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The annual alumni New Venture Competition (NVC) is giving the power to the people. As in past years, the HBS regional alumni clubs held local qualifying rounds, producing a dozen or more NVC finalists. But instead of traveling to Boston to make their case in front of a panel of VC judges, those winners will now face virtual judges, with online polling deciding the winners in two categories—each carrying a $25,000 prize.

HBS alumni and students can visit the NVC site to learn about the finalists and watch their video pitches. Then on April 1, the virtual polls open, with crowd voting determining the winners of the "most innovative" and "greatest impact" prizes. (A panel of VCs and angel investors will then vote on the third category, "best investment.") Winners for all three categories will be announced April 15 on the alumni website and through social media.

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