How It Works
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.
Know the NVC Timeline and Your Journey to the Finals
Bring Your Idea
Submission Deadline: January 28th
Refine Your Concept
Submission Deadline: March 3rd
Pitch Your Venture
Pitch live on April 10th & 11th
You will be required to select a track preference for NVC.
Please review the tracks below prior to applying.
The Explorer Track aims to appeal to students with early-stage ideas. The Explorer Track aims to appeal to those students who have yet to gain experience with innovation and entrepreneurship programs but are curious to learn, and whose ideas may be highly nascent.
The Explorer Track's requirements are shorter and simpler throughout the competition, thereby encouraging students who might otherwise be intimidated by the traditional NVC tracks' size, scope, and time commitment. These very early-stage ideas will be judged and rewarded based on students' understanding of venture creation basics such as idea fidelity and quality of thought, versus more advanced concepts, like scalability potential and revenue generation. Explorer Track participants will be urged to work with the GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in pursuing their ventures further and return to the NVC the following year with an evolved concept.
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.
Check out the round breakdown requirements for the Explorer Track to learn more about the application process.
- Consumer Goods & Services
The Consumer Goods and Services track encompasses everyday items that can be used by the typical consumer. 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!
Check out the round breakdown requirements for the Consumer Goods and Services Track to learn more about the application process.
- Business Goods & Services
The Business Goods and Services track is dedicated to selling products or services directly to other businesses. 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!
Check out the round breakdown requirements for the Business Goods and Services Track to learn more about the application process.
- Social Innovation
The Social Innovation Track includes solutions focused on improving and sustaining the welfare and well-being of individuals or communities. 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 strongly impacts the local community or all over the world, then this track is for you!
Check out the round breakdown requirements for the Social Innovation Track to learn more about the application process.
- Health & Life Sciences
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. This track would include ventures in the mental health, nutrition, or biomedical industry.
Check out the round breakdown requirements for the Healthcare and Life Sciences Track to learn more about the application process.