Experiences shared from former grand prize winners.


2017 Winners

Full press release and  pictures!


2016 Rules & Guidelines

Business Concept Overview:
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 are encouraged and expected to have a working prototype, but they 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 team registers.  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.   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. 

By participating in or attending the Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge and Global Partnership Event, which is held in a public area, any participant or attendee may be photographed, filmed, and/or otherwise recorded. Your presence constitutes your consent to such photography, filming and/or recording and use of your image, voice, and/or likeness in any media for educational, informational, publicity, and promotional purposes in connection with this event.  All photography, filming, and/or recording will be done in reliance on this consent given by you by your presence at this event. If you do not agree to the foregoing, please do not enter the area in which the event is being conducted.


Please carefully review all eligibility requirements and confirm your participation with the VTKW Staff first, before registration.

  • -  Open to full-time university students and very recent graduates, who received their degrees within the twelve months immediately prior to the annual August Global Partnership Week. (For instance, graduates as of September 2015 are eligibile for the 2016 August Challenge.)
  • -  Participants may elect to work in teams of up to five members.
  • -  Eligibility for the finals is based on winning a significant student business concept competition in the team's home region.  An example of a business concept competition model can be viewed here.
  • -  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 team registers.
  • -  Each regional institution desiring to send a winning student team to The Challenge must register via the Intent to Compete submission. If needed, request a Microsoft Word document version.
  • - Presentations at the Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge must be made in English.

Prizes will be awarded in the amount of $25,000 for first place, $10,000 for second place, and $5,000 for the People's Choice. Please note tax will be withheld from the prize payment. The standard withholding rate is 30%. Read more about the specific prizes awarded.

Presentation Guidelines 
Each student team will deliver a 10-minute presentation about their business concept before a panel of judges and interested onlookers, including other competing teams. 


Judging Criteria Maximum Score
Clear Description of Customer Need Being Met and that Customers are Willing to Pay for Product or Service 15
Target Market Size Quantification (number of customers, annual dollar size) and Risks Associated with Chosen Market 15
Competitive Advantage in Marketplace (include table comparing with competitors and venture's IP position) 15
Financial Summary (projected revenues, operating income, resulting funds required and assumptions made in projections) that shows the financial viability of the business based on product or service sales (not philanthropic or grant funding) 15
Market Capture Plan (milestone chart, market entry, first customer capture & market growth projections) 10
Team & its core competencies; how other needed core competencies will be provided 10
Proposed Business Model (marketing channels, alliance partnerships, cost & profit structure) 10
Professional Presentation (slides, presentation format) 10
Total 100