HBS New Venture Competition - Alumni Track 2019-2020

Welcome to the 2020 HBS New Venture Competition - Alumni Track! The New Venture Competition (NVC) serves as a launch pad for innovative new ventures from HBS alumni, providing access and exposure to potential investors, mentors, and advisors. The annual event is sponsored by the Harvard Business School's Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and Alumni Clubs & Associations. The competition is open to alumni with early-stage ventures, and winners receive an invitation to the student and alumni NVC Finale to be held on April 16, 2020.


Apply by January 27, 2020, 12:00pm ET. You will apply to one of 8 global regions by completing the application herein and hitting the “Submit” button.  Applicants can apply to their region of choice based on proximity or launch market. However, the Virtual International Track is only for international applicants who live outside of the Asia-Pacific and Europe Regions. The Virtual International Track will be managed by the HBS Alumni Relations and Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.

Previous Regional Winners are not allowed to re-apply to the alumni New Venture Competition.

IMPORTANT: You can save and modify your application at any point prior to the January 27 deadline, as long as you do not hit the "Submit" button. Once you hit the "Submit" button, you will not be able to modify your application.


The first round begins at the regional level.  Once you've submitted an application, the Regional NVC Leads will review applications and shortlist the teams for their regional competition.

If your team is chosen to pitch at the regional competition, you will be asked to submit a pitch deck (template below in Downloads section for guidance) to your NVC host club. Regional Competition dates vary. After applications close on January 27, 2020, your NVC host club will reach out with next steps and a date for your regional competition.  If you win the regional competition, a pitch deck will be required of you by March 20, 2020 to move onto the Global Semi-Finals round.


The Finals round will take place on the HBS campus on Thursday, April 16, 2020.  8-10 final teams will pitch live to a panel of HBS alumni investors and founders, of which 4 teams will be selected to present a 90-second pitch at the Finale show that evening.

The global finalists will have 7-10 minutes to pitch and 15-20 minutes of Q&A (exact times to be determined) in front of prominent HBS alumni venture capitalists. These judges will select 4 teams to present a 90-second pitch at the NVC Finale show that evening.  They will also choose the Grand Prize and Runner-up winners, however, these winners will find out who they are at the Finale show.  All 4 teams are eligible to win the Crowd Favorite prize.

  • Grand Prize Winner: $75,000
  • Runner-up Winner: $25,000
  • Crowd Favorite Winner: $5,000 (chosen via a live poll at the finale)


  • The venture must have an HBS alumni as a founder.

  • Ventures must have less than $2 million USD in revenue. In addition, they may not have raised more than $ 2.5 million USD in total debt/invested equity capital. This amount includes money received through grants, awards, and other funding sources. Teams must meet both criteria. Invested capital is defined as funding appearing on the plan's balance sheet at the time of submission, which is no later than January 27, 2020 at 12pm noon ET. Teams will disclose any prior funding received at the time of registration.

  • HBS Investors are not eligible to submit companies unless they are identified as a founder and involved full-time in the day-to-day operations. The HBS Founder must be represented at all events and be the pitch lead.

  • Investment funds, acquisitions, and consulting services are not deemed "new ventures" and are not eligible.

  • The Virtual International Track is only open to international applicants who live outside of the Asia-Pacific and Europe regions

  • Cash and in-kind prizes are awarded solely to participating companies and not to any grant-funding institutions.

  • Previous Regional Winners cannot re-apply to the New Venture Competition.

  • The HBS Rock Center for Entrepreneurship reserves the right to disqualify any entry that violates the rules or spirit of the competition. The decision of the Rock Center are final and binding.

    Travel for Regional Competitions

    If selected to compete in the regional competition, the applicant will cover their own travel to the regional competition.
    In the event that too few applications are submitted to a region, HBS has the right to cancel the regional competition.

    Travel for Global Finals and Finale

    The NVC regional lead club will reimburse travel to the regional winner who is selected to advance to the Global Finals round in April.
    Please work with the NVC regional lead club directly to obtain your reimbursement.

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