Stu Clark and students smiling and holding a big cheque.

Stu Clark New Venture Championships: Graduate Edition

2021 Championships


March 11-12, 2021


Delivered virtually


The competition is for graduate students to gain real experience while developing and growing new ventures based on the student created, managed or owned ventures. Teams will also receive expertise and feedback from our leading industry expert judges including Stu Clark himself.

Throughout this 2-day competition teams will compete in an Elevator Pitch and Business Plan Presentation for and will evaluate the feasibility, market opportunity and business model of a new venture.

Important dates

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


  • Business Plan Competition

    • 1st Place $20,000
    • 2nd Place $10,000
    • 3rd Place $5,000
    • 4th Place $2,500
  • 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.


March 11 & 12, 2021

Note: All 16 teams are competing in the semi-finals on Thursday March 11, however this round is not open to the public to watch. Teams will find out live on Friday at 11:00 am who the final 4 teams are. Format for the live presentations are: 15 minute presentation then 10 minute Q&A from a panel of expert judges.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

*All activities on Thursday are closed to the public. All times in CST.

  • 8:00 AM — 10:50 AM      Semi-Final Round Track 1
  • 10:50 AM – 1:40 PM      Semi-Final Round Track 2
  • 1:40 PM – 4:30 PM         Semi-Final Round Track 3
  • 4:30 PM – 7:20 PM         Semi-Final Round Track 4

Friday, March 12, 2021

*All activities on Friday are open to the public. All times in CST.

  • 9:30 AM – 9:45 AM         Welcome & Introduction of Teams
  • 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM    Elevator Pitch Competition & Finalists Announced
  • 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM       INTERMISSION
  • 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM         Championship Round
  • 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM         Judges Deliberation
  • 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM         Awards Ceremony

Sign up to watch the elevator pitch competition and championships round by clicking HERE! 


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 application.
  2. Create a 1-2 page executive summary
  3. Submit application form by Wednesday January 20, 2021 (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

The Stu Clark New Venture Championships: Graduate Edition represents a prestigious, international academic competition designed to mimic the real world process of starting a new venture while rewarding innovative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit.

The competition is for graduate students to gain real experience while developing and growing new ventures based on the student created, managed or owned ventures.

Throughout this 2-day competition teams will compete in an elevator pitch and business plan presentation for more than $40,000 and will evaluate the feasibility, market opportunity and business model of a new venture.

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
  • Team will be required to send a copy of their PowerPoint for back up purposes by Wednesday, March 10, 2021. Presentations are to be sent to
  • 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

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
  • No visual aids, cue cards or props allowed


Written Business Plans Rules and Guidelines


  • Written business plans from accepted teams are due to by Wednesday, March 3, 2021 (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

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.

Contact us

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