new venture championships

Stu Clark New Venture Championships

  • 3


  • 32


  • $60,000

    in cash prizes

2023 Championships


Thursday March 9 - Saturday March 11, 2023


Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba

What You Can Expect

Join us in Winnipeg for an exhilarating 3 days of business plan and elevator pitching at the Stu Clark New Venture Championships! 

Over 50 of Winnipeg’s industry experts and veteran judges including Stu Clark, will provide valuable feedback that will help take your venture’s next step towards success.

This competition will have separate undergrad and graduate streams but the format allows for an incredible amount of collision space to generate connections and networking! 

Important dates

  • Deadline to apply (11:59 PM CST)
  • Teams advised of acceptance
  • Elevator pitch due (11:59 PM CST)
  • Business plans due (11:59 PM CST)


  • Graduate Business Plan Competition

    • 1st Place $20,000
    • 2nd Place $10,000
    • 3rd Place $5,000
    • 4th Place $2,500
  • Graduate Elevator Pitch Competition

    • 1st Place $1,500
    • 2nd Place $1,000
    • 3rd Place $750
    • All prizes are in Canadian dollars.
    • The represented university is the only entity that can receive payment from the University of Manitoba. There are no exceptions to this policy.
    • Teams are encouraged to consult with their University regarding their disbursement policy.
  • Undergraduate Business Plan Competition

    • 1st Place $10,000
    • 2nd Place $5,000
    • 3rd Place $2,500
    • 4th Place $1,000
  • Undergraduate Elevator Pitch Competition

    • 1st Place $1,000
    • 2nd Place $750
    • 3rd Place $500


2023 Scheduled TBD


Presenting Team Composition:

  • Teams must be 1 - 5 students
  • This competition is for full time or part time graduate level students enrolled in the current academic year
  • Majority graduate students although teams with a minority of undergraduates may participate
  • Students from all graduate programs (not just MBA's) and PhD's are eligible to participate
  • It is recommended for teams to have a faculty advisor however it is not required


  • Students are not allowed to compete at the Stu Clark New Venture Championships: Graduate Edition in multiple academic years using the same venture / business plan
  • All teams along with individual participants and faculty advisors (if applicable) must attest to all rules and guidelines
  • This page sets out guidelines to capture these goals and not every circumstance can be anticipated. The Competition Director reserves the right to disqualify or penalize any team that violates the rules, regulations or the spirit of the competition
  • Ventures cannot be buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, roll-ups, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchise-based outlets, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area and spin-outs from existing corporations
  • Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is encouraged assuming there has been no previous commercialization

How to apply


  1. Fill out the online application 
  2. Create a 1-2 page executive summary
  3. Submit application form by Tuesday, January 10, 2023 (11:59 PM CST)

Application requirements

Executive summaries should include:

  • an outline of the magnitude of the problem
  • an outline of the solution
  • market validation
  • financial projections
  • scalability

Executive summaries should be:

  • 1 - 2 pages in length
  • PDF format
  • 1.5 spacing with 12 point font

Rules and guidelines

Business Plan Presentation Rules

  • 15 minute presentation hard stop
  • 10 minute Q & A hard stop
  • 10 minute Feedback from the judges
  • Teams may not observe other teams present in their track until after they have presented
  • Props (prototypes, iPhone apps etc.) are allowed in the presentation
  • Teams may only videotape or record their own presentation
  • Only members who actively present are able to participate in the Q & A discussion

All ventures must meet the below rules and guidelines. 

Elevator Pitch Competition Rules

What is an elevator pitch? One presenter pitches their business venture in a concise but thorough and engaging way.

  • 1 minute pitch hard stop
  • The elevator pitch video may contain graphic images, video enhancements, and background noise, however it must contain at least one student speaking to the business concept
  • The purpose of the elevator pitch is to capture the attention of the judges while explaining to them the value behind your business
  • The more creative, the better!
  • All content and graphics should be relative to the business and enhance the overall message
  • Any inappropriate verbiage or graphics will result in disqualification
  • Plagiarism will result in disqualification
  • We encourage teams to get creative and to keep in mind that their elevator pitch is being judged on content, professionalism and overall strength of the pitch
  • Business dress is recommended

All ventures must meet the below rules and guidelines. 


Written Business Plans Rules and Guidelines


  • Written business plans from accepted teams are due to by Thursday, March 2, 2023 (11:59 PM CST)
  • Must be submitted in PDF format, 1.5 spacing, 12 Times New Roman
  • Number all pages
  • Cover page to include venture name, student names and university
  • Cannot be longer than 21 pages following these limitations:
    • 1 page - Cover page
    • 1 page - Table of contents
    • 1 - 2 pages - Executive summary
    • Up to 10 pages - main report
    • Up to 6 pages - appendices
    • 1 page - citations


  • Executive summary
    • Standalone overview of the business plan
  • Magnitude of the problem
    • Is this a major problem?
    • Is it local, national or global?
  • Outline of the solution
    • Does the product solve the problem
    • Is the product protected (IP)
    • Status (proof of concept / prototype)
  • Market validation / competition
    • Is there a clear market need?
    • Will customers pay a premium?
    • Competitive landscape
  • Operational plan
    • Actual intent to set up operations
    • Viable plan to set up operations
    • Ongoing operational capability
  • Marketing and distribution
    • Effective marketing strategy
    • Effective advertising strategy
    • Clear distribution channels / strategy
  • Management team
    • Is team experienced and capable?
    • Able to overcome risks  and changes
    • Proper board or advisory board
  • Financial viability / scalability
    • Attractive revenue / expense margins
    • Realistic start-up costs
    • Scalable product or service
    • Financial projections / returns
    • No cash flow or balance sheet issues
    • Realistic funding / capital structure
    • Attractive investor returns
  • Others
    • Intellectual property
    • Timeline for implementation
    • Realistic
    • Professional
    • Convincing strategy

All ventures must meet the below rules and guidelines. 

Privacy Disclaimer

Privacy disclaimers

As this competition is open to the public, data or information discussed or divulged throughout the competition is considered information that can enter the public domain therefore teams requiring non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) should not participate.

Any footage of the event will be used for marketing, PR, promotional materials.

Partner Competitions

Contact us

Amy Jones
Program Coordinator
Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship
Room 212 Drake Centre
181 Freedman Crescent
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada