current GW undergraduates. A team may not win both the Fosun Undergraduate Social Venture Prize and the Fosun Graduate Social Venture Prize. This prize may be counted towards the 1st place prize winner in the social ventures track. 

Fosun Graduate Social Venture ($10,000)

Ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility can also qualify for the prize for the Fosun Graduate Social Venture Prize if the team is entered in the Social Venture Track and at least half of the GW student members of the team are current GW graduate students. A team may not win both the Fosun Graduate Social Venture Prize and the Fosun Undergraduate Social Venture Prize. This prize may be counted towards the 1st place prize winner in the social ventures track. 

Fosun Health & Wellness Venture ($10,000)

Ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility can also qualify for the prize for the Fosun Health and Wellness Venture Prize if their primary product or service addresses issues of health and wellness. These would include but are not limited to:

  • Assessment and improvement of personal health
  • Improving population health
  • Dietary choices for lifelong health
  • Improving personal fitness
  • Achieving and maintaining a health weight
  • Assessing health information
  • Managing stress
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Lowering the risk of infectious diseases
  • Chronic disease risk reduction

Fosun International Venture ($10,000)

Ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility can also qualify for the prize for the Fosun International Venture Prize if two or more of the GW student members of the team are international students. 

Best Women's Venture ($10,000)

This prize is designed to encourage GW women to take on leadership roles in startup ventures.

Ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility can also qualify for the Prize for Best Women's Venture if they meet both of the following conditions:

  • the founder or a co-founder of the venture is a female GW student or faculty member and
  • at least 50% of the venture is owned by women (or in the case of a non-profit venture, at least 50% of the board of directors are women).

Audience Choice ($10,000)

All participants are eligible for the Audience Choice Award and do not need to apply separately for the prize. The award is given to the team whose oral presentation receives the largest number of unique votes from those attending the final presentation session on the day of the GW New Venture Competition Finals on April 18, 2019.

Quinn Prize for International and Social Entrepreneurship ($7,500)

Ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility can also qualify for the Quinn Prize for Best International and Social Entrepreneurship Venture if:

  • The venture’s product or service offerings are intended for international markets (defined as at least one other country outside the US), or
  • The venture's product or service offerings provide significant value to international companies seeking to do business in the United States, and
  • The venture's mission has a strong social entrepreneurship thrust.

Best Medical Device Venture ($7,500)

This prize is designed to foster innovation in medicine and cross-collaboration among students studying at different schools or academic areas, especially between students from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the School of Nursing with students from the GW School of Business.

Ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility can also qualify for the Prize for Best Medical Device Venture if the venture provides a medical device or system (instrumentation, apparatus or machine) to solve or help manage a health problem and/or improve the quality of life.

Pharmaceuticals are not eligible for this prize, but web and mobile applications (apps) will be given consideration for this award.

Team must include at least one GW student or faculty member from the medical sciences. Preference will be given to students and faculty from the School of Medicine and Health Science and School of Nursing, but students and faculty from sciences, engineering or public health may also meet this requirement.

Team must also include at least one student from another GW school or academic area. Preference will be given to teams that include a student from the GW School of Business.

 

Best Sustainable Infrastructure Venture Prize ($5,000)

New ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility can also qualify for the Best Sustainable Infrastructure Venture Prize if the venture applies new technologies, entrepreneurial ideas or innovative approaches in traditional business sectors like Energy, Infrastructure, Water, Utilities or Manufacturing to mitigate impact to the environment, and local or global ecosystems.

Donors:

Daron Coates, Managing Director

ThinkBox Group, LL C

http://www.thinkboxgroup.com

[email protected]

Paul Orentas, Managing Principal
ThinkBox Group, LLC

http://www.thinkboxgroup.com

[email protected]

Opportune LLP Clean Energy Venture Prize ($5,000)

New ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility can qualify for the Opportune LLP Clean Energy Prize if the venture applies new entrepreneurial ideas or innovative approaches for clean energy solutions that impact areas such as climate, water, ecosystems and renewable sources of energy.

Donors:

Matt Flanagan, Partner

Opportune LLP

http://opportune.com/

 

Older-Adult Focused Innovation ($5,000)

With this AARP Foundation Prize, the business plan must address, with respect to low-income (those earning less than $46,000 per household) seniors (50+), one or more of the following needs:

  • the need for healthier food at more affordable prices
  • the need for a home that better allows the occupant to affordably age-in-place
  • the need for increased income
  • the need to reduce the negative impact of isolation on physical, mental and emotional well-being

Veterans Prize ($5,000)

Ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility can also qualify for the special Veterans Prize in either of three ways:

One or more of the GW student-owners of the venture is

  • a veteran,
  • on active duty,
  • currently enrolled in ROTC or
  • a member of the Reserves or National Guard.

One or more of the GW student-owners of the venture is a spouse of 

  • a veteran,
  • someone on active duty,
  • someone currently enrolled in ROTC or
  • a current member of the Reserves or National Guard.

The venture's product or service offerings are primarily intended to address the needs of veterans.

Best Food & Beverage Industry Venture ($5,000)

Ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility can also qualify for the prize for the Best Food & Beverage Industry Venture if they offer a product or service in the food, beverage, restaurant, food service (bakeries, catering, hospitality, etc.) and butrition industries.

Most Innovative Food & Beverage Industry Venture ($5,000)

Ventures that meet the requirements for participant eligibility and business eligibility will also be considered for the prize for the Most Innovative Food & Beverage Industry Venture to the degree that they address one or more of the following industry trends:

  • The "experience" factor. Does the venture offer a dining or nutritional experience that goes beyond basic nutritional needs?
  • The "supply unchained" factor. Does the venture employ authenticity and sustainable sourcing and production (e.g., eat local, farm to table, etc.) rather than typical supply chain solutions?
  • Better business concept. Does the venture connect to brands and food & beverage concepts that have social & environmental value, through production and consumption with positive impacts and full transparency?
  • Social media engagement through the "Youniverse" factor. Does the venture employ marketing initiatives that creatively encourage social media engagement?
  • The "convi-tech" factor. Does the venture aim at meeting the expectation for convenience through innovation and technology;
  • Use of big data and analytics. Does the venture use data to gain a better understanding of their customer?

Finalist Team Interviews