Hosted by the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, the $100k New Ventures Competition is the flagship venture competition at Tufts. Early stage innovators and entrepreneurs pitch their ideas in three tracks: General Technology, Social Impact and Healthcare & Life Science. We welcome applicants across the Tufts community: Undergraduate and graduate students, recent alumni, faculty and staff across all 11 schools and colleges at Tufts.
Through educational workshops, 1×1 coaching and pitch practice in February and March, you will make rapid progress on your venture and learn to pitch your venture to excite and inspire potential employees, advisors, investors and more.
The competition culminates in live pitch competitions at the virtual semi-finals and finals. Winners will take home prizes valued over $100k in non-dilutive funding and in-kind services.
What you need to know about the $100k
- Info Sessions: February 1, 2021 @12-1pm, February 2, 2021 @6:00-7:00pm
- Applications open: February 1, 2021 • Apply here for the $100k
- Deadline: February 28, 2021
- Semi-finals: March 19, 2021
- Finals: April 9, 2021
- General Technology
- Social Impact
- Healthcare and Life science
Prizes for each track
- Three winners for cash prizes totaling $25k (1st place: $12k; 2nd place: $8k; 3rd place: $5k)
- One winner for a free office space prize valued at $25k
Additional prizes administered alongside the $100k
- The Steve and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize ($10k cash prize)
- The Friedman Nutrition Innovation Institute (FNII) Prize ($10k cash prize plus in-kind legal and ideation services)
- Prizes are paid out to an individual and are treated as taxable income by Tufts and the IRS
- Non-US citizens are taxed at 30% which will be withheld from their prize check
Eligibility Requirements & Conditions
- Teams of 1-5 (we strongly encourage applicants to apply as a team of at least 2)
- Applicants to the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition must have actively participating executive or founding team members in major roles who are one, or more, of the following: Matriculated Tufts undergraduate or graduate student; full time postdoc, research fellow or resident; faculty, staff or current researcher; recently graduated alumni (graduated within the last 5 years)
- Applicants must not have raised more than $250,000 combined in grants, fellowships, convertible notes, SAFE notes, equity-based financing or other funding sources as of the application deadline
- Applicants must not have already won in a previous $100k competition with the same venture
- Applicants must be seriously considering building their venture in a full time capacity moving forward
- Applicants must commit to being available to pitch in the live virtual Semi-finals and virtual Finals
- The Ricci Prize and the FFNI Prize have additional eligibility requirements. Learn more on their respective landing pages.
Non-Tufts team members:
Non-Tufts team members may be part of the venture’s management team and may participate in planning the venture. However, the Tufts team member(s) are expected to:
- Have an ongoing active role in the day-to-day operations of the venture
- Be the driving force behind the venture
- Hold an executive role in the founding management team of the venture
- Be the primary presenter if chosen to compete in the semi-finals or finals
Application and selection process
- Applicants will submit their application (including a 2 minute video pitch) by the application deadline through the online portal here.
- A panel of judges will screen all applications and select 30 semifinalists – 10 teams for each track: General Technology, Social Impact, Healthcare & Life Science
- Semifinalists who commit to the live pitching will participate in mandatory pitch practice
- 30 teams will pitch in front of a second panel of judges to compete for 15 finalist spots – 5 per track
- Finalists will have access to additional pitch practice sessions
- 15 teams will pitch in front of a third and final panel of judges
- Winners for 3 cash prizes and one real estate prize will be selected for each track
- The live semi-final and final pitches will be 5 minutes long with 5 minutes of Q&A from a panel of judges
- In addition to pitch practice, semi-finalists and finalists will be coached on lighting and audio/visual setup for the best virtual pitch possible
Judging rubric for all stages (Screening, Semi-final judging, Final judging)
- Problem: Does the team understand the problem and target customer?
- Solution: Does the proposed solution solve the problem in a unique manner compared to the alternative?
- Go to market strategy: Does the team have a credible and thoughtful go-to-market strategy?
- Unit and overall economics: Is the proposed business model financially sustainable?
- Scale: Is the venture capable of scaling up to impact a large number of people?
- Impact: How is the world a better place if the team solves this problem?
- Team: Did the team convince the judges they are the right people to solve this problem?
- Presentation: Was the team effective in presenting their venture?
- Wildcard: Did anything about the team particularly impress you?
Resources to help you prepare for the $100k
- Virtual Social Impact Ideathon (Feb 5-7): Meet like minded people and form teams
- Jumbo Café Entrepreneurship “Deep dive” Educational workshops @12-1:30pm
- Pop up 30-minute coaching (schedule via Calendly)
- Pitch practice (10+ additional volunteers)
- Self-service entrepreneurial education resources