UCSB’s New Venture Competition Provides Business Experience for Student Entrepreneurs

Photo by Krystal Chen

Krystal Chen
Staff Writer

On Oct. 24, the UCSB Technology Management Program (TMP) held its second info session for the 21st annual New Venture Competition (NVC), calling for ambitious student entrepreneurs to come and learn about the contest. The NVC is an eight-month, free educational program, made to enrich students’ business experience with exciting activities and valuable curriculum spanning the entire academic year. 

The NVC is strategically designed to provide UCSB students with a unique opportunity to get a taste of how to start and build a successful business, offering $40,000 in prizes. 

“NVC aims to construct a platform for students to gain some serious business development experience, polish their potential business ideas and help them to work through different phases in building business,” said David Adornetto, the Entrepreneurship Director of NVC, in an interview with The Bottom Line.

The competition offers participants multiple different experiences — all within three quarters — to prepare students with necessary skills for initiating and realizing their business plans. 

In the fall, students will brainstorm, form teams, and practice constructing a compelling value proposition for their business. Mixer sessions and pitch events are provided for participants to assemble students with similar business ideas and valuable expertise. Within the process, students get to adjust their business direction, refine their product features, and optimize their distribution channels by meeting and communicating with local business executives and entrepreneurs mentors. 

During winter quarter, NVC preparation courses and a variety of topical seminars are offered to provide students with essential learning experience similar to that of a startup accelerator. 

After two quarters of groundwork, students get to polish their business ideas and validate business models through thought-provoking communication with experienced mentors and in-depth research with group members. In the spring quarter, students can present their businesses to the public in a trade-show style format through the New Venture Fair. Teams with mature and applicable business plans will be selected to enter the NVC final competition, where the finalist teams display an investor pitch to a panel of judges for prize money. 

“The NVC drastically changed my perception of initiating a business,” said Kavitta Ghai, the CEO of Nectir and past participant of NVC. “The program not only provided my team with valuable instructions that specifically for our business, but it gave me some previous connection with some successful mentors. These resources are life-long benefits that indeed helped me realize my business dream.”

The competition encourages students to build their social networks and enhances students’ professionalism by boldly presenting themselves to the public, especially accomplished mentors. 

“You get out what you put into it,” said Alli Adam, Associated Student internal vice president and past participant of NVC, in an interview with The Bottom Line. “The program requires 100 percent commitment, but the lessons and business connections that one can get … [are] definitely career-changing.”