2015 Alumni New Venture Competition Kicks Off


With more than half of HBS alumni classifying themselves as entrepreneurs at some point in their lives, the New Venture Competition is designed to support both students and alumni on their entrepreneurial journey.

Alumni pursuing new business and social-impact ventures have the opportunity to participate in the alumni New Venture Competition through one of 14 regional competitions hosted by 17 HBS alumni "hub" clubs around the world. The winning team from each regional competition will have the opportunity to attend the student and alumni New Venture Competition finals on HBS campus, and also advance to online crowd vote finals that will include three tracks:

  • Most Innovative (open to all alumni and student voters)
  • Greatest Impact (open to all alumni and student voters)
  • Best Investment (chosen by a global panel of HBS Alumni Angels)

The winner of each track will receive a $25,000 cash prize and an invitation to pitch at the student and alumni New Venture Competition, to be held on HBS campus April 22, 2015.

Please Note: If you are not currently logged into the HBS Alumni Website, you will be asked to login with your LEFA and password in order to access the NVC application. Only HBS alumni are able to access the online application.

Complete applications are due by February 15, 2015 (midnight ET). Don’t miss out on the opportunity to join the NVC entrepreneurial community!

Click here to view a PDF of the application before submitting it online



Plans may be submitted to any "hub" club listed below via the online application process. Home or business address on record at HBS will be located within the clubs geographic region. Visit individual club websites for details on local entry, application deadline and registration fee amount.


Region Breakout

Eligibility Requirements
  • Open to any start-up team or company having one or more members with HBS alumni as a founder or C-level employee and a member of the local club of entry.
  • Home or business address on record at HBS will be located within the clubs geographic region.
  • Participating teams may not have more than $1,500,000 in total debt/invested equity capital, and must have less than $2,000,000 in revenues. Teams must meet both criteria. Invested capital is defined as funding appearing on the plan’s balance sheet at the time of submission to the regional "hub" Club, which is no later than February 15, 2015. Teams will disclose any funding already received at the time of registration.
  • It is not necessary that the teams actually be seeking funding—e.g., they may already have raised the small amount of capital they need to reach an initial milestone—or may have a cash flow positive business model that essentially requires no outside capital. Note: investment funds and acquisitions will generally not be considered as "new ventures."

Pitch Evaluation

Entries will be evaluated by NVC region leads and club selection committee, Rock Center of Entrepreneurship, HBS Alumni Angels and Alumni Relations.
Focus will be on the following characteristics/criteria:
  • Strong team: Founder, advisors, or other team members who can operate a growing business successfully. A summary that specifies the current team members as well as future team, need to grow the business to scale, and overall recruiting strategy.
  • Large, growing market: A realistic, addressable market for the product or service that is large and growing which gives a start-up venture a better chance to succeed. Defining a realistic addressable market for the start-up's product or service and knowing the competition within this market are additional pluses.
  • Differentiated product or service: A product that is built and has paying customers is the premium standard for a solid product or service. New products and services that innovate a standard model to offer a competitive advantage are more interesting than iterations.
  • Attractive business model: A credible business model with operating leverage that will efficiently scale to a size makes it appealing to acquirers or positions it for an IPO. Defensible Intellectual Property (IP) a plus.
  • Realistic deal: The “deal” refers to the amount of financing that the start-up proposes to raise and the terms on which the company proposes to raise it. The deal is realistic if the amount of capital that the team proposes to raise will:
    • allow the team to build enough value and achieve enough milestones such that the next round of financing will be an “up” round.
    • be based on a pre-money valuation that is acceptable to investors.
  • Pitch Presentation: Please refer to the NVC "Pitch Deck” template, to be used as resource guide and required presentation content, for when your online team application is submitted as a dropbox link.

Regional Finals Competition

Each team will give a 5-10 minute presentation to a panel of judges. The panel will have 10-15 minutes for Q&A and feedback. Revised pitch decks are allowed for presentations, but time will be strictly enforced.

The 2014 regional winners

Busbud: Best Investment Category Winner
York Street Partners: Most Innovative and Greatest Impact Category Winner

 
Canada Region

Busbud


Travel: Making bus travel easy
LP Maurice MBA 2008



View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video

Africa Region

West Africa Vocational Education (WAVE)


Vocational Education and Workforce Development: Training linked to jobs
Misan Rewane MBA 2013
View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video


Latin America Region

Kinedu


Education Technology: Kickstart your child's development and build a foundation for future learning
Luis Garza MBA 2010

View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video

Midwest and Central U.S.

HashOff


Social Media: Hashoff amplifies brands by celebrating social media influencers
Tom Jessiman MBA 1991


View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video

Northeastern U.S.

Mikey & Momo


Luxury Consumer Products: Fragrance with a function for your outdoor chic lifestyle
Melissa Fensterstock MBA 2012

View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video

Southwestern U.S.

Chippmunk


Internet: Coupon search engine
Brian Nickerson MBA 2007



View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video

Asia-Pacific Region

Shanghai Kangkanghui Technology Co. Ltd.


Mobile Health: Empower doctors, empower patients
Jennifer Xu MBA 2011
View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video

 
Southeast Asia

York Street Partners


Investment Banking:
Driving Sri Lanka's transformation
Hiran Embuldeniya MBA 2005
Nayana Mawilmada MBA 2005
Jayamin Pelpola MBA 2010
View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video

Europe Region

ParcelHome


Logistics: Radically improving deliveries and returns through automation of handover
Greg Mackin MBA 2007

View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video

Mid-Atlantic U.S.

Ntensify


Mobile Commerce: In-App branded merchandise for mobile game and app companies
Daven Johnson MBA'11

View Team Executive summary and
90-Second Elevator Pitch Video

New England

Sano LLC


Healthcare: Low cost, point-of-care diagnostics to personalize treatment and reduce costs
Paul Hayre MBA 1999
Jeff Farmer MBA 1999
View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video

Northwestern U.S.

Folsom Labs


Solar/Energy: The new standard in photovoltaic (PV) design
Paul Gibbs MBA 2011
Paul Grana MBA 2009

View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video

Southeastern U.S.

Memi


Consumer Products: Wearable Technology by Women for Women
Leslie Pierson MBA 2004


View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video

Texas

Vax-Immune


Biologics for Diagnosis: Treatment and prevention of infection
Joaquin Altenberg MBA 2002


View team executive summary and
90-second elevator pitch video

The HBS Alumni Clubs & Associations team extends a special thank you to the "hub" clubs and alumni region leads across the globe. Their support, commitment, and dedication is critical to the success of the Alumni New Venture Competition.

Partners

HBS Alumni Clubs & Associations
Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship
HBS Angels Alumni Association
HBS Social Enterprise

Resources

NVC Virtual Webinar Programming

A broad spectrum of virtual programming is available to alumni participating in NVC including:

NOVEMBER: Brought to you by Trending@HBS
COLLECTIVE GENIUS: THE ART AND PRACTICE OF LEADING INNOVATION
Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 12:00–1:00 p.m. EST
Linda A. Hill, Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration, HBS

What does it take to build an organization that can innovate in today's global economy? What kind of leadership is needed? How can you select and develop the kind of leadership talent needed? These are questions Professor Linda Hill has been researching along with, among others, the former Senior Vice President of Technology for Pixar. She will share examples from her new book of leaders who have learned how to cultivate "collective genius" and provide a framework for creating organizations in which people are willing and able to innovate.

Learn more and Register

DECEMBER: Brought to you by HBS Career Management
ENTREPRENEURSHIP THROUGH ACQUISITION: IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?
Thursday, December 4, 2014, 12:00–1:00 p.m. EST
Richard S. Ruback, Willard Prescott Smith Professor of Corporate Finance, HBS
Royce G. Yudkoff (MBA 1980), Senior Lecturer, HBS; Managing Partner and Cofounder, ABRY Partners, LLC

Increasing numbers of HBS alumni are acquiring smaller firms, becoming their CEO and principal owner. Meanwhile, HBS courses on this topic have become among the most popular and sought after by our second year students. What financial and career opportunities exist in this area and how is buying your own existing business accomplished?

Key takeaways include:
  • the economics and rewards of smaller firm acquisitions,
  • sourcing and evaluating smaller firm acquisitions,
  • how to raise equity and debt to finance these acquisitions,
  • tips and lessons learned from recent acquirers, and
  • questions you should ask yourself when contemplating this opportunity
  • How to make the most out of angel group participation

Learn more and Register

JANUARY: Brought to you by Trending@HBS
HIGH IMPACT WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS: INSIGHTS FROM PIONEERS WHO ARE CHANGING THE GAME
Thursday, January 15, 2015, 12:00–1:00 p.m. EST
Lynda M. Applegate, Sarofim-Rock Professor of Business Administration Entrepreneurial Management

Of the total number of new businesses launched in the U.S. in 2014, 40% are owned by women. During the first half of 2014, women opened more than 1,200 new businesses each day, double the rate from three years ago. Research has demonstrated the importance of entrepreneurship and privately held businesses to the growth and vitality of economic markets in countries around the world. Today, more than 9 million women-owned businesses in the United States generate more than $1.4 trillion in revenues and employ 7.9 million people. During this webinar, Professor Lynda Applegate, faculty chair of the HBS Owner President Management program, will discuss new research that is developing profiles and case studies on women entrepreneurs who founded new ventures that have become successful high-growth, high-impact businesses. In addition to previewing some early findings of this research, Professor Applegate will also discuss other research on women entrepreneurs and business owners being conducted at HBS and will engage alumni in a discussion of research they would like to see conducted by HBS in the future.

Learn more and Register

FEBRUARY: Brought to you by Trending@HBS
THE ART OF NEGOTIATION: HOW TO IMPROVISE AGREEMENT IN A CHAOTIC WORLD
Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 12:00–1:00 p.m EST
Michael A. Wheeler, MBA Class of 1952 Professor of Management Practice, Retired

Professor Wheeler presents a fresh and dynamic approach to negotiation, one that challenges the static assumptions of win-win and hard-bargaining models. The simple truth is that negotiation can’t be scripted. People can’t dictate what other parties will say or do any more than they would let others dominate them. Success thus requires strategic agility and the capacity to be nimble from moment to moment. Professor Wheeler draws practical lessons from masters of improvisation in other fields, including jazz, comedy, competitive sports, and even warfare. He is the author of The Art of Negotiation (Simon & Schuster).

Learn more and Register

MARCH: Brought to you by Trending@HBS
THE POWER OF NOTICING
Thursday, March 5, 2015, 12:00–1:00 p.m EST
Max H. Bazerman, Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

This program focuses on the journey needed for leaders to become first-class “noticers”. The power of noticing is deeply rooted in the rapidly evolving field of behavioral decision research, now popularized through such acclaimed books as Nudge and Thinking, Fast and Slow; Predictably Irrational. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, the author argues that people jump to conclusions based on limited information, and introduces the acronym WYSIATI to describe decision making that is based on the faulty assumption that “what you see is all there is.” The power of noticing addresses this limitation in human thinking, identifies what information we do not see or notice, and describes how we can use this knowledge to seek the information that will be most useful for making great decisions. Leaders need to realize that “what you see is not all there is” (WYSINATI) and to identify when and how to obtain the missing information.

Learn more and Register

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Key Dates

Early January/February:
Regional programming

February 15:
Plan submission deadline* including online application and pitch deck

Late February/March:
Regional competitions held

March 10-20, 2015:
Regional winners named

April 1-10, 2015:
Crowd voting takes place

April 13, 2015:
Crowd vote winners announced

April 22, 2015:
Students and Alumni New Venture Competition finals
on HBS campus

*deadline may vary by region

How past participants
are succeeding