History & Mission


The GW New Venture Competition was launched in 2009 by John Rollins and the former dean of the GW School of Business, Susan Phillips. John Rollins directed the competition until his retirement in 2014. Lex McCusker directed the competition from 2015 - 2018 and is currently the Director of Student Entrepreneurship Programs in the GW Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Scott Stein is the current director.

Initial funding for the Competition was provided by a generous grant from Governor Richard Scott and Annette Scott. Governor and Mrs. Scott have supported the program each year since its inception.

The GW New Venture Competition has grown significantly since it was founded. The cash prizes have grown from $30,000 in 2009 to more than $319,000 in 2018, and the number of teams have increased to 137 this during this past year, making it the largest of any university’s competition in the region.


The GW New Venture Competition was created to give GW students, faculty, staff and alumni a real-world, experiential learning opportunity in entrepreneurship. It is also designed to foster an entrepreneurial climate at GW and allow Competition winners to actually launch and operate their ventures while maintaining complete control of their ventures through the issuance of non-dilutive cash grants as prize money.

As the Competition continues into 2019, it retains its two overarching goals:

  • To deliver an excellent, broad-based learning experience in innovation and creative problem solving for all GW students.
  • To nurture sustainable, scalable and profitable ventures that create wealth and have social impact.

In 2018, the GW New Venture Competition awarded over $319,000 in cash prizes in-kind prizes and is the ninth largest collegiate entrepreneurship competition in the country.

For more information on the program's support resources and how to get involved, please contact us: [email protected]

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