Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business will host its seventh annual New Venture Competition Feb. 23-24 at the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, 1621 S. Third St.
The competition is a two-day business plan and elevator pitch competition promoting student entrepreneurship. Competitors from accredited universities across the globe receive expert feedback, coaching and important in-kind business support to launch and grow their ventures. This year, more than $100,000 will be distributed among finalists, with the winning team receiving $50,000. Additional prizes for 2nd and 3rd place, honorable mention, audience choice and other awards will be granted.
“While many business schools around the country have some form of new venture competitions, Baylor’s is open to students of all backgrounds and experience levels,” said Gib Reynolds Jr., program manager for the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise and part-time lecturer.
“From freshman undergraduates at Baylor to students working on their doctorates across the world, our competition is very broad in terms of who can enter and thus creates a very competitive but rewarding opportunity for the student entrepreneur,” he said.
Students and recent alumni participants from around the globe entered the competition in the fall by submitting two-page executive summaries of their team’s proposed business idea. After a round of judging, 50 finalists were selected to submit their full business plans. Of these teams, 10 were selected as finalists to participate in the 2018 competition.
“This competition has changed in many ways over the past seven years. What initially started as a Baylor-only competition is now international in scope and the prize money has grown to over $100,000 in cash for the top 10 teams,” Reynolds said. “We’re constantly tweaking the model to make sure we provide the best competition for students and help the next generation of student entrepreneurs launch their business ideas successfully.”
This year’s finalists will participate in individual coaching sessions, a campus tour of Baylor, feedback sessions and final presentation rounds. During the final rounds, each team will present their business idea and elevator pitch to a panel of judges for evaluation. Award winners will be determined and announced at the awards banquet on Saturday evening.
The judges come from a variety of business backgrounds and will include angel investors; venture capitalists; successful serial entrepreneurs; executive business professionals from the banking, legal, IT, industrial, healthcare and professional services industries; and leading academics in entrepreneurship, management and other areas of business.
“The real value of the competition comes from the real-world feedback that teams get throughout the competition,” Reynolds said. “Any chance to have 3-5 successful business people read about your business idea and provide critical feedback and ideas for improvement is huge. All in all, we’re trying to help the best student ideas become reality in a meaningful way.”
2018 Finalist Teams
• ABAL Therapeutics, University of Iowa
• BellaNove, UCLA
• Grox Industries, University of Arkansas
• Keto Endure, Keck Graduate Institute
• Lapovations, LLC, University of Arkansas
• MoTrack Therapy, Johns Hopkins University
• Orai, Drexel University
• Sanguis, University of Pennsylvania
• Sidekick, Northwestern University
• Syntr Health Technologies, University of California, Irvine
The program first began in 2011 when it was underwritten by an anonymous gift to Baylor University and the Hankamer School of Business. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees must register ahead of time. For more information and to sign up for the event, visit the Baylor’s New Venture Competition website.