Tufts New Ventures Competition

Develop your business case and pitch your venture for a chance to win cash and in-kind prizes valued at over $250,000

“Even though I have no experience in entrepreneurship whatsoever, I realized that with the right support and the right people, anyone is capable of being an entrepreneur.” – A 2024 finalist

The Tufts New Ventures Competition

The Tufts New Ventures Competition is the flagship venture competition at Tufts. Teams led by students, faculty, staff and recent alumni pitch their new ventures in three tracks:

  • General
  • Social Impact
  • Healthcare & Life Science

The competition culminates in live in-person / hybrid pitch competitions at the semi-finals and finals. Teams compete for a chance to win cash and in-kind services valued at over $250,000 across all prizes and awards. Click here to review the 2024 Application.

2025 Dates

Applications open: February 3, 2025
Hybrid Infosessions: TBD 
February 23, 2025
Semi-finals: March 14, 2025
Finals & Celebration: April 3, 2025

Three Competition Tracks


The General Track welcomes teams with new venture ideas in all industry sectors. Previous winners span B2C, B2B, consumer products, tough tech ventures and more.

Healthcare and Life Science

The Healthcare Track welcomes teams who solve pressing problems in healthcare – including biotech, digital health, healthcare IT and more.

Social Impact

The social impact track feature teams building new ventures that solve societal problems in for-profit or non-profit settings. Ventures are based both in the US and all over the world, including emerging markets.


Cash prizes 

Semifinals (30 prizes across the General, Healthcare and Social Tracks worth $15,000 total)

  • Each Semifinalist team will receive a $500 Venture Award

Finals per track (9 prizes across the General, Healthcare and Social Impact Tracks worth $75,000 total)

  • 1st place winner: $12,000
  • 2nd place winner: $8,000
  • 3rd place winner: $5,000

Additional Prizes 

Ricci Prize: (one award per year)

  • $15,000 awarded to an eligible interdisciplinary engineering team

Friedman Prize: (one award per year)

  • $10,000 awarded to an eligible team in the area of food, nutrition science and policy

In-Kind Prizes 


  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Credit: Each semifinalist team is eligible to receive AWS credits valued at $5,000

Finals: (one per track)

  • Cummings Properties Rent Credit: Free office space for 1 year for one team per track valued at $15,000


Eligibility Requirements

  • Teams of 1-5 (we encourage applicants to apply as a team of at least 2)
  • Applicants 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 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
  • People of color, women, and people within the LGBTQ+ community are encouraged to apply

Additional Requirements

  • 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 Tufts New Ventures Competition with the same venture
  • Applicants with team members at the cofounder level who is either a faculty or staff member associated with Tufts Gordon Institute or Derby Entrepreneurship Center, or is an immediate family member of the above, must disclose this relationship in the application. We will share this potential personal conflict of interest with Tufts’ legal counsel and determine the eligibility of these teams on a case-by-case basis.
  • The Ricci Prize and the FFNI Prize have additional eligibility requirements. Learn more on their respective landing pages.

Key information

Application & Selection Process

  • Applicants will submit their application (including a 2 minute video pitch) by the application deadline of February 25th.
  • 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

Prize Money And Tax Implications

  • Check vouchers will be written to the lead contact of winning teams as listed on their application.
  • It is the responsibility of the team to determine how the prize money will be used or distributed among team members.
  • All payments are considered income and are therefore taxable. Non-U.S. citizens are typically subject to tax withholding from any money they receive. We are not able to provide tax guidance – please plan accordingly.


Pitch Format

  • 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

  • Problem: Does the team understand the problem and their target customer?
  • Solution: Does the solution solve the problem in a unique manner compared to the alternative?
  • Go to market strategy: Does the team have a credible and actionable go-to-market strategy?
  • Financial sustainability: 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 presentation engaging and effective?
  • Wildcard: Did anything else particularly impress you?

2024 Event sponsorship

Cash prize sponsors


  • General Track: John Cuming, A81, Pamela Cuming and the William R. & Ruth D. Cuming Charitable Foundation
  • Healthcare and Life Science Track: Anonymous donor
  • Social Impact Track: Joseph H. Flom Foundation and Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life

In-kind prize sponsors

  • Cummings Properties Rent Credit: 1 year rent-free office space valued at $25,000 (1 per track)
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Credit: $5,000 per team (all semi-finalist teams)
  • Hubspot for Startups: 1 year discounted subscription (all semi-finalist teams)

Gold-level corporate sponsors