The Dempsey Startup Competition (Dempsey Startup), organized by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, provides a real-world experience for student entrepreneurs, promoting student ideas and new venture creation to the entrepreneurial community. Participating in the Dempsey Startup gives students practice in the dynamics of venture creation by developing an idea, putting together a founding team, writing a business plan, and presenting to investors. In fact, many ideas that started as a class project turned into a start-up company through the competition process! The Dempsey Startup is open to enrolled, degree-seeking undergrads and grad students at accredited colleges and universities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia and Alaska.
The 2021 competition will be virtual. Several small adjustments have been made to the structure of the competition in order to deliver all events online.
30 teams will advance from the Screening Round to the Investment Round instead of 36.
The top 30 teams will be asked to submit a video recording of a 60-second pitch.
We will announce all prize winners in a Video Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 28.
2021 Competition Timeline (updated 2/15/2021):
Monday, April 5 - Applications due by 11:59pm
Thursday, April 8 - Tuesday, April 13 - Screening Round (Round 1) takes place online
Tuesday, April 13 (after 3pm) - Top 30 teams advancing to the Investment Round are notified
Thursday, April 15 (6pm) - Investment Round Resource Night for Top 30 teams (mandatory)
Monday, April 19 - Startup Financials Workshop
Tuesday, April 20 - Pitch Workshop
Wednesday, April 21 - Friday, April 23 - Office Hours with mentors
Monday, April 26 - 60-second Pitch Videos + 1 Page Summaries Due
Wednesday, May 5 - Virtual Investment Round
Wednesday, May 19 - Coaching Round
Friday, May 21 - 12-15 page Business Plan due (12pm)
Wednesday, May 26 - Sweet 16
Thursday, May 27 - Final Round (four teams present via webinar)
Friday, May 28 - Video Awards Presentation (12pm)
Teams in the Dempsey Startup Competition must comply with the following criteria to be eligible for the competition:
Note: The Director of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship reserves the right to make the final determination of the eligibility of submitted business ventures.
The Dempsey Startup Competition considers all submitted business plans as confidential and treats all team matters accordingly. However, we cannot guarantee complete confidentiality for proprietary matters.
Therefore, we strongly encourage any team with concerns regarding intellectual property, copyright, or patent confidentiality to either contact their University’s intellectual property office (for University-developed discoveries) or competent legal counsel (for non-University related discoveries). The University of Washington, the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, the Foster School of Business, and the organizers of the competition are not responsible for any proprietary information and/or intellectual property included in a submitted business plan.
Ultimately, protection of sensitive materials is the sole responsibility of the individual or team participating in the competition.
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