FAQs

Applications for both Regional and HBS Global Competitions open on November 1, 2019
The deadline to apply for the regional 1HNVC is December 15, 2019, 9am PST. The deadline to apply for the HBS Global NVC is January 27, 2020, 9am PST. Please note: any startup planning to participate in the HBS Global NVC must first apply to the regional 1HNVC by the stated deadline of December 15, 2019. Regional HBS winners will then advance to the HBS Global NVC finals.
No, the HBS Association of NorCal has decided to offer an expanded "One Harvard" New Venture Competition that is open to alumni from any Harvard school. This is also the regional competition from which HBS winners will advance to the HBS Global NVC finals.
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 27, 2020. Please note: any startup planning to participate in the HBS Global NVC must first apply to the regional 1HNVC competition by the stated deadline of December 15, 2019. Regional HBS winners will then advance to the HBS Global NVC finals.
No. The Regional 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 HBS Global 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 unless they have previously won.
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. The panel typically includes judges from investment firms throughout Silicon Valley, HBS Alumni Angels, and other angel investors. Judges also include individuals highly experienced in either building or investing in startups, innovating within large companies, and/or experienced in corporate development.
Questions? Contact the 2020 1HNVC Team at 1hnvc20@gmail.com