Harvard Business School New Venture Competition 2023-24 ($50,000 Prize) – APPLY NOW

Applications are now open for the Harvard New Venture Competition 2023-24!  The 26th Harvard Business School Africa Business Conference is gearing up for a spectacular event in 2024 (February 16th – 17th). The theme for this year’s conference is “Africa Forward: Competing in a Global Era,” and it promises to be a game-changer.

Harvard Business School New Venture Competition

One of the highlights of this conference is the New Venture Competition hosted by the Africa Business Club, which aims to spotlight the incredible diversity of entrepreneurs who are making a significant impact on the African continent.

Harvard Business School New Venture Competition – Details

The New Venture Competition, or NVC, is a prestigious event within the Africa Business Conference. It offers a unique platform for entrepreneurs to pitch their groundbreaking business ideas in front of an audience of over 1,000 attendees.

These entrepreneurs will receive valuable feedback from a panel of experienced judges, which can be a game-changer for their ventures. The stakes are high, with cash prizes of $30,000, $15,000, and $10,000 for the winner and runner-ups respectively.

The semi-finalists of the NVC will have an incredible opportunity to receive feedback, advice, and input from not only conference participants but also senior partners at Africa-focused venture capital firms from across the continent.

In addition, select ventures will have the chance to showcase their companies at the Startup Fair networking and recruiting event and attend networking lunches with distinguished panelists.

Benefits of Participating in NVC Competition

Participating in the HBS New Venture Competition comes with a host of benefits:

  • Startups with a focus on serving the African continent will gain access to coaching from HBS students, invaluable networking opportunities with investors who are deeply committed to Africa
  • They will also have the opportunity to win over $50,000 in prize money.

Requirements for New Venture Competition 2024

Are you an African or Africa-focused entrepreneur with a business idea that can shape the future, you’re highly encouraged to apply. The New Venture competition is open to both for-profit and not-for-profit early-stage startups that meet the following criteria:

  • Your business must primarily focus on Africa.
  • Your business should have fewer than 50 employees.
  • The operations of your business should be fewer than 5 years old.
  • You should have raised less than $1,000,000 in funding to date.

How to apply for Harvard Business School New Venture Competition 2023-24?

If you fulfill the above-stated criteria for participation in the HBS New Venture Competition, you can start the application process now.

How Will Your Venture Be Evaluated?

To succeed in the HBS New Venture Competition, you need to understand the evaluation criteria. The competition is all about assessing the commercial merit and potential viability of each proposed new venture. Judges will evaluate:

  • The uniqueness and distinctiveness of your product or service.
  • The relevance of your team to the problem and the depth of their skills.
  • Your opportunity’s potential is based on timing, market size, and need.
  • The ability of your business to penetrate the market with a strong value proposition and a solid business model.
  • The context in terms of regulatory, tax, political, and industry aspects.
  • Your competitive advantage, including barriers to entry, intellectual property, and market share.
  • Risk and reward analysis.
  • How do you plan to validate your value proposition and growth hypothesis in the market?
  • Financial projections and milestones.
  • Your go-to-market strategy, including customer acquisition and marketing channels.

Applications Deadline 

November 15, 2023.

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