A New Venture
New Venture Competition
The George Washington University’s New Venture Competition (NVC) is one of the largest collegiate innovation competitions of its kind, attracting hundreds of GW students as they bring their big ideas to life and distributing more than $500,000 in prize money annually. But as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down campus and threatened to cancel the 2020 Competition outright, could NVC’s organizers apply their own principles of innovation to save the day?
NVC’s current ranking among largest collegiate innovation competitions of its kind in the U.S. (was #8 at time of filming.)
Years NVC has been in existence
Total cash prizes awarded since 2009
"We had to do what we tell our teams to do—that we can persevere and innovate through even the worst of circumstances. We had to pivot. We had to innovate. And we had to think differently about how we were going to do this. So it put us in our uncomfortable zone which we ask all students to do, and we’re better off as a team because we went through that."
Scott Stein, Associate Director, Student Entrepreneurship Programs, GW Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Two teams featured in the documentary both competed in the 2020 New Venture Competition’s Social Venture category.
This biodegradable food packaging is designed to not only keep food fresh and secure, but also work to eliminate environmentally harmful single-use plastics.
"My jaw just dropped the whole time. Scott closed everything out from his apartment—all the balloons was really fun to see. When I shut down the Zoom, I was like, ‘Oh my God, what just happened?‘"
Panisara “Min” Pummalee
GWSB MSIST ’20 of Rice Wrap
This initiative works to collect sterile surplus medical supplies from larger hospitals and redistribute them to local free clinics.
"I felt like NVC was a beacon of light in a dark time. They were essentially fighting against everything being shut down, and they went through incredible struggles to ensure that it continued for everyone."
SMHS MD ’23 of Project REALM
Number of countries live streaming the Competition Finals
Number of “tracks” or categories in which the NVC organizes competitors: Technology Ventures, Social Ventures and New Ventures
Meet the GW Innovation Team
GW’s Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship not only runs the New Venture Competition, it also helps students grow their ideas, providing mentorship and support through every stage of the innovation process.
Jim Chung, Associate Vice President for Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Lex McCusker, Director
Scott Stein, Associate Director
Jasmine Bautista, Program Assistant
New Venture Competition Success Stories
2017 NVC Audience Choice Award KnoNap is a napkin that is capable of testing for 26 of the 40 most commonly used “date rape” drugs, in efforts to empower individuals to be more aware of their surroundings when enjoying social experiences. KnoNap also won the 2019 eMerge Americas competition, earning $100,000 in Google cloud credits, expenses for a San Francisco visit to meeting with tech accelerator Y Combinator CEO Michael Seibel, and 6 months office space at LAB Miami.
After winning $25,000 in the 2017 NVC Urgent Wellness has gone on to provide community-placed worker-operated telemedicine and medical vending machines that reduce costs while improving health for vulnerable populations.
Quorum is an integrated public affairs software platform from the ground up. They won $15,000 at the 2015 NVC and have since been recognized in the New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, and most recently advertising on the DC Metro.
Since winning money in the 2013 NVC, Capital Kombucha is available in Whole Foods and hundreds of other locations up and down the east coast.
"You can’t compare it to being on the stage, actually giving it live. That’s a different experience. But I still had the rush. I still had the glee that we were going to the finals and actually presenting to the judges."
SMHS MD ’23 of Project REALM