One Harvard New Venture Competitionheader-img

Open to All Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs and Innovators

Wednesday, February 24,
6-7:30 pm PT

Compete Sponsor Volunteeer Attend

This annual competition is open to Harvard alumni from any school. It has propelled numerous Northern California startups to success, providing:

  • Cash prizes and substantial in-kind benefits
  • Remarkable networking - find colleagues + work with world’s leading investors
  • Advance your concept through education, mentoring sessions and other resources

 Key Steps

  1. Apply - Regional Early submission* deadline Tuesday, December 15, 2020 9:00 am PT Apply
    *Early applicants get at least one mentoring session and get a chance to network early with VCs & Angels. Estimated 5 minutes to complete this application.
  2. Apply - Regional Final application deadline Northern California Regional Competition Monday, January 11, 2020, 9:00 am PT Apply
  3. Apply - Global Final application deadline global competition. HBS Applicants only. January 11, 2020, 9:00 am PT Apply
    *HBS global applicants must apply for both regional and global applications by the deadline.
    The top-scoring HBS startups at our regional event will advance to this HBS-only global competition which takes place in March.

 Calendar of Events

  1. Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 5-6:15 pm PT Networking Event and Applicant Information Night. See video here
  2. Tuesday, December 8, 2020, 5-6:15 pm PT Networking Event for Entrepreneurs. Register
  3. January, Time and Date TBD Networking Event for Entrepreneurs
  4. February, Time and Date TBD Networking Night for VIP Sponsors
  5. Wednesday, February 24, 2021 Regional HBS New Venture Competition, Northern California. Register
  6. Tuesday, March 30, 2021 Global HBS New Venture Competition (for HBS applicants only).

 Competitor Eligibility and Rules

  1. Application fee: $100
  2. Must be a graduate of any Harvard school
  3. Must be a founder and/or full-time member of the startup management team
  4. The founder/management team member must be represented at all events
  5. The founder must be the pitch lead
  6. Startup should have raised less than $2.5 million in capital and have lifetime revenues of less than $2 million
  7. With the exception of past winner, startups that have participated in the competition in the past are eligible to compete again
  8. The founder/company can reside in any location, worldwide

 Judging Criteria

  1. Customer value proposition
  2. Go-to-market strategy
  3. Economic model and team

 Hall of Fame - Winners 2020

Goal Five is the Soccer Brand for Her. Producing premium quality athletic apparel designed specifically for women. Our mission is to celebrate, elevate and inspire female athletes’ greatness. Learn more at:

Vincere Health helps smokers quit by delivering the right care at the right time to those who need it most. Learn more at

 Judges 2020

Sonja Hoel-Perkins
Venture Capitalist investing in people and companies that matter Founder, Broadway Angels and Project Glimmer Managing Director, the Perkins Fund Select Investments: The RealReal, Hint Water, 128 Technology, F5, McAfee Associates, Acme Packet

Zack Rinat
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Driveroo Founder, Chairman and CEO, Model N (NYSE: MODN) Chairman, Conduit (NASDAQ:PERI) Founding Director, Trading Dynamics, acquired by Ariba Co-founder, Chairman & CEO, NetDynamics, acquired by Sun

Mark Stevens
Venture Capitalist and Philanthropist Founder, S-Cubed Capital Board Member, Nvidia Former Sequoia Capital Partners with early investments in Google, Yahoo, Nvidia, and YouTube


Maya Krish, Harvard MS

Phani Nagarjuna, HBS MBA

Pankaj Mahajan, HBS PLDA
Chair, Competitor Management

Cathy Benko, HBS MBA
Chair, Judging

Dan Beck, HBS MBA
Educational Events

Eli Busen, HBS MBA
Educational Events

Niki Santo, Harvard MA
Educational Events

Vince Lane, HBS MBA

Laurel Skurko, HBS MBA
Community Engagement

Our Sponsors (2020)


Online Resources

We hope you enjoy these additional resources, provided to all contestants by HBS

*Questions -