How New Venture Challenge Works

The CMU New Venture Challenge (NVC) is a program for students enrolled across all colleges at CMU to develop their entrepreneurial mindset, learn business start-up techniques, and develop their business ideas. It is intended for very early-stage student business ventures. NVC provides a transformational experience where students are able to earn start-up funds for their businesses. They have multiple opportunities to connect with experienced entrepreneurs, alumni, business professionals, venture capital experts, angel investors, faculty, and community leaders. They work on their business ideas over two semesters, pitch their businesses to experienced professionals, make adjustments and compete to earn/win start-up funds and in-kind services. 

To support and prepare participating venture teams, two NVC bootcamp events are hosted by CMU’s Isabella Bank Institute for Entrepreneurship (IBIE) each semester. These are focused on start-up basics using the Business Model Canvas approach. Teams are encouraged to create minimal viable products and do customer discovery and validation. They have the opportunity to provide a two-minute pitch in the fall during the Make-A-Pitch competition to gain feedback from professionals.

To enter the 2023 New Venture Challenge, one team member must complete the intent to compete form. This registers you to participate in the competition. The intent to compete form will be available Tuesday, January 31 at 8:00 AM and closes Tuesday, March 7 at 11:59 PM. Check back for updates to the 2023 NVC guidelines and eligibility page for additional submission deadlines and information. 

Learn, compete, launch


  • Join a series of bootcamps that guide you through the start-up process. 
  • Build key relationships with mentors, advisors, investors, and more.
  • Discover ideation, customer validation, and other start-up skills.


Idea Den Makerspace


  • Win cash prizes when you compete in the Make-A-Pitch competition and New Venture Challenge.
  • Pitch your business idea to receive feedback.
  • Refine your idea and enhance your business concept based on professional feedback.
Gallery NVC 2022


  • Gain support and connections through the resources of IBIE.
  • Utilize the skills you have learned to launch your business.
Ignite Donuts