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CMU Students to Compete in Venture Competition for $60K in Investments

McGinnis Venture Competition 2014 WinnersThe McGinnis Venture Competition has grown to become one of Carnegie Mellon University’s premier annual venture capital events, challenging interdisciplinary teams of student innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs to battle for $60,000 in investments and assistance aimed at advancing the development of their startup companies. Team Registration for the 2015 competition will open on December 1, 2014. Live final-round presentations and judging will occur on March 26, 2015.

The competition is administered by the Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and is made possible by a generous endowment from Gerald E. McGinnis, inventor, international business leader and founder and former CEO of Respironics Inc., a leading resource in the medical device industry.

All competitors receive crucial interaction with alumni entrepreneurs and an opportunity to raise capital and get valuable feedback on their ventures. To be eligible, teams must have an undergraduate or graduate student from Carnegie Mellon University as CEO, CTO or COO of the proposed enterprise and members of the student team should also own a significant majority of the equity allocated to all parties. CMU students must also deliver the majority of the content in all of the competitive rounds.

The McGinnis Venture Competition involves three rounds that give students the opportunity to develop and pitch their ideas to professional entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Round one, closing on January 15, 2015, will require teams to construct an executive summary and a five-minute video pitch of their venture. Round two ends on February 12, 2015 and gives the teams the opportunity to update their executive summary and video pitch, using feedback from round one to make improvements.

The third round will ask each team for a mini business plan and an expanded versions of both the executive summary and live pitch. This portion is due on March 17, 2015. Final round teams are coached by a dedicated mentor who has domain expertise.

On March 26, 2015, each team will participate in live presentations that are eight minutes long followed by a seven-minute Q&A from the judges. Presentations will take place at the Jared L. Cohon University Center at Carnegie Mellon University.

Graduate Track Prizes

  • First Place: $25,000
  • Second Place: $15,000
  • Third Place: $10,000

Undergraduate Track Prizes

  • First Place: $4,000
  • Second Place: $2,500

$3,500 of the $60K investment will be donated to the Carnegie Mellon University Venture Challenge and the two undergraduate team winners will gain automatic entrance into the Venture Challenge.

Participants will also have the opportunity to meet and interact with peers who are passionate about entrepreneurship and gain access to Carnegie Mellon’s entrepreneurial alumni network. Teams from all rounds enjoy access to exclusive networking events.