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Social New Venture Challenge

Social New Venture Challenge

Application & Eligibility

Most other business schools and graduate entrepreneurship programs host a single day or weekend business plan competition. The SNVC at Chicago Booth is not just a competition. Instead, it is a year-long launch program that features three distinct phases:

  • Phase I: Idea Generation, Business Idea Validation, Team Formation, and Application
  • Phase II: Course – Mentoring, Critical Feedback & Business Plan Development
  • Phase III: Final Pitches

Application Deadline // The application deadline for the 2020 SNVC is January 30, 2020. If you have any questions about the application process, please send them to will.colegrove@chicagobooth.edu.

Eligibility Requirements

All currently enrolled graduate students at the University of Chicago are eligible to apply to the SNVC as an individual or as a team. It is highly encouraged to submit an application to the SNVC as a team with cross-functional expertise. Alumni of the university and individuals not affiliated with the university are eligible to apply to the SNVC 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.

Additional eligibility requirements include:

  • There is no minimum or maximum team size, however, each team is required to have at least one currently enrolled graduate student at the University of Chicago. Alumni of the university and individuals not affiliated with the university are eligible to apply to the SNVC as long as they have at least one current UChicago graduate student as an integral member of the team (i.e., someone with a minimum of 10% equity stake in the venture). 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.
  • Entries must be the original work of the entrants and may be made by a single-student or by multi-student teams. It is highly encouraged to submit an application to the SNVC as a team with cross-functional expertise. Each team or student may submit as many entries as they wish. However, it is unlikely that multiple entries from the same team will be successful given that the plans are judged partly on the ability of the team to execute the plan.
  • SNVC teams can be for-profit or non-profit organizations. The venture idea should be original, have commercial promise, and have a business model with a social mission at its core. The entry may be developed in conjunction with a course or research project, and students may enlist faculty aid.
  • Teams that have secured arrangements for capital from any source must disclose the amounts and sources in their Phase I executive summaries. Entries which have received significant outside investment from venture capital firms, private investors, or other industry sources may be considered ineligible to compete and should contact Will Colegrove (colegrove@chicagobooth.edu) in advance for confirmation.
  • Teams comprised of undergraduate students are eligible if the team has previously participated in the College NVC, or the team includes at least one current graduate student. A team of all undergraduate students will not be eligible for the SNVC if neither of these criteria has been met.
  • Teams may have members who are not affiliated with the University of Chicago. The Rustandy Center encourages teams to identify individuals, within and external to the University, who may contribute the additional expertise and experience to help the team succeed.
  • Upon acceptance into the SNVC, at least one team member must enroll in the New Social Ventures course at Chicago Booth in the spring quarter.

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