The Value of NVC

Graduate students have a diverse selection of business plan competitions in which to enter. Some offer large cash prizes to jump-start your business, while others offer an opportunity to receive invaluable feedback directly from the judges. Regardless of the incentives, entering a business plan competition provides an opportunity to expose your business to potential investors who have the resources to take your business to the next level.

For the past 20 years, New Venture Championship (NVC) has provided participants with unparalleled value as they work to make their business plans a reality. Because of its intense academic focus and guaranteed feedback from judges for all competitors, NVC is internationally recognized as one of the top three business plan competition in the world.

Graduate students have chosen NVC over other competitions because it provides an unmatched experience for a start-up venture team. The NVC experience boasts a structured competition, acclaimed judges, and plentiful feedback, all in the heart of Portland, Oregon.

Value of Competition Structure:

This competition has a prize pool of $60,000, with $25,000 awarded to the team champion. At NVC, every group leaves with a cash prize to aid its entrepreneurial endeavors. Out of 20 teams, five are chosen to compete in the final round. The other 15 teams compete in the Lightning Round, where the quality of their teamwork and adaptability is tested in a 15-minute presentation to the judges. Since every team is sure to leave the competition with a financial investment, NVC provides promise to any start-up business.

Keith Larson of Intel Capital, a semifinal judge in 2006, spoke of the prestigious competition, calling it ″one of the top international business plan competitions. The New Venture Championship is a great place to source real deal opportunities.”

Value of Judges:

Many of the competition sponsors are also well-established community members and entrepreneurs who comprise the judging panels. Not only do they provide generous financial support to NVC, but they also offer professional support by allowing members of their executive management teams to participate as judges. Some judges are presidents or CEOs of respected companies, which include Columbia Sportswear, Intel Capital, and Tektronix. The expertise and wisdom they provide to participants is what past participants have called “the most valuable aspect of the competition.”

After winning the 2009 New Venture Championship, Reed Quinn, a student at Brigham Young University, was very pleased with the quality of the competition. “The NVC was by far the best competition that we participated in. The caliber of the judges was phenomenal. We had judges in the first round of judging that purchased our product, tried it, used it, and had feedback on the product and packaging itself.”

Quinn continued, “Judges were much more prepared and knowledgeable about our business than other competitions. They were matched very well with our company. We had judges that had the product experience as opposed to lawyers or real estate experience.”

Jesse Thomas, a participant from the University of Oregon in 2009, said, “The judging was our least and most favorite part of the competition. They are intelligent and ask really good questions. They really challenged us.”

Value of Feedback:

The mission of NVC is to develop skilled and knowledgeable entrepreneurial leaders who are prepared to confront the flux of the business world with creative solutions. This competition is conducive to that goal by empowering judges to provide teams with feedback after each phase of the competition.

Robert Warren, team adviser from the University of Manitoba, is convinced. “This is one competition we attend every year because of the quality of the competition’s structure and the judge’s feedback,” Warren said.

Paul Daily, a participant from Washington State University in 2006, recognizes the value of the NVC. “The feedback we received will enable us to vastly reduce the risk and time to market our venture. Every would-be business leader should compete at NVC.”

Jim Jindrick, a faculty advisor from the University of Arizona in 2006, was pleased with the experience. “NVC is so well-organized. The judges provide excellent feedback — they do a great job of looking at the entire plan not just the technology. NVC for us is the premier competition in the country.”

From former participants to judges and professors, people believe NVC is the premier business plan competition because the quality of judges and the value of their feedback are simply unmatched.

Value of Experience:

NVC is committed to providing an educational atmosphere where students grasp an understanding of the entrepreneurship process and establish ideas about detail orientation crucial to entrepreneurship’s creative side. Each phase of the competition, from its structure to its judges, is engineered to foster the future success of its participants. Previous participants, judges, and sponsors all agree: NVC will benefit your start-up venture — whether you take the grand prize or not.

James Stefanakos, a participant in 2006 from Georgia Institute of Technology, agrees. “The value of the experience I have gained from the NVC is immense. The feedback from the judges was insightful and very helpful for us to achieve our final goal: launching our company.”

Joel Adams, a participant in 2007 from the University of Louisville, felt the same after the competition. “The NVC provided the best judges, the greatest incentives, and the most inspiring community of entrepreneurs that I have yet experienced,” he said. “The feedback and the intensity of the experience are unmatched; the result is a stronger team as we move forward with our venture.”

International students are equally pleased with their experience. Apisek Tewinpagti, a student at Mahidol University in Thailand, left NVC asserting, “Great competition. Learned a lot. Feel like a winner by just being here.”

Judges and business leaders respect the real-life application of this competition. Luis Machuca of Kryptiq Corporation and a finals judge in 2005, said, “NVC is as close to a real-world experience as you can give your students. The preparation required, the pressure and scrutiny from the judges makes it very real.”

John B. Dimmer of FIRS Management, LCC and NVC judge in 2002 and 2004, is confident of the value this competition has to offer. “I have no doubt that these are the business leaders of tomorrow,” he said. “I would like to think that, years from now when we read about them in the business journals, the New Venture Championship played some part in helping them achieve their success.”


Written By Nic Corpora


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