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Competitions, Fellowships and Accelerators

Startup competitions are a great way for student entrepreneurs to showcase their business innovations and receive valuable funding and publicity. Below is a list of competitions open to students. We encourage all student entrepreneurs to visit their websites to learn more information and compete, and reach out to Elizabeth Gabel with any questions. 

Name Description Competition Date Application Deadline Open to Verticals
Cupid's Cup Cupid's Cup is a national business competition. Applicants must demonstrate they have moved beyond the business plan strategy by showing some form of proven customer traction.  March 30, 2017 January 1, 2017 Everyone Business Products and Services
ASME e-Fests E-Fests (Engineering Festivals) are three-day, two-night events that enable engineering students to expand their knowledge, test and showcase new skills and inspire innovation. Varies by competition & location Varies by competition & location Undergrad/grad students
UNC eVCIC Global VCIC is the world’s largest venture capital competition with over 70 universities competing. February 25, 2017 February 15, 2017 Undergrad students
IoT Home Inspector Challenge
Federal Trade Commission hosted competition challenging participants to create a technical solution that helps consumers guard against security vulnerabilities in software found on Internet of Things home devices. July 27, 2017 May 22, 2017, 12:00pm EDT. Everyone over 18 (Check eligibility requirements for details)
VentureCat VentureCat is a day-long showcase and celebration of Northwestern’s most promising student-founded startups. The event culminates with a pitch competition. May 24, 2017 April 16, 2017 Undergrad/grad students Business/Consumer Products and Services, Green Energy and Sustainability, Life Sciences and Medical Innovations, Social Enterprises and Nonprofit, and Transportation and Mobility
MassChallenge MassChallenge is a global non-profit startup accelerator and competition with a focus on high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs. Multiple dates, multiple phases (April  - November 2017) March 29, 2017 Everyone Multiple verticals
Campus 1871 Campus 1871 is a weekend-long collaborative cross-campus initiative between 1871, Northwestern University and other Illinois-based universities. March 31 – April 2 February 10, 2017 Cross-talented students Mobile device applications
Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge Open innovation challenge to source solutions that promote integrity, accountability and transparency in the public sector. May - June 2017 March 6, 2017 Everyone Culture, Ethics & Citizen Engagement, Information, Security & Identity, Crisis Management & Aid, Cutting the Red Tape, Analytics, Reporting & Transparency, Financial Crimes & Illicit Acitivites, and Procurement
Data Science Bowl 2017 This year's challenge focuses on developing artifical intelligence algorithms that aid medical evaluations.  April 7-12, 2017 March 31, 2017 Everyone Medical technology
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