FAQs

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.