Competitions

CLDA's NextGen Logistics Competition

The purpose of the NextGen Logistics Competition is to inspire high school and college students to promote, innovate and revolutionize the first/final mile industry. The competition is designed to provide new perspectives on the obstacles and opportunities within the industry.

Application Deadline: 1/31/2022

E-Team Grant Program

The E-Team Program supports dedicated science- and engineering-based student teams from across the nation in bringing their high-impact innovation out of the lab and into the market. Every year, we award over $700,000 in non-dilutive E-Team grants to these early-stage student science and tech startups who are on the path to launching innovations with a social, health, or environmental impact. In the past two decades, VentureWell has provided over $8M in grants to more than 550 entrepreneurial teams. Our 180+ alumni ventures have received over $122M in follow-on funding since taking part in the E-Team program.

There are three E-Team application cycles per year—with deadlines in October, January/February, and May. Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm ET on the day of the grant deadline in order to be considered. Typically, VentureWell opens the call for applications about 6-8 weeks before the deadline. Teams can begin writing their proposal narratives at any time.

Rice Business Plan Competition

The competition, entering its 22nd year, gives collegiate entrepreneurs real-world experience to pitch their startups, enhance their business strategy and learn what it takes to launch a successful company.

The 2022 Rice Business Plan Competition will be hosted in-person at Rice University on April 7-9, including elevator pitches, initial round, semi-finals round and live final pitches. Prior to the competition, EFN will be providing ongoing mentorship to all teams. We're excited to be back in-person and providing the networking and excitement of the largest and richest student startup competition.

Application Deadline: 1/31/2022

Smart Cities Innovation Challenge 2022

Cities are changing now more than ever and with the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill providing new opportunities for funding and partnership, there's no better time for startups to create an impact in local communities.

If you're a startup with the potential to support cities or bolster national defense, the Smart Cities Connect Startup Challenge is for you!

Top rated startups will take the stage this April in Columbus, Ohio at Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo and pitch to city officials, investment representatives, Fortune 1000 Companies, and military and defense components.

Application Deadline: 1/28/2022

TCU's Values and Ventures® Competition

We’re continuing our dream to champion college students around the world, to leverage their business skills and innovation to create ventures that make a profit while also making a real impact in their communities and countries, or the world.

Our 2022 competition will award student ventures with cash prizes totaling more than $100,000.

Application Deadline: 2/1/2022

Tulane Business Model Competition

The Tulane Business Model Competition awards funding to early-stage student ventures that can demonstrate how they are adapting to their customers’ needs.

The contest rewards founders who are creating commercially viable ventures through breaking down an idea into a key business model hypothesis, have tested their assumptions with customers and have applied Customer Development/Lean Startup principles to refine the model for improved success.

Following the initial application, judges select six ventures to compete in the competition’s semi-final round. Judges then choose three finalists to pitch their business models in the final round of the competition to determine the first, second and third place prize winners who will share a cash prize.

Teams must include at least one degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student from any college or university. Currently, this competition is scheduled to take place in-person the week of March 21, 2022, however competitors will be offered the option to present virtually.

Application Deadline: 1/31/2022

XPRIZE Carbon Removal

XPRIZE Carbon Removal is aimed at tackling the biggest threat facing humanity - fighting climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle. Funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, this $100M competition is the largest incentive prize in history, an extraordinary milestone.‎

This four-year global competition invites innovators and teams from anywhere on the planet to create and demonstrate solutions that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans, and sequester it durably and sustainably. To win the grand prize, teams must demonstrate a working solution at a scale of at least 1000 tonnes removed per year; model their costs at a scale of 1 million tonnes per year; and show a pathway to achieving a scale of gigatonnes per year in future.

Application Deadline: Earth Day 2025