CU hosting pair of entrepreneurial challenges

BOULDER – A pair of student entrepreneurial challenges wrap up in the coming days on the University of Colorado-Boulder’s campus.

The CUCleantech New Venture Challenge – a regional semifinal for the national competition in Washington D.C. – hosts its championship round from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 18, at the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building, with Solid Power Battery’s chief executive Douglas Campbell delivering a keynote address.

Seven teams will pitch their student commercialization projects to a panel of judges for a first-place prize of $100,000 in seed funding. The winning team also will compete at nationals in June.

Five of the seven teams are from CU-Boulder, with one from Iowa State and one from New Mexico.

CU Cleantech is a joint program of the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the Leeds School of Business, and was selected in 2011 as part of a three-year, $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to host the regional competition.

The other challenge concluding soon is the CU New Venture Challenge, a collaboration between several campus organizations, including the Silicon Flatirons Center, the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneurship Center for Music, CU Cleantech, ATLAS, The College of Engineering’s Entrepreneurship and Management program, the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program, and InnovateCU.

The NVC is related to CU Cleantech’s challenge only in that NVC also has a clean-tech track from which both competitions screen some of their early entries.

The NVC championship will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 22, at the Wolf Law Building. Five finalists – the winners of the mobile app, music, clean-tech, general and IT tracks – will pitch their business ideas.

First prize is $10,000. Judges also will divvy up another $10,000 in prize money to teams they believe are deserving of a prize. The NVC prize money comes from event sponsors.

Teams for the NVC competition all had to have at least one person with a CU ID, either a student, staff or faculty member.

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