The Innovation Challenge is a four-part cross-campus entrepreneurship competition that launches promising ventures to the next levels of startup. Mentors will be on hand to provide feedback. Prize money is awarded at three stages of the Innovation Challenge.
The Minute Pitch Competition: 60 seconds ... $1,000. Sound good? Get started and test venture ideas in front of a panel of judges. Mentors will be on site to provide feedback. No written business models or plans required. $2,500 in seed money awarded to the four teams, the top three and the audience choice winner, as determined by the judges.
The Seed Pitch Competition: Form your business model and perfect your elevator pitch. Convince the judges how and why your venture will be successful. $15,000 in seed money awarded to select teams as determined by the judges.
The Semifinal: Simulate the investor boardroom experience. Present your venture to a panel of judges in a closed-door setting and compete for a spot in the final.
The Final: The best of the best vie for significant financial contributions to move their venture forward. $65,000 in seed money awarded to select teams as determined by the judges.
Maroon Venture Partners Fund I, LP is a for-profit venture fund that invests in early stage companies linked to UMass Amherst. Our investments are typically in the range of $50,000 to $200,000 and are often a venture’s initial outside equity funding. Our broader goal is to foster the growing spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the UMass Amherst community.