GW’s New Venture Competition Earns Top Collegiate Honor

Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship program was recently named the top university entrepreneurship competition for 2021.

February 4, 2022

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George Washington University’s New Venture Competition (NVC) earned the Times of Entrepreneurship’s top ranking in university entrepreneurship competitions for 2021, finishing ahead of competitions at runner-up Rice University and third-place University of Notre Dame. The NVC improved upon its third-place showing in 2020.

The list was revealed on Jan. 28 at the Times’ inaugural Challenges Met, Opportunities Ahead virtual event. The rankings were based on cash awards, in-kind prizes and number of participants. All in all, 38 university competitions submitted forms, and the top 20 earned recognition.

The NVC, a program of GW’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is the largest of its kind in the nation. In 2021, it had 466 participants and doled out $160,000 of cash prizes and $396,404 of in-kind prizes. Started in 2009, the NVC has spring boarded many startup groups while providing $2.8 million in total cash prizes to the more than 3,000 total participants since inception. Last year, 18 countries streamed the finals live.

“We are proud of the hard work that goes into making the NVC an only-at-GW experience for our innovative students who have an idea they want to see get out of their classroom or lab and into practice,” said Jim Chung, associate vice president for research, innovation and entrepreneurship and founding director of OIE. “Indeed, participants in the competition since 2010 have raised follow-on funding or exited businesses worth a cumulative total of over $1 billion.”

Students can compete in either the tech, social or new venture tracks for the competition. They bring an idea to the table and then work with mentors to craft it before ultimately pitching it to judges who are flown in from around the country.

Alumna Kate Heath, M.B.A. ’10, heads up an entirely new team running the NVC this year, and looks forward to building on the now globally recognized competition while ensuring that NVC fits into a larger comprehensive program to keep aspiring entrepreneurs involved throughout their time at GW.

“The NVC is a special opportunity for our entrepreneurially-minded students to test and evolve their ideas outside the classroom, while fully supported by GW staff, faculty, alumni and partners,” Heath said. “It’s really that NVC family—our diverse set of mentors, coaches and sponsors—who make this the remarkable learning experience that it is. We will continue to focus on creating a robust experiential curriculum for all NVC participants, regardless of how far they progress in the competition and connecting them with the right resources to help their ideas take flight.”

The first round of the 2022 NVC kicked off on Feb. 2, and the top 100 teams were announced on Feb. 5. The second round begins on Feb. 23, ultimately winding down to 36 teams by March 2. Round three is March 30 with 12 teams ultimately advancing to the finals on April 13. Winners will be announced on April 14, and each track’s first-place winners will win $10,000. OIE’s Instagram and LinkedIn page will post highlights and content throughout the competition, in addition to website updates.

Students interested in OIE and future NVC competitions are invited to utilize OIE’s mentorship resources, in addition to signing up for the OIE newsletter to receive updates and information throughout the year.