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 semi-finals and finals. All semifinalist teams will receive a $500 venture award and will be eligible to apply for a $5,000 AWS (Amazon Web Services) credit. Finalists compete for a chance to win cash and in-kind services valued at over $250,000 across all prizes and awards.

2024 Dates

 Hybrid Info Sessions:

  • Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine – TBD
  • Tufts School of Dental Medicine – TBD
  • Tufts University School of Medicine – TBD
  • Tufts SMFA – TBD

Applications open: February 1, 2024
Deadline: February 25, 2024
Semi-finals: March 14, 2024, 6-9pm ET
Finals & Celebration: April 5, 2024, 2-6pm ET

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.

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.


Cash prizes

  • General Technologies Track: $25,000 in 3 cash prizes, generous funded by an anonymous donor
  • Healthcare and Life Science Track: $25,000 in 3 cash prizes
  • Social Impact Track: $25,000 in 3 cash prizes, generous funded by the Joseph H. Flom Foundation and Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life
  • Each semifinalist team will also receive a $500 award

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
  • Each semifinalist team is eligible to receive AWS credits valued at $5,000 per team

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
  • 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.
  • 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 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.


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?