First, you must form a team around an idea for a business. Participating teams require at least one Harvard Business School MBA student who plays a primary role in the business and is present at the Super Saturday judging. The HBS student should be a part of the founding team and a significant equity holder, if equity has been distributed. RC teams (i.e. any team with a first-year, RC, student) may not enter the Student New Venture Competition with the same idea used for their FIELD III project. You may participate on a maximum of 2 teams, regardless of track.

Acceptable Business Ventures

The objective of the Student New Venture Competition is to provide a meaningful learning experience for students who are interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity now or at some point in their careers.

The Competition is designed for contemplated and embryonic businesses. The Business Track of the NVC welcomes all ideas across all sectors. However, plans to create hedge funds, investments, private equities or venture capital funds are generally not eligible.

Requirements for a Team

  • Business ideas may be entered in ONE track - either Business or Social Enterprise.
  • Students may participate on a maximum of two teams, regardless of track.
  • Participating teams in the Business track are required to have at least one Harvard Business School MBA student who is a co-founder and a significant equity holder, if equity has been distributed. This HBS student MUST be present at the Super Saturday judging.
  • A team may include students from any other school within Harvard, students from other universities and non-students.

  • The registration on the ReviewR platform should be done by the current HBS student as the lead co-founder.
  • Previous winners, runners-up and crowd favorites can not compete with the same business idea in following years, unless it is the alumni track. They may enter the Competition again with a new business idea.
  • Any team that did not win a cash prize in the previous year's Competition may compete again with the same business idea - be prepared to show significant growth.
  • The limit for seed capital raised is $1,500,000.
  • The limit in revenue generated is $2,000,000.

Confidentiality

The only individuals who will have access to your submission pitch decks (in addition to the Rock Team) will be the assigned judges. These judges are HBS alumni, entrepreneurs and investors who have agreed to maintain confidentiality of all submissions. We have asked them to treat your work product with the same care and respect for confidentiality. We also ask them to remove themselves from judging your plan if they do have a real conflict of interest. Feel free to mark your pitch deck—or particular piece of it—as “confidential,” or to exclude any information you regard as truly proprietary. If you are concerned about any particular VC firm—because they have backed a direct competitor—feel free to request that we not put a judge from that firm on your panel.

Note that the short description of your venture which you include with your entry form may be used in public documentation relating to the Competition.

Abiding by Community Values and Academic Policies

As members of the HBS Community, students agree to abide by our shared Community Values of respect for others, honesty and integrity, and accountability for personal behavior.

In particular, students should be aware that it is not permissible for conduct “surveys” of companies who are potential competitors for your proposed venture under the guise of an “HBS student project.” you must be honest and open about your intentions, and if you believe your honesty may inhibit people from speaking with you, that should serve as further evidence of the importance of adhering to the principle.

Similarly, if you are working on your plan with any “outsider” from academia or industry, you also have a responsibility to respect their intellectual property and to treat any information received from them as confidential.

For ECs: Multiple students in multiple courses working on the same project naturally raises issues related to ownership of the work product and attribution of efforts for grading. While the business plan entry itself is not graded as part of the competition, students are nonetheless directed to be sensitive to the issues raised by such projects. 

Note that any student projects or pitch deck submissions that are found to be in violation if these requirements will be disqualified from the Competition and students may be subject to further disciplinary action.