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

Hosted by the Derby 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.

2022 Dates

Info Sessions: February 2, 2022 @12-1pm and February 3, 2022 @6:00-7:00pm
Applications open: February 1, 2021
Deadline: February 28, 2022
Semi-finals: March 11, 2022
Finals: April 8, 2022

Three Competition Tracks

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.

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.

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, generously funded by the Hirsch Family Funderpants and Tisch College
  • Social Impact Track: $25,000 in cash prizes, generous funded by an anonymous donor

Add-On 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
  • WE Global Studio: Two 1-year memberships valued at $924 each to WE Global Studio, an online venture studio and digital startup platform for women entrepreneurs

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
  • 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

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 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?