Aimed at promoting the commercialization of emerging technology, the Texas A&M New Ventures Competition is helping today’s innovative ideas become a reality. Led by the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station with the support of the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, the competition recognizes Texas-based companies with high-growth potential and provides seed funding to help them effectively execute their ideas and advance product development.
The Texas A&M New Ventures Competition is hosted by the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station and other entities within the Texas A&M University System. Sponsors provide substantial prize money and high-value in-kind awards.
The Texas A&M New Ventures Competition is open to all Texas-based companies that meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Any for-profit company that is legally formed or incorporated in Texas and/or has a physical address and operates in Texas may enter the competition. All applicants must hold legal U.S. resident status.
- The competition is for new technology- or science-focused independent ventures in the pre-seed/seed, start-up, or early growth stages that are or will be seeking outside equity capital. Generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises and licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area. The competition executive committee will determine all eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Licensing technologies from universities or research labs ARE NOT excluded and strongly encouraged, provided that they have not been previously commercialized.
- The competition is for new ventures. Companies may not enter that have more than $250,000 in sales revenue. Companies that have raised more than $2,500,000 through any combination of equity, debt and grant funding are not eligible to apply. Applicants who have already secured arrangements for capital from any source must disclose the amounts and sources clearly in their entries.
- Finalists from previous Texas A&M New Ventures Competitions are not eligible to apply. Semifinalists that did not make it to the finals, alternates, and other non-finals prize winners are encouraged to re-apply.
- Each competing company will be required to submit a Form W-9 at registration. No prizes will be awarded without a completed Form W-9.
Confidentiality and Intellectual Property Guidelines
- By submitting an executive summary for the competition, applicants represent and warrant to the Texas A&M New Ventures Competition they have all right, title and/or interest in the business plan submitted and the information it contains is accurate and complete, and by submitting these documents to the competition applicants are not and will not be violating any contract or any third-party rights, including any patent, copyright, trade secret, proprietary or confidential information, trademark, publicity or privacy right.
- Due to the nature of the competition, judges, reviewers, staff and the audience will not be asked to sign or agree to non-disclosure statements for any participant of the competition.
- Any data or information discussed or divulged in the application, executive summary, or pitch sessions should be considered information that will likely enter the public domain, and participants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged or presented in these sessions.
- Portions of the executive summary may be used by the competition to advertise the pitch competition event. Also, the entire executive summary may be distributed to audience members at the pitch event. Information submitted by participants, other than the executive summary, will not be publicly distributed or used for purposes other than evaluation of the competition by judges and competition personnel. Any information disclosed by the participants during the pitch competition will, as noted above, be accessible by the general public.
- Companies seeking to enter the Texas A&M New Ventures Competition must submit an online application that can be accessed at www.texasnvc.org.
- Completed applications must be electronically submitted through the online portal. Questions or problems should be addressed to the following e-mail address: email@example.com.
- For those companies that are invited to the pitch competition, a $250 registration fee will be required. The registration fee provides access to all Competition events including educational, networking, meals and awards reception.
One-on-one virtual meetings to consult and help prepare participants will be required in advance of the Texas A&M New Ventures Competition.
- Executive Summary
- For those applicants invited to the pitch event, an executive summary must be submitted. More details about the executive summary will be provided directly to invited applicants. Reminder: The Executive Summary will be built directly from application input.
- In the opening pitch round, each team will be given 10-minutes to present, followed by up to a 10-minute question-and-answer period between the presenting team and the judges. Teams in the opening pitch round will present in one of four parallel rooms. Winners from the opening round will move on as finalists. The opening pitch round will be conducted the morning of the competition.
- A second round of pitches will be held in two parallel rooms for a portion of the teams that did not win their rooms in the first round. Each team will be given 10-minutes to present, followed by up to a 10-minute question-and-answer period between the presenting team and the judges. Winners from the second round will move on as finalists.
- In the final pitch round, which will occur in the afternoon after the networking lunch, finalists from the opening and second pitch rounds will be given 10 minutes to present their business plan, followed by up to a 10-minute question-and-answer period. Finalists will be announced during the networking lunch.
- After the final pitch round, while the judges deliberate, non-finalist companies will be invited to make a one-minute elevator pitch to the general audience. Electronic scoring by the audience will be used as the basis for awarding cash prizes. No question and answers are allowed. Use of audio/visual equipment is NOT permitted as part of the elevator pitch.
- Last year’s prize pool was more than $380,000. Details of the 2019 prize pool will be announced as the competition date approaches.
- There are multiple opportunities to win prize money, including the overall New Venture Competition, Elevator Pitch Competition, Industry specific prizes and sponsor named prizes.
- The majority of prizes are non-dilutive cash prizes, but additional in-kind or investment prizes may be offered and awarded directly by sponsors.