If you’re after the big money and big street credit for your new business, then the MIT 100K Entrepreneurship Competition is the contest for you.
Held early each spring on the beautiful campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this high-profile, high-stakes competition is in its 18th consecutive year. Contestants are among the best and brightest around, hailing from all of MIT’s top notch schools including: Sloan, Engineering, Science, Humanities, and Architecture, making this competition as diverse as it is challenging.
What sets this competition apart from many others is its development of two new categories or aspects: The Development Prize, and the Business Venture Prize.
The Development Prize focuses on ventures that seek to improve low-income communities in third-world economies, whereas the Business Venture Prize is a niche for high tech enterprises targeting specific markets.
All participants in the MIT 100K, winner and non-winner alike take home a virtual armload of rewards. All participants significantly expand their network of contacts and gain priceless insight from an incredibly diverse collection of seasoned veteran entrepreneurs. In each category, (Development/Business Venture) First Place winners pocket $30,000 and the two runner-ups each take home a $10,000 purse. The most successful competitors historically have come from teams comprising of members from diverse technical and academic disciplines.
Teams make a 20-minute oral presentation with a 10-minute question and answer period following immediately thereafter.
Judges are a small, select group of Entrepreneurs, Professional Services Providers, Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists. Judgment criteria include but are not limited to:
- Defensibility from competitors
- Business model
- Investment capital required
- Compatibility with current financial and market projections
- Conciseness and clarity of the business plan
No cost of entry is mentioned. The contest is open to all full-time and part-time MIT students. However, non-student teams may compete, provided that at least one of their principal members is a full-time student at the school. Although not required, it is recommended that all teams seek the involvement of MIT faculty, alumni, post-docs, researchers, and staff.
It is also recommended that potential competitors attend or participate in MIT’s preparatory Fall MIT $1K Warm-Up Awards:
2006 yielded interesting and inspiring winners in both categories such as:
Business Venture 1st place:
SteriCoat Inc., developers of a coating technology which significantly reduces the incident of catheter-associated infections by preventing the formation of bacterial “biofilms” and killing bacterial invaders.
Business Venture Runners up:
Avanti Metal Company who, at the behest of NASA, developed a special technology to produce oxygen on the moon, using extreme molten oxide electrolysis.
Terrafugia with its Transition Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) which can drive on any surface road, take to the air from most local airports, and park in a household garage.
Development 1st place:
CentroMigrante, Inc. combines developmental architecture with a self-help business model to offer a sustainable solution that provides clean, safe and affordable urban housing for indigent, transient job seekers.
Development Runners up:
Kalpataru and its One Hundred-Dollar Lap Top ($100), designed for use in Third World economies. Kalpataru’s offering consists of an MIT $100 Laptop bundled with a suite of microfinance software and services.
OneWorld Medical Devices, introducing The Vaccine Pac to help reduce the 4.3 million vaccine-preventable deaths each year, which occur primarily in developing countries and during natural disasters or epidemics. The Vaccine Pac is a portable, self-contained, and strict temperature-controlled transport and storage unit that counter the large vaccine wastage problem that often results from improper temperature control.
2007 and future years promise to add to MIT’s already long list of startup-business success stories. Yours could be next. If interested in participating in the MIT 100K Entrepreneurship Competition, please visit http://www.mit100k.org for more information.