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New Venture Challenge

New Venture Challenge

Overview

Launched in 1996, the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC) is recognized as one of the top-ranked accelerator programs in the nation. Through the NVC, the Polsky Center has graduated more than 230 startup companies and created thousands of jobs for the economy. NVC startups have achieved more than $13 billion in mergers and exits, and include household names such as Grubhub, Braintree/Venmo, and Simple Mills. The Rattan L. Khosa First-Place Prize, in addition to other specialized prizes and awards, are announced at the Polsky Innovation Showcase immediately following the finals.

Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag: #ChicagoNVC.

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The NVC through the years
1996

1996

Jeff Meyer, MBA ’97, approached Professor Steve Kaplan with an idea to launch a business plan competition at Chicago Booth; New Venture Challenge launched with support from Edward L. Kaplan, MBA ’71, founder of Zebra Technologies, who provided the initial prize money.

1993

1993

Ellen A. Rudnick, MBA ’73, joins Booth as Executive Director for Entrepreneurship.

2002

2002

Michael Polsky, MBA ’87, gives $7 million naming gift to support students with their entrepreneurial ventures via the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Booth.

2006

2006

Online food delivery company GrubHub, founded by Matt Maloney, SM ’00, MBA ’10, wins the NVC.

2007

2007

Payments processor Braintree, founded by Bryan Johnson, MBA ’07, wins the NVC.

2008

2008

Global New Venture Challenge debuts for executive MBA students in Chicago, Europe, and Asia.

2011

2011

Social New Venture Challenge debuts to accommodate growing student interest in social entrepreneurship.

2012

2012

College New Venture Challenge debuts to create a supportive environment for undergraduate UChicago students interested in venture creation.

2012

2012

Edward L. Kaplan, MBA ’71, endows NVC; Michael Polsky, MBA ’97, makes second gift to help expand the Polsky Center’s mission to support venture creation across the entire University of Chicago campus.

2013

2013

John Edwardson, MBA ’72, endows Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC) track of the NVC dedicated to launching businesses with a social mission.

2015

2015

NVC is ranked #1 university accelerator program in the nation.

2016

2016

Polsky Center celebrates 20th anniversary of the NVC: “From Idea to Impact”. The NVC is once again recognized as a top-ranked accelerator program in the nation by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project.

2018

2018

Eleven teams competed at the 2018 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC) and shared a $700,000 cash prize pool — the highest cash prize pool ever given at the NVC.

A TOP UNIVERSITY ACCELERATOR PROGRAM IN THE NATION

THE EDWARD L. KAPLAN, '71, NEW VENTURE CHALLENGE IS RUN BY THE POLSKY CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION
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