New Venture Competition

About the Program

Innovate@BU’s New Venture Competition (NVC) welcomes all Boston University students and class of 2022 alumni to take their idea to the next level.

Qualifying teams get access to coaching, feedback on their idea and pitch, founder and team skill-building, media exposure, and more. Plus, all semi-finalists and finalists will receive a piece of the $72,000 prize.

While the teams that most often advance are those who have made significant progress on their venture, teams with all levels of experience are welcome to apply!

Program Structure

NVC is made up of three rounds that take place between February and April 2023: a written application, an in-person semi-finals pitch, and an in-person finals pitch. A special celebration featuring all the finalists will be held after the final pitch.

Teams must apply to one of the following two distinct tracks:
The General Track is open to for-profit ideas from all sectors, while the Social Impact Track is for ideas whose main objective is to provide large-scale, positive economic, social, cultural, or environmental change and/or whose mission focuses on a significant segment of traditionally underserved, neglected, or disadvantaged populations.

Each track awards a 1st place prize of $20,000, a 2nd place prize of $10,000, a 3rd place prize of $6,000, and an Audience Choice Award of $500.

Who’s Eligible to Participate?

Teams of one or more members must have at least one current BU degree-seeking student or a BU Class of 2022 alumni who 1) is a co-founder, 2) plays a key management role in the venture, and 3) will take part as one of the main presenters in each competing round.

Additionally, teams that apply to the Social Impact Track must be able to demonstrate in their application and pitch that they prioritize social impact in their organizational decision-making and planning.

Our Top 5 Application Tips

  1. Explore all the pages linked below to be sure you’re eligible, can make all the key dates, and that you hit all the points in the rubric
  2. Check out this example of a team’s successful application
  3. Attend our information session on January 26
  4. Get feedback on your application before you apply!
    1. Use Handshake to sign up for office hours, or
    2. Stop by the BUild Lab for drop-in office hours on January 27 between noon and 2:00pm
  5. Maximize your chance at success by starting the application early. You can always close the application and return to it later, so start now and bring questions that are tripping you up to office hours.

Apply by February 13

Preview the application here.

If you have any questions about the New Venture Competition, please email

Eligibility, Requirements, & Expectations

Read more

Key Dates and Competition Structure

Explore the Key Dates & Structure

Prizes and Awards

Learn more

Scoring Rubric

Read the Rubric