UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

2021 UC STARTUP
INNOVATION CHALLENGE

$100K Prizes

Global Investor Networks

Corporate & VC Judges

Mentorship

Pro-Bono Legal Services

TIMELINE

UC Startup Innovation Challenge Timeline

OCT 5, 2020
Application Open

UC Startup Innovation Challenge Timeline

NOV 10, 2020
Application Deadline

UC Startup Innovation Challenge Timeline

DEC 15, 2020
Finalists announced

UC Startup Innovation Challenge Timeline

JAN 27, 2021
Finalists pitch at
GCV Digital Forum

UC Startup Innovation Challenge Timeline

JUNE 2021
Select finalist pitch at XTC Global Finals

THE OPPORTUNITY

The UC Startup Innovation Challenge is an annual systemwide entrepreneur competition that highlights the impressive innovations of the UC community. Launched in 2016 by the UC Office of the President, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Office, this challenge draws student, faculty and staff participants from all ten campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national labs, and the broader alumni entrepreneur network. Participants will gain exposure to global funder and investor networks, increase visibility for corporate collaborations, and be reviewed by world-class VC judges.

The top five finalists of each track (Early Stage and Growth Stage) will be selected to pitch at the final showcase during the GCV Digital Forum. One Winner of each track will be selected by venture capitalist judges at the final showcase.  The contest is being held in partnership with Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), the world’s largest startup competition for entrepreneurs addressing global challenges. All applicants to the UC Startup Innovation Challenge will be automatically entered into XTC. UC Startup Innovation Challenge winners will automatically advance as finalists in XTC’s regional startup competition.

2020 UC Innovation & Entrepreneurship Group Photo
I am a UC Entrepreneur 2016
University of California Entrepreneur Startup Showcase 2020

BENEFITS

2021 UC Startup Innovation Challenge Benefits - $100K

CASH PRIZES

2021 UC Startup Innovation Challenge Benefits - 2000+

XTC CORPORATE & VC AUDIENCE

2021 UC Startup Innovation Challenge Benefits - 500+

GCV DIGITAL FORUM CORPORATE & VC AUDIENCE

2021 UC Startup Innovation Challenge Benefits - #1

UC SYSTEMWIDE OPPORTUNITY FOR
GLOBAL EXPOSURE

VALUE

Ten finalists will have the opportunity to deliver a pitch to 500+ corporate venture capital investors at the GCV Digital Forum and the additional benefits of:

A comp ticket to attend GCV Digital Forum
($995 value)

Receive one mentor call with a VC judge

Gaining exposure to XTC and GCV Digital Forum’s global networks of corporations and venture capital investors

Investment and corporate partnership opportunities

ELIGIBILITY

  • Open to all startups founded by at least one UC person (student, faculty, alumni, staff, postdoc, or visiting scholar).
  • Open to startups across all verticals (with particular interest for tech for good startups and diverse funding teams). Please also reference XTC Key Categories.

TRACKS

  • Early Stage track for startups that have not yet raised Series A funding and are in the pre-product-market stage
  •  Growth Stage track for startups that have proof points in product-market fit or have already raised Series A funding.

JUDGING CRITERIA

Judges will evaluate each startup on the below four criteria:

  • Team: Is this team uniquely qualified to build this startup? Do they understand their customers and their industry well? Do they have the grit to carry this through?
  • Product or Service Innovation: Is the product or service innovative? Is it differentiated from competitive offerings?
  • Product Market Fit: Is there a signal that customers will value their offering? Is the market size large?
  • Tech for Good: Does this startup impact people’s lives and/or the environment? Will this startup improve the lives of a large number of people? And/or will this startup make a deep and meaningful impact on individual lives? Do the company’s business practices show a commitment to diversity, sustainability, and social good

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Click here to see terms and conditions.

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