Team Requirements

The Oregon New Venture Championship is a qualifying competition for the Venture Labs Investment Competition (VLIC) and as such adheres to the rules and guidelines set forth by VLIC.

The NVC is a graduate investment competition designed to mimic the real world process of raising venture capital. The competition is for graduate students to gain real experience in this process while developing and growing new ventures based either on their own ideas and technologies or those developed by others.

The spirit of the competition is to allow companies conceived and developed during the graduate school experience to participate. This means excluding companies that were started before graduate school admission or are an expansion of an established business.

This following sets out guidelines to capture these goals. Not every circumstance can be anticipated. The director reserves the right to disqualify any team that violates the rules, regulations or the spirit of the competition. Any questions regarding eligibility should be sent to the NVC Director, John Hull by phone 541-346-8953 or email johnhull@uoregon.edu.

Competition directors and individual team faculty advisors are responsible for ensuring that teams meet these requirements. The teams are also responsible for ensuring their own eligibility. Teams are also responsible for ensuring that their college or university is eligible for participation in VLIC competitions.  A team violation will result in the school being ineligible in this year’s and the following year’s penalties competition and forfeiture of awards and prize money.

IP Considerations

  • Teams requiring non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) should not participate.
  • All sessions of the competition are open to the public and may be broadcast to interested persons through media which may include radio, television and the Internet.
  • Any data or information discussed or divulged throughout the competition should be considered information that will enter the public domain.
  • All Affiliates and the organizers of the NVC may make photocopies, photographs, video recordings and/or audio recordings of the presentations including the business plan and other documents, charts, media or other material prepared for use in presentation at NVC.
  • The above entities may use the materials in any book or other printed materials and any videotape or other medium that they may produce, provided that any profits earned from the sale of such items is used by these entities solely to defray the costs of future NVC or affiliated competitions. These entities have non-exclusive world rights in all languages, and in all media, to use or to publish the materials in any book, other printed materials, videotapes or other medium, and to use the materials in future editions thereof and derivative products.

Student Involvement: The competition is for student created, managed, and owned ventures. This is the most common area for requested rules clarification.

The guidelines are:

  • Students played a major role in conceiving the venture by having key management roles and owning significant equity in the venture.
  • Significant equity is 50% or more of the equity allocated to the management team and key advisors.
  • The objective of this rule is to exclude ventures formed and managed by non-students who have token student representation to compete on the investment circuit.

Team Composition: This is a competition for graduate students; teams with a minority of undergraduates can compete. Students from any graduate program (not just MBAs) are eligible to participate, including executive and evening format programs. Non-students may be members of the venture’s management team and may participate in planning the venture, however only students may participate in the competition.

Any team participating in an undergraduate competition, regardless of team re-configuration, is disqualified from the NVC competition.

Student Enrollment: The competition is for students currently enrolled in graduate school. Executive or evening program formats are eligible in the next competition season following their graduation if they did not graduate on a traditional (month of May) graduation schedule.

Exceptions will be made for students who both wrote their business plans for academic credit and graduated during the preceding summer and for students from universities south of the equator not having a traditional (month of May) graduation timeframe.

Nature of Ventures: Companies must intend to be operating companies with corporate structures and financial statements that reflect real operating revenues and expenses. This is intended to exclude investment vehicles, partnerships, licensing and other pass-through entities where returns are measured for investment value versus operating earnings.

The competition focuses on new, independent ventures in the seed, start-up or early growth stages. In addition to what is outlined in the above paragraph, generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, roll-ups, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchise based outlets, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area and spin-outs from existing corporations.

Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is encouraged assuming there has been no previous commercialization. Key in these types of ventures is demonstrating significant added value to the technology through the efforts of the management team.

All ventures must be seeking outside equity capital.

Prior Activity: Ventures and their base concepts may compete for only one season in the Venture Labs Investment Competition or in any of the qualifying competitions. Also, once a venture competes  in the Venture Labs Investment Competition in a given year they may not compete in any VLIC qualifying competitions in any following academic year. Ventures that have generated revenue or raised equity capital from sources other than the members of the student team before the current academic year are excluded.

University Sponsorship and Faculty Adviser Involvement: The business plan must be prepared under faculty supervision. Ideally, the business plan will be prepared for credit in a regularly scheduled course or as an independent study. The business plan must represent the original work of members of the team. All universities with participating teams are strongly encouraged to send faculty or other university advisors to the team to most, if not all, of the competitions in which their teams compete.

Bids to VLIC qualifying Competitions must be accepted by a team’s faculty adviser. The faculty adviser must, on behalf of the sponsoring university, attest to the eligibility of team, their adherence to the rules and guidelines and acknowledge potential penalties for violations and infractions.

Dropping Out of a Competition: If a team withdraws or does not compete in a competition after accepting a bid  the team and university will be subject to disqualification  from competing in the Venture Labs Investment Competition and any other VLIC qualifying competition for that year and the following year, a two year ban. All violations will be reported to the Competition Directors Committee by the subject Competition Director with documentation of the violation.