The $100k New Ventures Competition

The flagship venture competition at Tufts University

Pitch your venture for a chance to win cash prizes valued at $100,000, and in-kind prizes valued at over $50,000!

The Tufts $100k

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. The competition culminates in live pitch competitions at the virtual semi-finals and finals.

What’s new in 2023:

  • All semifinalist teams from each track will receive a $500 venture award and will be eligible to apply for a $5,000 AWS (Amazon Web Services) credit through Derby Entrepreneurship Center’s partnership with AWS.
  • We will be hosting live watch parties for each track, as well as a pizza social prior to the event to enable those who are able to come to the Medford campus in person

2023 Dates

Hybrid Info Sessions:

January 26, 2023 at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine – Register Here

January 31, 2023 at Tufts School of Dental Medicine – Register Here

January 31, 2023 at Tufts University School of Medicine – Register Here

February 8, 2023 at Tufts SMFA – Register Here

Applications open: February 1, 2023
Deadline: February 28, 2023
Semi-finals: March 9, 2023, 6-9pm ET
Finals: April 13, 2023, 6-9pm ET

Three Competition Tracks

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.

Healthcare and Life Science

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

General Technology

The General Technology Track welcomes teams with new venture ideas powered by technology. Previous winners span B2C, B2B, tough tech ventures and more.

Prizes

Cash prizes

  • General Technologies Track: $25,000 in cash prizes, generous funded by an anonymous donor
  • Healthcare and Life Science Track: $25,000 in cash prizes
  • Social Impact Track: $25,000 in cash prizes, generous funded by the Joseph H. Flom Foundation and Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life

Additional Prizes

  • Ricci Prize: $15,000 awarded to an eligible interdisciplinary engineering team
  • Friedman Prize: $10,000 awarded to an eligible team in the area of food, nutrition science and policy

In-Kind Prizes

  • Cummings Properties Rent Credit: Free office space for 1 year for one team per track

Eligibility & Applying

Eligibility Requirements

  • Teams of 1-5 (we 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
  • People of color, women, and people within the LGBTQ+ community are encouraged to apply
  • The Ricci Prize and the FFNI Prize have additional eligibility requirements. Learn more on their respective landing pages.

Application & Selection Process

  • Applicants will submit their application (including a 2 minute video pitch) by the application deadline of February 28th.
  • 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.

     

Pitching & Judging Criteria

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?