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New Venture Challenge

New Venture Challenge

Application & Eligibility

Most other business schools and graduate entrepreneurship programs host a single day or weekend business plan competition as their New Venture Challenge. The NVC at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is different. It is not just a competition. Instead, it is a year-long business launch program that is recognized as the #1 university accelerator program in the nation. It features three distinct phases:

  • Phase I: In the Fall quarter, attend events hosted by the Polsky Center to learn about entrepreneurship, meet teammates, and generate ideas. Eligible teams must develop their business feasibility summary and apply by January 30, 2020.
  • Phase II: Selected teams will enroll in a Spring quarter class where they will develop a full business plan, practice pitching, and receive mentorship from faculty, coaches, and experienced investors.
  • Phase III: The program will culminate at the end of the Spring quarter where top finalist teams will be invited to compete for $1 million in cash and in-kind prizes and pitch in front of an esteemed panel of investors and judges at the NVC Finals on June 4, 2020.

Application Deadline // Applications for the 2020 cycle will open in the Fall 2019 quarter and will be due by Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. CT. If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Hannah Mannino.

Eligibility Requirements

All currently enrolled graduate students at the University of Chicago are eligible to apply to the NVC as an individual or as a team. It is highly encouraged to submit an application to the NVC as a team with cross-functional expertise. Alumni of the university and individuals not affiliated with the university are eligible to apply to the NVC as long as they have at least one current UChicago student as an integral member of the team (i.e., someone with a minimum of 10% equity stake in the venture). However, only current UChicago students are allowed to present in class and at the finals event; other team members may participate in the Q&A only.

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