Rules and Eligibility
Requirements for each competition
|New Venture||Social Venture||Technology Venture|
|Sectors||All, except Consulting, Franchises, Real Estate Syndications||All including nonprofit but must have an earned revenue stream||Life Sciences, IT and Clean Tech|
|Exclusions||Existing ventures with sales over $250K; Existing ventures with $250K or more in outside financing.||Existing ventures with sales over $250K; Existing ventures with $250K or more in outside financing.|
|IP Requirements||None||None||Venture must be based on IP developed while working or studying at NYU.|
|Team Requirements||Must have at least 1 current NYU student or Stern alumnus.||Must have at least 1 current NYU student or Stern alumnus.||Must have at least 1 NYU student, researcher or faculty member.|
|Team Entry Fee||$150 alumni/$75students||$150 alumni/$75students||$150 alumni/$75students|
• Each venture is only eligible to enter one competition. We strongly recommend that entrepreneurs do not enter multiple competitions with different ideas.
• Submissions must be the required format and on time. A signed eligibility statement is required at each submission round. Late submissions will be eliminated from the competition.
• Competition prizes are intended for plans that the judges believe can become operating businesses of significant economic scale. Teams attempting to start or expand a consultancy or advisory firm may enter the competition but should be aware of the bias against these endeavors. Business plans related to starting or expanding an investment organization may enter the competition but are excluded from advancing to the semi-final rounds of the competition and prize money.
• Winners of the competition must sign a New Venture Competition Prize Agreement., Social Venture Competition Prize Agreement.
Who can compete?
Open to the NYU Community
Stern students (full-time, part-time, executive MBA and undergraduate), Stern alumni and NYU graduate students are eligible to participate in the Business Plan Competition. All teams must include a Stern representative to compete.
1. NYU student or Stern alumnus required: To enter, each team must have a NYU student or alumnus as a member. The NYU student or alumnus team member must be an active participant in the venture, as determined by the Berkley Center. Strong evidence of active participation is ownership in the aggregate of a minimum of 15% of the equity in the new venture, but other factors may override the absence of equity ownership. In the case of nonprofit organizations, the NYU student or alumnus team member must intend to maintain a leadership position within the organization upon completion of the competition.
2. New Social Venture Competition pre-requisite: Teams are eligible to enter the New Venture Social Venture Competition if they are pursuing the double bottom line of social impact and financial profitability or sustainability, with the former criterion being of highest value.
3. Venture Exclusions: New Venture Competition - excluded are the following: the start or expansion of a consultancy or advisory firm, real estate syndications, or plans related to starting or expanding an investment organization and expansions of existing companies.
Social Venture Competition - excluded are non-profit businesses. The competition is for ventures pursuing the double bottom line of social impact and financial profitability or sustainability, with the former criterion being of highest value.
4. Funding considerations: A team is ineligible if it has received more than $250,000 in outside financing or any institutional funding (venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, corporate funds, etc). Teams who are generating revenue of $250,000 or more, eligibility will be determined by the Berkley Center on a case by case basis. Teams may not enter into any financial arrangements involving cash or equity compensation with other business plan competition participants, including, but not limited to, mentors, coaches, faculty and alumni. This prohibition shall cease six months from the Business Plan Competition Final Pitch-off.
5. Re-entrants: If a participant previously entered the competition, he/she may re-enter only with a substantially different venture idea.
6. Multiple concepts: Individuals may enter more than one venture concept summary with permission of the competition committee, but may not be selected for more than one team in the semi-final rounds.
7. Leadership: Either the NYU student or Stern alumnus team representative must be a leading presenter during the business plan presentation. Business plans and presentation materials must be the original work of team members.The team is expected to conform to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Activities such as plagiarism, misrepresentation, and falsification of the NYU student, or Stern alumnus involvement is a breach of conduct and eligibility.
8. Signature required: All Venture Concepts must be submitted to the Berkley Center with a signed Eligibility Statement that certifies adherence to the above rules.
9. Awards and rewards: Members of the winning teams must sign a Prize Agreement and follow the agreement rules.
Ira Rennert Prize Agreement
Social Venture Prize Agreement
Note: Competition prizes are intended for plans that the judges believe can become operating businesses of significant economic scale.
Download a copy of theEligibility Form for the New Venture Competition and Social Venture Competition.
Who can compete?
This is a competition for current NYU students, faculty or researchers. At least one current NYU student, faculty or researcher must be a member of the venture's founding management team. Others not currently affiliated with NYU (including NYU alumni) may be members of the venture's management team.
The current NYU team member must be an active participant in the venture, as determined by the competition committee. Strong evidence of active participation is ownership in the aggregate of a minimum of 15% of the equity in the venture, but other factors may override the absence of equity ownership. Entries must be the original work of entrants.
2. Funding considerations:
a. Prior Funding: A team is ineligible if it has received outside institutional funding (venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, corporate funds, etc). Teams must not have accepted any non-institutional funding in excess of $250,000 at any point prior to the completion of this contest. Non-institutional funding includes contests, grants, friends and family, bank loans, etc. where there is no equity ownership associated with the funding is permitted.
b. Revenue: A team is eligible if it has generated revenue in the 12 months prior to submitting its application.
3. Pre-existing Technology: Only businesses based upon pre-existing technologies may apply. Pre-existing technologies must be in a demonstrable proof-of-concept, prototype, alpha/beta or working finished product at the time of application for consideration in the competition.
4. University Owned Intellectual Property
Teams seeking to commercialize NYU owned intellectual property (IP) must contact the requisite NYU technology transfer office if you require a license from the University to the IP utilized in your business prior to submitting your application. In general, if the technology was developed under a research grant or if material use of University facilities (e.g., a laboratory) were used in the development of the technology, you may require a license from the University. Please consult the technology transfer office for further guidance and assistance.
5. Multiple ventures: Each team may enter one venture per competition and cannot enter the same venture in other Stern competitions. Each NYU student may only participate on one team.
6. Signature required: All teams must submit to the Berkley Center a signed Eligibility Statement that certifies adherence to the above rules.
7. Awards: Award money will be made payable to the venture. Members of the winning teams must sign a Prize Agreement. If the team is offered and accepts additional funding, teams will be required to execute additional documentation.
Download a copy of NYU Technology Venture Competition Eligibility Form.