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CMU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Opens Registration for McGinnis Venture Competition, Offers Personal Coaches

Registration is now open for the 2016 McGinnis Venture Competition, one of Carnegie Mellon University’s premier annual venture capital events.

The McGinnis Venture Competition is a cross-campus, entrepreneurial challenge that allows interdisciplinary teams of student innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs to compete for $60,000 in investments and mentorship, and ultimately advance the development of their startups. Many prominent companies have participated in the competition since its inception in 2004, including ModCloth, Dynamics, Inc., BlackLocus, LearnBop and Solvvy.

Although registration will remain open until Jan. 19, teams who register by Dec. 1 will receive a personal coach for their team – a new benefit of the program being introduced this year. The Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, hosts of the McGinnis Competition, will match the teams with a coach who best fits their venture and goals.

The competition, which was designed to spotlight and advance the commercialization of student-created ventures, is open to all Carnegie Mellon University undergraduate and graduate students.

Contest format and prizes

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 will require teams to construct an executive summary and a five-minute video pitch of their venture, and teams that advance to round two will have the opportunity to update their executive summary and video pitch, using feedback from round one to make improvements.

The third round and final round will ask each team for a mini business plan and live pitch. On March 31, the remaining teams will participate in live presentations followed by a Q&A session with a panel of judges comprised of Carnegie Mellon alumni, investors and esteemed entrepreneurs. Winning teams from the final round will earn monetary prizes:

Graduate Track Prizes

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

Undergraduate Track Prizes

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

In addition to access to a personal coach, competitors will receive interaction with alumni entrepreneurs and a chance to raise capital for their ventures, as well as ample opportunities to meet and interact with peers who are passionate about entrepreneurship.

The McGinnis Competition 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.