NEWS: Starting with the 2015 contest, the winner of the Georgia Tech Startup Competition will be awarded the prestigious Edison Prize. The prize comes with a $15,000 convertible note to the winning team’s company. This is in addition to the $15,000 cash first prize.

 

2014 Competition

Congratulations to CheckDroid, winners of the 2014 Ga Tech Startup Competition! CheckDroid is a Ga Tech TI:GER team. After winning the Ga Tech competition, they went on to win Startup Madness, a contest pitting startup teams from all ACC Schools. CheckDroid recently presented their business to partners at Kleiner Perkins, a tier one VC in Silicon Valley.

What

The Georgia Tech Startup Competition pits teams of Georgia Tech graduate students in a contest to find a great startup business. Formerly the Business Plan Competition, the all new competition focuses on discovering a market opportunity and creating an innovative business model to address it. There is no written business plan. No financial projections. No investor pitch. It is all about your team working together to define a compelling startup.

A business idea or a team is not needed to start. Attend the Fall workshops, meet other participants and form a team.

Who

The Startup Competition is open to all Georgia Tech graduate students and those who have graduated in 2014. Engineers, architects, computer scientist, business … the entire graduate student population is welcome to participate. We are strongly encouraging inter-disciplinary teams. Use the Fall workshop series as a time to connect to business, engineering and science students for your team.

When

The contest starts in September with a workshop series and finishes the week before spring break. Teams must formally apply by October 13, 2014. An online application will be available after the workshops begin.

Why

Most technology startups fail. Why? They start executing before they have a proven business model. They write a business plan, raise money and build a product. And fail, because they built a product nobody wants. They skip the most important step. Talking to customers.

At VentureLab, we asked ourselves, what if we could build a student competition that actually created successful technology startups? So, with the support of the Scheller College of Business, the Startup Competition was born.

This contest will be judged based on the work your team does during the contest. Did you learn about customer problems, and propose an innovative solution?

How

Workshops
The 2015 Startup Competition kicks off with a Fall workshop series. During the workshops, members of VentureLab will cover the basics of lean startup principles, focusing on Customer Discovery and the Business Model Canvas. You will use what you learn during the next step of the competition. During the fall, we will also be helping you to form teams for the competition.

Customer Discovery
In October and November, teams will do extensive customer interviews to learn how the world works and what problems customers have. You then derive conceptual innovative solutions and test them with customers. We call this Customer Discovery blitz “Startup Gauntlet.” Based on the insight you gain, you will have a compelling business model which can lead to a successful startup.

Teams will meet weekly with VentureLab instructors and mentors in a small group setting to review progress. You will learn how to get customer meetings, what questions to ask, and how to form insight. This Startup Gauntlet process is where the magic happens.

Customer Validation
In January and February, teams will be doing Customer Validation. This process looks at all of the risk factors affecting a startup – Market, Technology, People and Money. Many teams will be building prototypes and testing their sales process.

Semifinals

The semifinals of the Startup Competition will be held on Monday March 2, 2015 at 7:30pm in the LeCraw Auditorium at the Scheller College of Business.

The teams will all participate in an intensive process of Customer Discovery and Customer Validation. Sixteen of those teams will be selected for the semifinals. Each team will present to a group of judges, all with significant experience in the customer discovery and validation process. The semifinals judges will select the eight teams that will participate in the finals on March 9.

During the semifinals, each team will present a five-minute presentation about their journey and resulting business model. Then up to three-minutes of Q&A with the judges.

Finals

The finals of the Startup Competition will be held on Monday March 9 at 7:30pm in the LeCraw Auditorium at the Scheller College of Business. Free to attend. Everyone is welcome. The Finals will be marketed broadly and we expect a large gathering of students, faculty, entrepreneurs and investors.

There will be a reception starting at 6:30pm in the atrium outside the auditorium.

There will be eight teams in the finals. These eight will be selected at the semifinals on March 2. Each of the finals teams will be presenting to a group of judges, all with significant experience in customer discovery.

The final judges will select the grand prize winning team who will share $15,000. Second price is $5,000 and third prize is $3,000. There are two additional $1,000 prizes that will be selected by the semifinal judges.

During the finals, each team will present a two-minute video on their Customer Discovery journey followed by an eight-minute presentation on their business. Then up to three-minutes of Q&A with the judges.

What do I do next?

Make sure to attend the first workshop meeting on Monday night, September 22. It starts at 7:45pm in the Scheller College of Business Room 300. No need to register for the fall workshops. But we would like to get your email below.




If you leave your email we will send you regular updates on the program.

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