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 is the current director.
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 $250,000 in 2016, and the number of teams have increased to 106 this 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 2017, 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 2016, the GW New Venture Competition awarded over $250,000 in cash prizes in-kind prizes and is the fifth largest collegiate entrepreneurship competition in the country.