Applications for 2024 New Venture Competition Due Jan. 28

This year’s nationally recognized student entrepreneurship competition will once again include five tracks.

January 23, 2024

2023 New Venture Competition presentation

School of Medicine and Health Sciences student Iris Brammer pitches her venture in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Track presentations at the 2023 New Venture Competition final awards ceremony. (William Atkins/GW Today)

Applications for the first round of the George Washington University’s 2024 New Venture Competition, a nationally recognized event for student entrepreneurship and innovation, are open until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 28. 

Started in 2009 by the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and blossoming into one of the nation’s most prestigious collegiate innovation competitions, the three-round NVC gives GW students, faculty and alumni a real-world experiential learning opportunity in entrepreneurship. In its 16-year history, the NVC has served more than 3,000 student entrepreneurs and awarded $2 million in cash prizes. 

This year, student teams can win up to $50,000 each in cash and have access to the nearly $200,000 worth of in-kind awards.

GW students are encouraged to apply as there is a competition track for every venture. For the second straight year, applicants can choose between five tracks: Consumer Goods and Services; Business Goods and Services; Healthcare and Life Sciences; Social Innovation; and the Explorer Track. Here is a broader look at each of the tracks: 

  • Consumer Goods and Services Track, encompassing everyday items that can be used by the typical consumer such as food, beverage, apparel, toys or jewelry. This is the best track if the intended customer of the product is an individual.
  • Business Goods and Services Track, which is dedicated to selling products or services directly to other businesses such as large enterprises, the government or other startup companies. This is the best track if the intended customer of the product is a business.
  • Healthcare and Life Sciences Track, which will be dedicated to solutions that improve an individual’s care and outcomes, while also reducing healthcare costs and spending. This track would include ventures in the mental health, nutrition or biomedical industry.
  • Social Innovation Track, including solutions focused on improving and sustaining the welfare and well-being of individuals or communities that can be for-profit, nonprofit or hybrid.
  • Explorer Track, which will appeal to those students who may have less experience with innovation and entrepreneurship concepts but are curious to learn. 

The wide range of tracks means that the competition is open to anyone, whether an applicant has a lot of previous entrepreneurial experience or is just getting their feet wet in the innovation space. 

“The tracks are designed to encourage participation from students at all levels, in all disciplines,” said Director of Student Entrepreneurship Kate Heath. “ Last year’s finalists represented law, medicine, engineering, business, and public health—proving that innovation truly lives everywhere.  Our goal is to have strong representation from all of GW’s schools and to build a community where everyone’s ideas are welcome.”

Depending on the track preference, there are only two parts to the round one application process. The first step is to submit a written description of the idea and answer a set of questions such as problem statement, solution, revenue/funding model and teammates involved. The second part includes submitting a five-deck slide summarizing the venture idea.

All applicants will receive feedback on their idea, in addition to OIE mentorship and help throughout the competition. Semifinalists will be able to refine their concepts by March 3. The final pitches will be April 10 and 11. The final ceremony on April 11 will be open to the public.