And the Winner is…ClearBrook Imaging! (Release)

ClearBrook Imaging is $25,000 closer to launching its medical venture after winning the 20th annual New Venture Championship, a business plan competition held by the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship of the University of Oregon.

Sixteen teams of graduate students from universities around the world, including Hong Kong and Thailand, competed in Portland in the three-day competition.  The New Venture Championship, a Forbes magazine top 15 graduate business plan competition, concluded Saturday, April 9.

ClearBrook Imaging

ClearBrook Imaging; Photo by Chelsea Jennings

ClearBrook Imaging is a specialty medical device company that developed intravascular photoacoustic cardiac catheterization imaging technology. ClearBrook’s revolutionary imaging technology can provide cardiologists with the necessary information needed to properly diagnose atherosclerosis and plaque vulnerability.

David Mortellaro, member of ClearBrook, commented about NVC. “It was a fierce competition, and the amount of feedback was almost overwhelming. The interaction between teams and judges was very personal.”

The winner of the New Venture Championship receives an automatic entry to the 2011 Venture Labs Investment Competition, a business plan contest held at The University of Texas at Austin.

The second-place team, aQuainnova from SASIN Institute of Technology at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, received $10,000. aQuainnova has developed tools to detect common viruses in aquaculture. Two runner-up teams, Hemova Medical from Johns Hopkins University and VisiRay from University of Oregon each received $2,500.

NVC Students Relaxing

NVC students enjoying downtime; Photo by Chelsea Jennings

Hemova Medical also won $1,000 for first place in the Tektronix Elevator Pitch competition and CAIR Technologies from University of Manitoba was awarded $1,000 for first place in the Tektronix Trade Show Competition.

Fork in the Road from Portland State University won $1,000 for Best Written Business Plan Award.

In the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) Lightning Round each of the following won $1,500: Fork In The Road from Portland State University, Kalood from Brigham Young University, Enzium from Carnegie Mellon University and CAIR Technologies from University of Manitoba.

The OEN Lightning Round is a brief, intensive one-on-one session in which competitors must make a “quick” pitch without the help of visual aides. All other OEN Lightning Round competitors received $500.

NVC Model Unlike Others

In January, more than one hundred teams yearned to participate in the 20th annual New Venture Championship. Only 16 teams were chosen to venture to Portland for the Semifinal round in this highly competitive competition, held each April.

Each team in the Semifinal round formally presents their venture plan to an esteemed panel of judges that includes venture capitalists, seasoned business executives and experienced entrepreneurs. Presentations are followed by a hard-hitting question-and-answer session. At the end of the round each team is briefed individually and receives extensive feedback from the judges’ panel, a key element of the New Venture Championship (NVC) learning model.NVC Setup

Only four teams whose ideas and plans stand up to rigorous questioning and scrutiny by the judges will rise to the top. Teams must convince investors and executives that the team’s business plan represents a solid, viable investment opportunity.

While other competitions place restrictions or limitations regarding prize money, NVC awards teams with what they need: cash. The winning team also receives automatic berths to 2011 MOOT CORP competition and 2012 New Venture Championship.

Second place receives $10,000; third place receives $2,500; runner-up team receives $2,000.

The twelve teams not chosen as finalists still have an opportunity to win prize money in the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) Lightning Round. Here, the quality of their teamwork and ability to adapt is pushed to the limit. Without the use of props or visual aides, the teams make a “quick” pitch to a new panel of judges. The panel identifies strengths and deficiencies within each plan to leverage the strengths and fix the deficiencies. Teams must meet the challenge of doing it all in fifteen minutes.

No PowerPoint, props, charts, or other support materials can be used in the presentation. During the fifteen-minute adjustment period teams may access research information, related materials, laptop computers and other reference items. Teams have access to napkins and pencils in order to illustrate their points.

When asked about the Lightning Round, AE Solutions from Hong Kong, said, “You better be good at drawing.”

Most teams need hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital in order to take their venture to the next level. While $25,000 may seem relatively small, teams value the opportunity to present their ventures to angel investors, entrepreneurs and top executives, who comprise the judging panel and audience members. Not only could your team exit Portland with $25,000, you may find the person or group willing to invest in your venture.

This opportunity is tremendous and this experience is invaluable.

Written by: Nic Corpora

UpStart Bootcamp

I saw a Twitter post recently that got me thinking about the exciting elevator pitch round soon to take place at the 20th annual New Venture Championship. “5 tips for crafting a killer elevator pitch” tweeted by @upstartbootcamp was an informational article with smart recommendations for nailing elevator pitches. Check out the other posts on the UpStart Bootcamp blog also offering great tips for business plans here.

About UpStart Bootcamp

Upstart Bootcamp is an online school helping entrepreneurs build a successful foundation for their startup businesses. David Ronick and Jennifer Houser founded the company; two entrepreneurs who share a passion for building new ventures and helping other entrepreneurs succeed. The old versus the new “rules” of entrepreneurship had a large influence on why the two founders decided to create UpStart.

Old rules – A number of years ago, the old rules were the only rules. Money was cast toward business plans with unproven results and questionable advancement. If a startup business required a change in direction, it took painfully long amounts of time to change course and redevelop. Any technology began from scratch, which was expensive, and getting attention from potential customers was difficult and time consuming.

New rules– Luckily, times have changed. The new rules are in place allowing business plans to take flight more efficiently and with much less capital. Social media is used as a tool for consumer attraction. Any needed technology can be rented, saving money and time. It is part of UpStart’s goal as a company to help entrepreneurs learn how to take advantage of the new rules of entrepreneurship so they can build the best foundation for their new ventures easier and faster.

UpStart Educational Materials

As any MBA student competing in the New Venture Championship knows, presenting the plan during a pitch deck is what persuades potential investors. “Hit the Deck,” written by UpStart co-founder David Ronick, is a highly recommended guidebook all about the pitch deck. The book contains numerous tips and tools for presenting the finest business plans, as well as informational Q &As and numerous interviews with successful entrepreneurs/investors.  Other educational materials offered on the UpStart website include referrals for professional service providers and private entrepreneurial coaching.

Written by Hannah Moore

Q&A With Mark Wall, Adjunct Professor at University of Oregon School of Business

Before Mark Wall became a professor at U of O, he was an MBA student trying to take his career to the next level. In his first year, Wall joined Aqua Essence, a team competing in the New Venture Championship whose product used nano-molecules to strip arsenic out of drinking water.

Q: What events led to your decision to pursue your MBA?

I was an environmental consultant for 13 years: five years as a private consultant and eight years as an environmental manager with Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB).  I wanted a career change in 2001 and faced a tough job market. I couldn’t compete for jobs against others who had an MBA. I lived in Eugene and it was an opportunity to improve my employability.

Q: Why did you decide to enter the New Venture Championship?

My experience was unique. I was a first-year MBA student with experience in the water industry. Aqua Essence was looking for fresh eyes to take their business plan to the next level.  I had management experience as a consultant but not senior management. Part of management and entrepreneurship is bringing everything together. I’m a learn-by-doing type of person. Competing in a business plan competition provided context and understanding to what I learned in the classroom. The New Venture Championship provided a real-life application of bringing all the elements of business together.

Q: How successful was your team?

Aqua Essence placed second at NVC and qualified for the MOOT CORP competition at University of Texas at Austin, where we placed fourth.  The caliber of teams at both competitions was impeccable. We were prepared for MOOT CORP because of the quality of education and success of the Oregon program.

Q: What value did you receive from the competition?

It certainly gave me a competitive edge. I had tangible applications to use later in job interviews to demonstrate overcoming problems and creating success. An MBA with experience is more desirable than an MBA without experience. Most MBA students are engaged in the concept of business, but not the reality. The New Venture Championship provided that reality. As an educator, that real-life experience provides the context from which I teach.

Q: What did you think of the quality of judges?

The judges are business professionals who bring a level of expertise and insight that you can’t get elsewhere. The opportunity to engage in dialogue with CEOs and top management from international companies greatly contributed to our success at MOOT CORP. The feedback and questions from judges gave us insight into how they look at the world and hearing why those questions were asked took NVC to the next level. Many of the judges look at business plans professionally and bring their passion and expertise to the competition.

Q: What would you tell someone who is considering NVC?

The process is smooth, clean and clear. The caliber of judges is phenomenal. The prizes and opportunities are meaningful, especially for someone who wants to be in the Northwest. From a global trade perspective, the Northwest is the gateway to the Pacific. The interaction with judges and peers provides touch points to your career that are invaluable. I still keep NVC on my resume. The best use of my time as an MBA student was spent doing the New Venture Championship.

 

Written By Nic Corpora

International Spotlight

New Venture Championship prides itself on its identification as one of the premier international business plan competitions in the United States. As recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the top 15 small business plan competitions in the U.S., NVC is rapidly stretching its influence across the water to international applicants. With this in mind, we look at a prime resource for students with a business plan around the world — Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) takes place around the third week of November each year and consists of roughly 30,000 competitions around the world. These competitions range from Startup Weekend, which takes place in 15 cities, to the 22 country-wide CleanTech Open—which featured Oregon’s very own Arcimoto in 2010. GEW is an opportunity for students to connect with professionals who provide feedback for their ideas and endeavors, via international competitions as well as online and personal interactions.

The idea behind GEW is to connect young entrepreneurs with business professionals in their area and across the nation. Students are provided with feedback about their ideas and endeavors in hopes that they will find success in business plan competitions similar to NVC. Brazil ranked at the top of the participation list during the 2010 GEW with more than 7 million active participants and about 4,000 events. After only two years of existence, GEW continues to grow into a well-known event across student entrepreneur groups throughout the world.

New Venture Championship is not a GEW-sponsored event; however, they each represent an opportunity for feedback and success. Visit the website for Global Entrepreneurship Week to peruse the variety of opportunities that will be available each November, and plan your start in the world of global entrepreneurship today!

 

Written By Nicole Hyslop