Irvine, CA – April 19, 2017 – The Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in collaboration with UCI Applied Innovation will present the 2017 New Venture Competition final competition and awards ceremony on May 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in The Paul Merage School of Business auditorium. Forty-one teams, out of an original 89, will compete in the final round for prize money totaling $100,000.
Now in its 11th year the New Venture Competition, formerly the Business Plan Competition, was entirely restructured and redesigned based on feedback from students, judges and coaches, as well as the mission of the Beall Center, which is to provide hands-on opportunities for students to learn about the process of innovation and entrepreneurship. As a result, the competition boasts a broader variety of participants from schools, centers and institutions across UC Irvine and beyond.
“The New Venture Competition is breaking records with more teams applying than ever before,” said Beall Center Director Imran Currim. “We are extremely pleased at how the entrepreneurial community has helped us revamp the program so that we can work with more student entrepreneurs and community members.”
Winners will be announced beginning at 6:30 p.m. following final presentations held during the day from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All 41 teams will give a 12-minute pitch to judges followed by an 8-minute question and answer sessions. Teams will compete in one of four competition tracks based on the nature of their business idea including:
- Consumer Products
- Consumer Services
- Business Products/Services
- Life Sciences
Teams will be judged by a panel of professionals made up of experienced investors, entrepreneurs, and senior business practitioners familiar with early stage companies. Judges will evaluate each semi-finalist team on the strength of their plan and overall presentation. Among the factors judges will consider are:
- Size and growth rate of the market addressed
- Likelihood that the team can create a sustainable competitive advantage
- Simplicity of the business model described
- Believability of the team’s vision and plan
“This event culminates seven months of planning, workshops and mentorship,” said Ken Beall, co-founder of the Beall Center. “Each of the finalist teams presenting on May 12 speak to the amazing depth and breadth of talent that is found among the students here at UCI. These students have shown themselves to be visionary business leaders of the future.” Beall concluded, “For some of this year’s winners, this event could be the big break they need to launch their business and pursue their dreams of success.”
Each of the teams competing in the 2017 New Venture Competition is composed of current UCI students from schools and departments including: The Paul Merage School of Business, School of Social Sciences, Samueli School of Engineering, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, School of Medicine, Department of Chemistry, School of Education, and the School of Law. Faculty and community members participate as well. To review winners from previous years, including successful teams like Middle School Moguls and StackTek, visit, merage.uci.edu/ResearchAndCenters/Beall/BPC-2016.aspx.
2017 New Venture Competition sponsors include: Gold Level Sponsors – UCI Applied Innovation, UCI Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, K5 Ventures, and The Portal. Silver Level Sponsors – Boeing, CB Capital Partners, Inc., Edwards, Stradling Attorneys at Law. Bronze Level Sponsors – UCI ANTrepreneur Center, Indi, Stack Tek, UCI Sustainability, UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts, UCI Ayala School of Biological Sciences, and the UCI Division of Undergraduate Education.
About the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
One of seven Centers of Excellence at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business, the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship was established to help business visionaries transfer their ideas into viable business opportunities, either in new ventures or within existing organizations. Students can engage with the Center through curricular programs offered including a Minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, or through programs like the New Venture Competition. Through leadership, education, and potential partnerships, the Center creates an environment that fosters a connection among world-class UC Irvine researchers, innovative visionaries, savvy business leaders, creative venture capitalists and pivotal business channels. This connection inspires innovation and entrepreneurship, and provides the hands-on opportunities for students to learn. Find out more at merage.uci.edu/ResearchAndCenters/Beall.
About The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine
The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine offers four dynamic MBA programs – plus PhD, specialty masters and undergraduate business degrees – that graduate world-ready business leaders with the exceptional ability to grow their organizations through strategic innovation, analytical decision-making, information technology and collaborative execution. While the Merage School is relatively young, it has quickly grown to rank consistently among the top five percent of all business programs worldwide through exceptional student recruitment, world-class faculty, a strong alumni network and close relationships with both individual business executives and global corporations. Additional information is available at merage.uci.edu.