How It Works


How it Woks Clipboard

Make Sure You Qualify!

To make sure you qualify for the competition, answer the questions below to verify your eligibility. The competition is open to all GW students, and you do not need any previous business experience to apply. GW faculty, staff, alumni, and non-GW-affiliated individuals can participate by joining a team with current GW students.

Are you a GW Student?

Whether you’re enrolled in the current academic year in a degree program full-time or part-time, undergrad or graduate, or an international student, you can be a part of the GW NVC. No prior experience is necessary. 

If not, you are still able to apply by joining a team with current GW students.

Is 50% of Your Team GW Affiliated?

At least 50% of the members of your team must be affiliated with GW in some way. We are allowed a max of 5 team members to compete. Example: One GW student and one outside team member. Or one GW student, one GW Alumni, and one outside team member. In the example of 5 team members, 3 out of 5 team members need to be affiliated with GW.

*A GW-affiliated person can be any of the following, a current GW student, GW staff, GW faculty, and/or GW alumni.

Student Owned?

Even if you have outside investors in your startup, 25% of your venture must be owned by a GW student or students. If you are a non-profit at least 25% of your board of directors needs to be made up of GW students.

4 Years Old or Less?

Your idea or startup must be 4 years old or less. No ideas that have been in operation for over 4 years will be accepted.

Do You Have Less Than $400K in Revenue?

If your company is currently in operation, it must have collected less than $400,000 in revenue by the time you apply for the GW NVC.

Do You Have GW Presenters?

Only current* GW students can present and live pitch at the semifinals and finals. Non-GW team members, GW faculty, GW alumni, and outside presenters, can work with the teams from behind the scenes and answer judge questions in the semifinals and finals.

*In the current academic year.

Track Selection


Explorer track image

The Explorer Track has been created to empower budding entrepreneurs looking to receive feedback on their idea.

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Participants must not have a developed venture, as the explorer track is an on-ramp to the other four tracks in the New Venture Competition. This track is not theme-specific, and judging criteria will focus more on idea fidelity, quality of thought, understanding of key concepts in I+E, and demonstration of the skills taught by OIE and the entrepreneurship faculty than on scalability potential, team make-up, and revenue generation.

The Explorer Track is perfect for individuals that are just starting to dip their toes into entrepreneurship, whether for a class project or a last-minute idea. 

Consumer goods and services image

The Consumer Goods and Services track encompasses everyday items that can be used by the typical consumer.

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These items can typically be found in a brick-and-mortar or an online retailer/marketplace. Some examples are ideas in the food, beverage, apparel, jewelry, or toy industry. 

If your customer is an individual, then the consumer goods and services track is for you!


Business goods and services

The Business Goods and Services track is dedicated to selling products or services directly to other businesses.

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The Business Goods and Services track is dedicated to selling products or services directly to other businesses, such as large enterprises, the government, or other startup companies. Your buyer is often thinking about the return on investment (ROI) and how your solution can directly benefit its company. 

This track can include software as a service (SaaS), marketing firms, and businesses that create and sell various supplies. 

If your customer is another business, then the business goods and services track is for you!


Social Innovation image

The Social Innovation Track includes solutions focused on improving and sustaining the welfare and well-being of individuals or communities.

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Solutions can be for-profit, non-profit, or hybrid. However, your societal impact should not be incidental or an add-on to the enterprise model.

If your solution has a strong impact on the local community or all over the world, then this track is for you!

Health and life sciences image

The Healthcare and Life Sciences Track is dedicated to solutions that improve an individual’s care and outcomes, while also reducing healthcare costs and spending.

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This track would include ventures in the mental health, nutrition, or biomedical industry.


NVC Process

Know the NVC Timeline and Your Journey to the Finals


To Dos: 

Start your application that includes: 

  • A 50-word company description
  • Plus 5 additional sections: company overview, problem, solution, financials, and team (200 words max per section)
  • A PowerPoint deck with a maximum of 10 slides (template here)

Applications due on January 29th at 11:59pm EST

Additional Resources: 

To Dos: 

  • Submit an application that includes:
  • Meet with your assigned Mentor in Residence (MIR)
  • Attend the suggested workshops and trainings


  • Semi-Finalists recognition honors 
  • Written and detailed feedback from expert professionals/judges

Additional Resources: 

  • Submission details and judging criteria


  • Prepare a 10-minute live pitch using your updated PowerPoint deck 
  • Develop a 1-minute video to be eligible for the Viewer’s Choice Award 
  • Continue refining your idea with your assigned MIR 
  • Practice your pitch with a pitch coach 


  • Be a Finalist
  • 1st place/per track wins $10,000
  • 2nd and 3rd place/per track win $7,500 and $5,000 
  • Ability to win any category prize
  • 1-on-1 pitch coaching 
  • Live feedback from judges


Apply Now