Just to be clear.

We want all teams to be successful therefore the NEC is fully transparent with what we expect and what the judges will be looking for. Please read the below information carefully so you can successfully craft your submission documents. 

Pitch Video Guidelines

  • No more than two minutes
  • VIMEO or YouTube format
  • Submitted via the website

The highest scoring pitch videos will:

  • Be compelling – show your passion for the project and why it is necessary/important
  • Share the details of your project in a succinct and clear way- what it is you are doing and who is the target audience
  • Demonstrate quality and professionalism through the video presentation – you will be judged on your creativity and how the video holds the judges’ attentions
  • Include the dollar amount you are seeking to raise and what it will be used for
    • The amount doesn't need to correlate with NEC prize money amounts
    • This is your first round of seed money and should be no more than an $100,000 ask
    • This amount should correlate with how much it will cost you to create your minimal viable product

UNDERGRADUATE COLLEGIATE DIVISION

Team Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The Northwest Entrepreneur Competition’s (NEC) Undergraduate Collegiate Division is open to any team comprised of all undergraduate degree-seeking candidates in good standing of an Inland Northwest institution of higher learning (four year or two year). High School students may also participate or comprise a team in the Collegiate Division.
  • There is no limit on the number of team members; however, small interdisciplinary teams are
  • Only four team members may present during the Northwest Entrepreneur Competition final investor presentations.
  • The business plan must be developed during the student’s tenure at the university.
  • Teams with graduate students must submit in the Open Division.

Venture Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is for new, independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages and must represent the original work of members of the team. Generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area, consulting projects and spin-outs from existing corporations.
  • Ventures with more than $50,000 in total revenues are excluded. Ventures that have raised equity capital from sources other than the members of the student team or their friends and families before the current academic year are excluded.
  • Ventures can be for-profit or non-profit.
  • The most competitive entrants will be those ventures that represent real investment opportunities with an intent to launch.

Competition Eligibility and Guidelines

  • Failure to submit materials online at the advertised deadline or attendance at every competition-related event will result in disqualification.
  • Teams must properly acknowledge any trademarks or copyrighted works that are incorporated into the teams’ materials.
  • The NEC encourages all teams to participate in classes, trainings and events where community members, industry professionals and faculty can mentor their projects.
  • Ventures can resubmit the same idea to the NEC only if they did not place in the top three and were not awarded won prize money. Ventures can be resubmitted if they did not qualify as a top three finalist in previous competition years. Ventures who made the top eight finalists but did not place in the top three can resubmit the same idea. 
  • Team members may participate more than once, regardless if they were on a finalist team, if entering with a new venture/new technology.
  • The Investor Pitch will be conducted in an open meeting with possible attendance by faculty, students, community members and staff as well as media representatives.
  • Judges are not asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.
  • Only judges are allowed to ask questions during the Investor Pitches. Community members are allowed to view but they are not allowed to engage with the contestants during Q&A.
  • All submissions to the Northwest Entrepreneur Competition (NEC) must be appropriate for a university-sponsored event. The NEC reserves the right to disqualify any entry that in its judgment violates the law, the guidelines set forth by the NEC, any university code of conduct or the spirit of the competition. The NEC also reserves the right to disqualify submissions that do not present sufficient content or material appropriate to send to judges for evaluation and feedback.

OPEN DIVISION

Team Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The Northwest Entrepreneur Competition’s (NEC) Open Division is open to any team with at least one degree-seeking candidate in good standing of an Inland Northwest institution of higher learning (four year or two year). Teams can be comprised of all graduate level student teams or teams with joint student-community member participation.
  • Teams with joint student-community member participation can have either graduate level students or undergraduate level students.
  • For students creating business plans for current community ventures, all awarded prize money must be given to the students.  Community ventures must comply with the competition’s guidelines for venture eligibility – see Venture Eligibility and Guidelines.
  • There is no limit on the number of team members but only four members may present during the Northwest Entrepreneur Competition final investor presentations.
  • Submissions with licensed technologies from universities or research laboratories are only eligible in the Open Division.

Venture Eligibility and Guidelines

  • The competition is for new, independent ventures in the seed, start-up, or early growth stages and must represent the original work of members of the team. Generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchises, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area, consulting projects and spin-outs from existing corporations.
  • Ventures with more than $50,000 in total revenues are excluded.
  • Venture types are not delineated in the Open Division.

Competition Eligibility and Guidelines

  • Failure to submit materials online at the advertised deadline or attendance at every competition event will result in disqualification.
  • Teams must properly acknowledge any trademarks or copyrighted works that are incorporated into the teams’ materials.
  • Ventures can resubmit the same idea to the NEC only if they did not place in the top three and were not awarded won prize money. Ventures can be resubmitted if they did not qualify as a top three finalist in previous competition years. Ventures who made the top eight finalists but did not place in the top three can resubmit the same idea. 
  • Competing team members may participate more than once, regardless if they were on a finalist team, if entering with a new venture/new technology or their previous venture did not qualify as a finalist.
  • The Investor Pitch will be conducted in an open meeting with possible attendance by faculty, students and staff as well as media representatives.
  • Judges are not asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.
  • All submissions to the Northwest Entrepreneur Competition (NEC) must be appropriate for a university-sponsored event. The NEC reserves the right to disqualify any entry that in its judgment violates the law, the guidelines set forth by the NEC, any university code of conduct or the spirit of the competition. The NEC also reserves the right to disqualify submissions that do not present sufficient content or material appropriate to send to judges for evaluation and feedback.
  • Open Division submissions will follow the same submission timeline and evaluation criteria as the Undergraduate Collegiate Division.


Submitted NEC Documents Eligibility and Guidelines

All NEC documents for both the collegiate and open division will be submitted online via the iStart platform at www.nwentrep.com. Review the judging rubric for evaluation guidelines.

  • Pitch Video (no more than two minutes, VIMEO or YouTube format)
  • Executive Summary (no more than one page submitted in a PDF)
  • Business Plan (4-8 pages submitted in a PDF)
  • Investor Pitch (10 minutes to present, up to five minutes of clarifying Q&A, two minutes to transition)