The Venture Adventure competition is sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship at Colorado State University’s College of Business. It gives undergraduate students from all over the country the opportunity to present their ideas and plans for realistic new ventures to a panel of judges made up of entrepreneurs and investors.
A student team from any college or university in the United States is eligible to compete in the Venture Adventure competition. All students must be undergraduates and a faculty advisor must approve the plan. Additionally, at least one member of the student team must hold a senior-level management position in the proposed company. Only one team per college or university is permitted to enter the competition.
The first stage of the competition is the “Intent to Compete” form and the executive summary. These are turned in to organizers by the beginning of March and a total of 16 semi-finalist teams are notified by the second week of March. These teams must be willing to travel to Colorado State University in Fort Collins for the final competition in late April.
On the first day of the competition, teams are split into four tracks of four teams each. The judges for each track listen to the four presentations and select a first-place winner to go on to the finals and a second-place winner to compete in the elevator pitch portion of the Venture Adventure. The four second-place teams each get two minutes to convince a judge that their plan deserves to go to the finals. One of these four teams is chosen as the fifth finalist to continue in the competition the next day.
Final presentations are 15 minutes long with 10 minutes of Q&A. The winners are announced at the Awards Luncheon at the conclusion of the competition on Saturday. The first place prize is $5,000, payable to the team’s sponsoring university. Second place earns $2,500 and third gets $1,500. Fourth and fifth places take home $1,250 and $1,000 respectively.