Harvard New Venture Competition
February 28, 2019

Sponsored by:
Where innovation meets the Law. Serving Silicon Valley for 30+ years and longtime supporter of HBS NVC


The Harvard Business School Association of Northern California is excited to announce the 2018-2019 New Venture Competition and invites all HBS and Harvard alumni working on an early-stage startup to join us for the upcoming competition and Entrepreneurship Summit!

The Bay Area Alumni Clubs of all the Harvard schools have come together to offer a regional ”One Harvard” New Venture Competition (1HNVC). The program will offer qualified applicants an opportunity to present to a large group of VC and Angel investors, receive free software, products, and services, and compete for cash prizes. Applicants will also receive curated mentoring and pitch practice and feedback sessions prior to the final Bay Area competition in February 2019.

Benefits to NVC Participants:

  • Broad visibility to Harvard and Bay Area community network
  • Opportunity to present to leading venture capitalists, angel investors and fellow entrepreneurs
  • Receive feedback from VCs and fellow judges that will help in honing future pitches and defining a successful business model
  • Network with Harvard alums, angel investors, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs
  • Finalists receive venture pitch opportunity to HBS Alumni Angels
  • All applicants will receive business plan advice, pitch practice sessions and mentoring through our official partnership with the HBSANC StartUp Partners.
  • Regional finalists will receive travel to the HBS Global Finals in April 2019.
  • Last year, we received over $400K of sponsored benefits from our partners ranging from cash prizes to cloud services to office space and more.

HBS alumni have the opportunity to participate in the global HBS alumni New Venture Competition through one of 14 regional competitions around the world. The winning team from each region will go on to compete in the global rounds and compete for +$300,000 in cash prizes at the HBS NVC Finale held at HBS on April 23, 2019.


One Harvard New Venture Competition and HBS Alumni NVC

Qualified applicants are required to have a Harvard alumnus (of any school) as a full-time member of the management team. The company must have raised less than $2.5 million in capital and have lifetime revenues of less than $2 million. Startups that have participated before are eligible to compete again.

The regional competition will be run as a “level playing field” across all the Harvard schools. Since the Global HBS New Venture Competition in April is limited to HBS alumni, our Bay Area program will be used to select the regional HBS winners who will advance to the global “HBS only” competition. Prizes and benefits will be given on the regional level independent of school affiliation.


November 1, 2018: 1HNVCC and Global HBS NVC Applications Opens
December 4, 2018: Revolutionize 2019: New Ventures Holiday Event in  San Francisco
How do you change the world, one business at a time? 
Join entrepreneurs in the community for an evening of networking and fun. Light appetizers and refreshments will be provided.

December 2018 – February 2019:
HBS StartUp Partner Mentoring Sessions with one-on-one coaching with VC’s, executives and sponsors
January 9, 2019: Entrepreneurial Networking Event, Location to be announced
January 22, 2019: 1HNVC and Global HBS applications deadline
February 7, 2019: Regional semi-finalists announced
February 12, 2019: Entrepreneurial Networking Event for semi-finalist, Peninsula
February 28, 2019: One Harvard New Venture Competition and Demo Day
March 11, 2019: HBS Regional competition winners officially submitted to global round
April 23, 2019: HBS Finals Competition held on HBS Campus

HBSANC 2019 1HNVC Team:

Maya Krish: MS '97, Harvard, NVC Chair & HBSANC Director of StartUp Partners and Programs
Phil Rettger: HBS '85, NVC Co-Chair
Questions? Contact us at 1HNVC19@gmail.com


Registration fee is $75.00 per team (payment collected through application). Registration includes the following:
  • Two free evening networking events
  • Two free round table luncheons with our premier legal sponsor, Cooley LLP
  • Third free networking session (semi-finalist)
  • Free access to 1HNVC Competition and Demo (semi-finalist).
  • One-on-one mentoring session from HBSANC Startup Partners

Sorry, no refunds.


Applications for both Regional and HBS Global Competitions open on November 1, 2018
The final deadline to apply is January 22, 2019.
No - the HBS Association of NorCal has decided to offer an expanded New Venture Competition that is open to alumni from any Harvard school. The annual HBS Alumni NVC is being run as part of this competition.
Yes, HBS alumni will need to complete the HBS NVC application if they wish to be eligible for the global competition. The deadline for this application is January 22, 2019. It is recommended that HBS alumni complete the local 1HNVC application first to receive mentorship and help on how to best fill out the HBS NVC application ahead of January 22nd.
No. The 1HNVC will be a level playing field for all competitors. Benefits will be provided to startups, independent of school affiliation, and the competition winners will be chosen based purely on merit. The only exception will be that the top placing HBS companies will be referred on to the global HBS NVC.
  • Qualified applicants are required to have a Harvard alumnus (of any school) as a founder and a full-time member of the management team.
  • The company must have raised less than $2.5 million in capital and have lifetime revenues of less than $2 million.
  • Startups that have participated before are eligible to compete again.
Strong applications will contain the elements below:
  • Problem & Solution: Define the problem, need or pain-point. What solution does your venture provide? How is your solution innovative? Technology, business model, IP etc. Describe your value proposition.
  • Target market: Identify and quantify (size & spend) your addressable market for your product and service. Highlight growth and trends.
  • Attractive business model: How do you plan to make money? Who pays you? What are your distribution channels? What is your gross margin?
  • Is your business model viable with the ability to efficiently scale, making it appealing to acquirers or position it for an IPO.
  • Financing: How much money do you need and for what purpose?
  • Team Can the founder, key team members, and advisors operate and scale a successful business. Highlight industry knowledge, skill-set, leadership, relationships, key successes & failures.
Official judges will be announced closer to the date of the competition in February, 2019. The panel typically includes judges from top-tier investment firms from throughout Silicon Valley such as Andreessen-Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia, Greylock, GV (formerly Google Ventures), HBS Alumni Angels, among others. Judges also include individuals highly experienced in either building or investing in startups, innovating within large companies, and/or experienced in corporate development.