New Venture’s new adventure

| Author: ​Jeff Johnston

​A first-ever online version of Central Michigan University's annual New Venture business pitch competition provided students the opportunity to continue to develop their business ideas and compete for startup funding during the pandemic.

For the online competition, 25 student teams from CMU and Michigan Technological University chose to compete in categories of two-minute pitch videos or 10-minute pitch videos with slides. Students also prepared an executive summary and financial summary for their business.

Watch the ventures pitch or review the executive summaries and financial summaries. You also can watch the awards ceremony.

Many of the student teams that competed have participated in New Venture programs including workshops over the past eight months and spent countless hours formulating and refining their ideas, value propositions and ventures.

Competitors also will be invited back to compete in the 2021 New Venture Competition even if they have graduated. In fact, a couple of the sponsors have committed to funding additional awards next year specifically for the New Venture Online Competition participants.

Here are the winning student ventures:

Two-minute pitch

  • Micro Outdoors, 1st place, $5,000
  • OffGrid, 2nd place, $2,500
  • SoundCup, 3rd place, $1,000
  • Traveling Tailgate and NLP Licensor, honorable mentions, $750

10-minute presentation

  • F.O.C.U.S., 1st place, $7,500
  • FreightMate, 2nd place, $3,000
  • Nottawa Docks LLC and Small Business Brain, 3rd place (tie), $1,750
  • SwimSmart, honorable mention, $1,000
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