Experiences shared from former grand prize winners.
Helpful resources for global participants.
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 the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge, hosted in the USA, August 17-26, to compete on a global stage for the $25,000 grand prize against other global finalist teams.
2017 Flyer: Institutions can use this one-page flyer to advertise the Global Challenge Virtual Preliminary to their students. The 2015 Virtual Preliminary winner was also awarded the $25,000 grand prize at the Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge finals in August 2015.
Virtual Preliminary 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 beyond $100,000 in investments from private investors and/or government agency funding beyond research grants, nor offered product(s) for sale except in market survey mode, before March 1, 2017. 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.
The winner of the Virtual Preliminary will be reimbursed up to $5,000 in travel expenses for coach airplane tickets to the Washington Dulles International Airport, located in Dulles, Virginia, as the event begins with a two-day trip in Washington D.C., August 17-19, to enjoy sightseeing trips to museums and monuments, and participate in private tours. The winning team will enjoy the rest of the event in Roanoke and Blacksburg, Virginia, August 19-26, for a week-long celebration of entrepreneurship, as they compete in the Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge. The Virtual Preliminary winner will be registered for this entire event, August 17-26, where student teams from around the world will present their business ideas for a $25,000 grand prize, and enjoy interactive time with successful technology companies and local host families.
Guidelines and Deadlines:
1. March 3, 2017: Institutions will submit an "intent to support" online registration by midnight EDT of March 3, committing that at least one student team from their university will participate in the Global Challenge Virtual Preliminary. Registration is free and institutions can use this one-page flyer to advertise the Global Challenge Virtual Preliminary to their students. After your submission is received, institutions will receive an electronic participation package of helpful resources so teams can maximize their chances of winning.
2. March 31, 2017: Student teams will submit a one-page summary of the business concept by following the one-page summary guidelines by midnight EDT of March 31. 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 14, after they submit their one-page summary. One-Page Summary Guidelines - Review before submission.
3. May 12, 2017: Up to six finalists will submit a 10-minute video presentation via YouTube by May 12. The YouTube link, as well as supplement tables, graphs, or charts that are displayed and covered in your video presentation, must be submitted by midnight EDT of May 12. Review the presentation guidelines, in preparation for your video presentation and to learn more about the submission guidelines. 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.
4. May 24, 2017: A panel of entrepreneurial business leaders will meet to judge the video presentations and engage in a “live” question and answer session with the finalist teams via online video conferencing on May 24. Finalists of the virtual preliminary event should be prepared to answer questions via a "live" online video 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.