Experiences shared from former grand prize winners.


2017 Winners

Full press release and  pictures!


Global Challenge Virtual Preliminary

The Global Challenge Virtual Preliminary encourages students to develop their entrepreneurial ideas and showcase their creativity, as well as enhance their understanding of the requirements for a successful business venture. University teams will test their business concept by confirming that their idea meets a customer need, occupies a differentiated position in the marketplace, and has a viable business model and value proposition. The winner will advance to a week-long celebration of entrepreneurship at the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge in the USA and compete on a global stage for the $25,000 grand prize.

2015 Winner: The 2015 Virtual Preliminary winner was also awarded the $25,000 grand prize at the Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge finals in August 2015.  Read more about the grand prize winner, Team Visionear, as well as their event testimonial, as to what the Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge finals in Roanoke and Blacksburg, Virginia, USA meant to them.


In Cooperation With:


Business Concept Overview:
For the purposes of this event, a “business concept” is essentially a business plan without all the text.  It has all the important elements of a plan, but will be delivered for consideration and judging via a video presentation, rather than by means of a large document. It is assumed that business concepts will be based on an evolving technology-based business concept that, at the time the application form is submitted, has not developed into a commercially available product except in market survey mode.  Most teams are expected to have a prototype product/service in development, but the product/service will typically not have undergone customer evaluation or assessment. Proposed products/services that support a sustainable environment or specifically address needs of underdeveloped countries are encouraged, but no special credit will be assigned to such business concepts.

A business concept is an attractive and well-researched market opportunity for which the team has devised a powerful and innovative response, including a viable financial business model. The prize is focused on supporting educational entrepreneurship at an early stage of development. Therefore, applicants must not have received cash investments from private investors, government agency funding beyond research grants, nor offered product(s) for sale except in market survey mode at the time the application form is submitted, April 1, 2015. The judges consider the viability of the market opportunity, the strength of the team’s response, the strength and balance of the team, the overall predictability of a success, and the professionalism of the presentation.


  • All participants must be full-time university students from a non-U.S. institution and cannot be from an existing VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partner institution.  Review the list to make sure your university isn't already sending a team to compete in the August finals of the Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge. You must be a full-time university student at the time of application, which is April 1, 2015.
  • Participants may elect to work in teams of up to five members.
  • Applicants must not have received cash investments from private investors, government agency funding beyond research grants, nor offered product(s) for sale except in market survey mode as of April 1, 2015, which is the application deadline.
  • Presentations must be made in English for the Virtual Preliminary. Presentations will also be made in English before a live audience, if you win the preliminary event, and advance to the Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge in the USA, August 16-22, 2015.

The winner of the Virtual Preliminary will be reimbursed up to $5,000 in travel expenses for coach airplane tickets to the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, in Roanoke, Virginia to participate and compete in the Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge to be held August 16-22, 2015. The winner will be registered for the August finals, which is a week-long celebration of entrepreneurship in the USA, where student teams from around the world will present their business ideas for a $25,000 grand prize. Learn more about the $25,000 and runner-up prizes of the August finals.

Guidelines and Deadlines:

1. April 1, 2015: Individual students or student teams must register for an Intent to Compete by midnight EDT of April 1, 2015. Registration is free!

2. April 1, 2015: Students must submit a one-page summary of the business concept by following the one-page submission guidelines by midnight EDT of April 1, 2015. These will be reviewed by a panel of entrepreneurial business leaders who will choose up to six finalist teams to compete in a virtual, preliminary screening.  The finalist teams will be determined by April 15, 2015 after they submit their one-page summary submission. 

One-Page Summary Guidelines ~ Review before submission.

3. May 15, 2015: Up to six finalists will submit a 10 minute video presentation via YouTube by May 15, 2015. The YouTube link, as well as supplement tables, graphs or charts that are displayed and covered in your video presentation must be submitted via email to lindsey.eversole@vtknowledgeworks.com by midnight EDT of May 15, 2015.

  • Presentation guidelines ~ Review in preparation for your video presentation. We ask that you cover the requested information in your YouTube video presentation but feel free to do so in the appropriate order for your team.

  • Video presentation example ~ View the video presentation of Cam Stuart from Team Santé West, representing the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada, who was awarded second place of the 2014 Global Student Challenge finals.

4. A panel of global faculty and entrepreneurial business leaders will meet to judge the video presentations and engage in a “live” question and answer session with the finalist teams via a video platform (TBD) on June 3-4, 2015. Finalists of the virtual preliminary event should be prepared to answer questions via a "live" GoToMeeting session regarding their business concept and video presentation previously submitted.  A meeting time will be scheduled, along with additional login instructions sent to each finalist team via email.