Guidelines & Competition Approach


It is the participant's responsibility to read and to abide by these rules.  Participation in the competition means that the participants have read and agree to these rules.

While not anticipated, the CMU College of Business Administration reserves the right to update, add, or subtract from these guidelines at any time and may reject the submission of a business if it believes it is in the best interest of CMU. 


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

During the Fall and Spring semesters, a series of workshops are hosted by the Entrepreneurship Institute (IBIE).   These are focused on start-up basics using the Business Model Generation ( approach.   Teams are encouraged to create minimal viable products and do customer validation. They work with mentors, experienced entrepreneurs and business professionals. They have the opportunity to provide a two-minute pitch in the Fall and Spring to gain feedback from professionals.  

For the fourth year, we welcome aspiring entrepreneurs from Michigan Technological University to join CMU students to further expand the possibilities for start-up business success in Michigan.

The NVC Competition Day is April 8, 2016.  Prizes/Awards follow:

Start-Up Capital AWARDS/PRIZES

Best Overall Venture - $ 30,000

Best Social Venture - $ 10,000

Best Technology Venture - $ 10,000

Most Impact on Michigan Venture - $ 10,000

The Korson Family's Highest Growth Potential Venture - $ 10,000

Best Lifestyle Venture - $ 5,000

Spirit of Entrepreneurship Venture - In-Kind Services

Note:  One award per team of the above

The Short Pitch Awards:

Best Overall Pitch - $ 1,000

1st Runner Up - $ 500

2nd Runner Up - $ 250

Audience Choice Award - $ 250


1. The IBIE uses the PITCHBURNER platform to manage applications and submissions.  To enter, one individual from the team should complete the online enrollment form (check back for details) by midnight December 4, 2015.  This becomes your "intent to compete".

2.  The final Executive Summary and Financial Chart must be entered into PITCHBURNER by midnight February 15, 2016.  These documents will be printed in the NVC program book for the day of competition.

3. The submitted Business Model Plan is due in PITCHBURNER by midnight March 23, 2016. (check back for details)

4. The Powerpoint "Pitch Deck" for the day of competition is due by midnight March 30, 2016 to the IBIE office.  (check back for details)


​GUIDELINES and ELIGIBILITY (Check back for updates to this)

1.     Team Composition

a.    This competition is for current undergraduate or graduate level Central Michigan University (CMU) students and through invitation by CMU, Michigan Technological University students (MTU).   The team leader must be a full-time or part-time matriculated student who is currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree program, and who is registered at CMU and/or MTU in the Fall 2015 or Spring 2016 semester(s).

b.    The CMU student(s) team leader must have a significant role in the venture, and be part of the business structure.  The competition committee (IBIE staff) reserves the right to review this position when questions arise in this regard.  Examples of strong evidence of significant roles include but aren't limited to:  significant ownership (majority or controlling) equity in the venture; and/or a key management role in the venture as evidenced by written agreement. 

c.    Leadership:  The CMU (or MTU) student must be the leading presenter during the pitch and venture competition presentation.  The business venture and documentation must be the original work of the team members.  The team is expected to conform to the highest standards of honesty and integrity and comply with CMU (or MTU) Conflict of Interest Guidelines.

d.    At least one member of the team must be on campus and enrolled full-time during the spring 2016semester.

2.     Team Requirements

a.    Teams should consist of no fewer than two members, and preferably no more than five members.

b.    Teams must work with a mentor/advisor to help them throughout the process.

c.    All CMU teams must have their Business Model venture plans reviewed by the CMU Writing Center prior to February 15, 2016. (Check back for updates)

d.    Business Model venture plans must be the original work of the students.  Participants may use reference materials.

e.    Team members may be a member of only one team in the competition.

f.     All participants must be willing to participate in a variety of promotional activities related to the NVC, including photos and information about their business during the year of competition and subsequent to the competition.

g. If a CMU employee is to be an officer of a company connected with a NVC team or entry this must be fully disclosed to the CMU Conflict Review Committee prior to the submission.  Such disclosure shall indicate the role the CMU employee will play in the business and how this relates to the employee's CMU responsibilities.  Any decision or recommendation made by the Conflict Review Committee with respect to the faculty member's role in the company shall be final and binding on the team.  Deviation from this decision or recommendation or refusal to follow it shall be grounds for disqualification of the team from the NVC.

3.     Nature of Ventures

a.    This competition is for new, independent ventures in the start-up ideation, early growth or seed stages.  It is desired that these have a positive impact on the business environment in Michigan.  Generally excluded are the following:  buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, and licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area.  Licensing technologies from universities or research labs are encouraged, assuming they have not been previously commercialized. Students need to be a significant part of the business structure as noted in team composition.

b.    Previously existing businesses with current sales greater than $ 25,000 will not be considered.​

c.    Teams that have received outside financing or institutional funding (award/prize funding,venture capital, private equity, etc.) greater than $ 30,000 are not eligible. 

d.    Consistent with the design and purpose of the competition, CMU will evaluate the business venture plans based on the criteria presented and will not accept plans that it deems, in its sole discretion, to be unethical or contrary to local, state or federal law.  In addition, CMU reserves the right to reject any business plan for reasons including, but not limited to: the plan, or any part of the plan: is deemed to be in violation of the CMU Code of Ethics; violates any local, state or national law; or does not present sufficient content.

e.   Participants must adhere to the requirements of the CMU Intellectual Propery Policy and CMU Conflict of Interest Policy, as well as any other CMU policies and procedures that may be applicable.  Teams that wish to use CMU owned IP must obtain permission from CMU prior to the submission of their business plan. 

4.     Pre-Registration Required

  Each team must complete the on-line application form in PITCHBURNER by midnight December 4, 2015.  This indicates the team's intent to participate in the day of competition.   (see the IBIE for details on access to PITCHBURNER)

​5.     Awards and Rewards

a.    Award money will be made payable to the business entity the winning team forms (e.g. a corporation, LLC, etc.) around their winning submission.  Winning teams have until June 15 of the competition year to form their business entity (unless otherwise approved).  If the winning team fails to form the business entity and request the award money within the specified period of time, the money remains in the competition fund and is not disbursed.  (Unless approved by the IBIE). Teams and their resultant business entities are responsible for any tax consequences of the award.

b.   Each team will be required to provide appropriate documentation to receive their award payment which include W-9 and/or EIN forms. See the IBIE office in Grawn 164 with any questions. 

c.     Competition awards and rewards are intended for teams the judges select based on their view of successful operations and the judging criteria.

d.    Team members must be present for the competition and the awards ceremony to collect the awards and rewards (unless approved by the IBIE). 


DAY OF COMPETITION APPROACH - Friday, April 8, 2016  (approx. 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.)

Check back for details as these may change

1.    The Day of Competition will be divided into three rounds and one pitching round.

2.    During the first three rounds, the team has ten minutes to present an overview/summary of their business venture to a judging panel using powerpoint slides.  The panel provides feedback and asks questions of the team.

3.   The pitching round is a two minute pitch(no slides). All competition teams are expected to pitch.  The presentation must be student led.

4.    All team members should be present for each round and for the awards program.