New Venture Competition

The annual New Venture Competition (NVC) is a three-round pitch competition that gives early-stage BU entrepreneurs a chance to win up to $18,000 and transform their ideas into something real! 

With two tracks for Tech Ideas and Social Impact Ideas, the competition is appropriate for ventures of any kind including tech, consumer, creative, or social impact. 

Throughout each round, participants are connected with Innovate@BU’s resources including coaching and mentorship, founder and team skill-building, media exposure, and more.

The New Venture Competition is open to BU student-led (undergrad or grad) or recent alumni (graduated within last 1 year) ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages. See more details under Who Should Participate? 


Join us for the April 17 Virtual Finale!

Check out the lookbook below to meet the 2020 finalists and find out how you can get in touch with them to learn more, offer feedback, or collaboration opportunities. For optimal viewing, click the “full screen” button in the center of the document.

Tech/For-Profit Finalists: 

  • Clean Seat has designed a retrofittable product that will help keep toilet seats clean in public restrooms. It can be installed like a normal toilet seat and can be manufactured at a price point and durability factor. 

  • Go Off! is a social platform that has re-engineered the way to have a conversation online.

  • Holdette makes women’s workwear with real pockets for millennial and Gen Z women. 

  • BeagleNet is a mobile environment sensing platform that will allow us to build real-time air quality maps, helping cities locate sources of pollution and inform residents of air quality-related health hazards.

  • Parkaze is a hassle-free shared economy marketplace where you can host and rent privately owned parking spots. 

  • VYVID XR is developing innovative technology to improve surgical training, enhance clinical decision making, and increase patient care by using Mixed Reality beginning with Cardiovascular.

Social Impact Finalists:

  • Every Hand is a Hero aims to enhance collaboration among child welfare agencies in combating child sex trafficking through training and prevention/intervention strategies. 

  • Patient First is a personalized and customizable electronic health system that connects patients, providers, and pharmacies in low-resourced countries. 

  • Phillinda is revolutionizing the language translation industry with cutting-edge technology. Visa applications, medical and tax documents will never be the same. 

  • Surge Employment Solutions secures staffing contracts with companies that have forecasted human capital needs, after which we source, train, and place formerly incarcerated individuals into those positions. 

  • The Mindful Applicant brings a social-emotional skills curriculum to the college process to improve student wellbeing and redefine the way we think about post-secondary readiness. 

  • Urban Refuge is an aid-mapping app that works to bridge the gap between refugees and other underserved populations and the organizations that are actively working to help them.

How it works: 

  • The NVC runs two parallel tracks: 
    • Tech ideas: A business whose primary motive is profits includes for-profit products/services, media, fintech, medtech, etc. 
    • Social impact ideas: A business (for-profit or nonprofit) that has an economic, social, cultural or environmental mission-aligned to public or community benefit.

  • The NVC consists of three rounds: 
    • Round 1: Pitch & Pizza, One Minute Pitches without slides. This round is held six times throughout the fall and spring semesters. 
    • Round 2: Semi-Finals, 10 Minute Pitches + 10 minutes of Q & A from judges and an audience
    • Round 3: Finals, 10 Minute Closed Pitches + 10 minutes of Q & A from judges 

      Prerequisite: Before participating in Round 1: Pitch & Pizza, you are highly encouraged to practice your pitch at an Idea Night (held 2x/month)and take advantage of other Innovate@BU resources that will help you give your best pitch possible! Suggested resources include: 

    Rules & Expectations


    Format & Logistics