New Venture Competition applications reach ‘historic high’, officials say

GW’s annual start-up competition received a record number of applicants this year, officials said.

The New Venture Competition received a total number of 428 applicants in the 2019-20 academic year’s event, up slightly above the 422 participants in last year’s event, said Scott Stein, the associate director of student entrepreneur programs at the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He said the organizers’ strong promotional efforts through means like advertising and faculty engagement led to the uptick in participation in recent years.

“Participation increased again this year due to students seeing the value of the GW New Venture Competition as a way to get practical hands-on learning experience to solve global challenges, get feedback on their ideas, and build their resume – the $500,000 in cash and prizes didn’t hurt either,” Stein said in an email.

The program has received an average of 277 participants in each competition since 2014, he said.

He said officials held frequent events for participating students to pitch ideas and work on their start-up ideas to promote the program throughout the year. Stein added that students, faculty and staff from each of GW’s 10 schools have “embraced” the competition.

“Students, faculty, and alumni participate in the New Venture Competition because it provides real-world experiences in entrepreneurship and innovation that can’t be replicated anywhere else,” Stein said.

Zach Schonfeld contributed reporting.

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