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Rules and Guidelines


The following rules are binding throughout the entire duration of the Shocker New Venture Competition (SNVC). Participating in the SNVC indicates that teams accept these rules and regulations and agree to abide by them. The Center for Entrepreneurship and the SNVC staff reserve the right to disqualify any team and/or team member they believe are not abiding by the rules of the SNVC.

Confidentiality & Intellectual Property

The Shocker New Venture Competition honors the confidentiality of all participants' business concepts. Business concepts will not be released for any purposes other than use in the SNVC. The judges also recognize the sensitivity of the materials being presented. 

Due to the nature of the competition, we are not able  to ask the judges, reviewers, and staff to sign non-disclosure statements.  They all will be asked to make a good faith effort to preserve the confidentiality of each business concept. However, no other or special provisions are made to protect intellectual property. Teams should take measures to protect their own intellectual property. We would encourage you to not disclose any proprietary information. It is not necessary for you to share your secret sauce to get us fired up about your venture.

What the judges will be looking for in entries:

Teams will be judged based on their ability to succinctly encapsulate their business concept through a market analysis, a clear value proposition, and a sustainable competitive advantage. The SNVC staff requests that all judges provide constructive feedback, strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations on the videos and during the Trade Show. Their feedback provides teams the opportunity to further develop, grow, and advance their new venture concept.

Start-up capital in the form of cash and in-kind services, will be awarded to the winning teams, aiding in the launch of new ventures.

Contestants should strive for ideas that will produce revenue and/or investments to employ at least three people within a year and many more over time.

Ask yourself and your partners:

  • What's the value proposition: What problem are we solving for customers and what makes our idea special?
  • What's the market we're trying to serve and is it big enough to matter?
  • How will we reach it?
  • What's our sustainable competitive advantage?

Your entry should answer these questions:

  • Do you have a solution for a problem that anyone cares about?
  • How you have tested this idea with potential customers?
  • How have you arrived at your revenue model?
  • How will you finance the work before it becomes profitable?
  • What are your qualifications for pursuing and managing this business and who else are you going to rely on for help?
  • How serious are you about turning this idea into a business you will run?

Definitions used in the 2020 rules:

Team: A team consists of one to five members. At least one of the members must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student taking at least six credit hours in the 2020 spring semester at a Kansas college or university. December 2019 graduates are also eligible. Contact information must be provided for each team member. There is a field on the application where additional team members may be listed. These members will not participate visibly in the Trade Show or Finals. Winning teams will have checks mailed to the primary contact's designated mailing address.

Primary Contact: Each team must designate a primary contact. That primary contact must be enrolled as a student taking at least six credit hours during the spring 2020 semester at a Kansas college or university. The official competition email is It is the primary contact's responsibility to communicate with other members of the team.

Faculty Advisor: Each team must have a faculty adviser with an .edu email address. For a team to be officially registered, the faculty member will be required to confirm their participation.

Payment of Awards: The Wichita State University Foundation will issue checks in the full amount of the award. Tax payments on the awards will become the responsibility of those receiving the checks.

Competition Timeline and Guidance:

Application & 3 Minute Video

Applications & Videos may be submitted by selecting the "Apply Now" button on the SNVC website.  Each team will be required to set up a team page as part of the application process. For more information, visit the Video Reference Guide

  • Deadline: 12:00 pm Wednesday, April 1.

The primary contacts will be notified when their application and video have been accepted.

Faculty Advisors are welcome to sponsor multiple teams in the competition. Faculty Advisors must be employed by a Kansas college or university and have an .edu email address.

Judges will select up to 16 teams to move onto the Trade Show. Primary contacts and faculty advisors of teams advancing will be informed via email.

Trade Show:

Trade Show at Charles Koch Arena 

  • Date: Thursday, April 23 
  • Student set up: Begins at 1:00 P.M. Charles Koch Arena Concourse
  • Judging: 3:00 - 6:00 P.M.

Judges and the public may visit the Trade Show exhibits from 3 - 6 P.M.  

Students are encouraged to sign up to be student judges for the competition. The team with the most student judge "investments" will be awarded the People's Choice Award. The People's Choice Award recipient will be notified following the Trade Show.  

Teams may set up exhibits beginning at 1 P.M. Each team will have an assigned spot on the concourse with a 6 x 2.5 foot table and access to an electrical outlet. Teams may also create backdrops for their tables. Teams are responsible for supplying the materials needed for their exhibit.

Teams should present a visual representation of their ideas and be prepared to brief judges and other onlookers. That will involve repeatedly offering pitches about your business idea and responding to questions and comments. Teams are expected to come prepared with thorough knowledge of all aspects of their business model, and we strongly recommend bringing business cards for networking purposes.

Trade Show Pitch:

Each of the following questions is addressed in the LivePlan PITCH feature. Select the "Pitch" tab to get started.

  • What's the value proposition?
  • What problem is the business solving for customers?
  • What makes this idea special?
  • Why is your team especially well-suited to address this problem?
  • What's the market you're trying to serve and is it big enough to matter?
  • How will you reach the market?
  • What's your sustainable competitive advantage?

During the Trade Show round, teams and judges are to adhere to the following rules:

  • Prizes and drawings are not allowed as part of a team display.
  • Disruptions, such as noisemakers or anything that may cause a distraction, are not permitted.
  • Team displays set up and ready by 3 P.M. 
  • Teams will be allowed to accept business cards from judges and vice versa.

Judges will select six teams advancing to Finals. Primary contacts and faculty advisors of teams advancing will be informed via email by Friday, April 24.


  • Date: Friday, May 1, 2020
  • Presentations: 1 - 4 P.M. 
    Open to all teams who competed in the competition, judges, faculty advisors & the public.
  • Deliberation: 4 - 4:45 P.M., Devlin Hall

The six teams will be assigned a presentation time by blind draw.

Starting at 1:00 P.M. teams will begin giving their business pitch, treating the judges as potential investors. The following format will be used:

  • Presentation by the team - 8 minutes
  • Q&A - 8 minutes
  • Tear down/set up - 4 minutes

The 8 minutes of Q&A is for judges' questions and feedback. A slide presentation and/or demonstration is required. There will be a projector and screen available.

Awards Ceremony:

  • Time: 4 – 5:30 p.m., Widget Room, Devlin Hall
  • Winners announced: 5 p.m. 
  • Open to the public

At the conclusion of the final presentations around 4:00 p.m., there will be a public reception in the lobby of Devlin Hall to honor all contestants, judges and sponsors in the 2020 Shocker New Venture Competition.

Once judges have reached their decisions, awards will be announced, approximately 5:00 p.m. Winners will be announced for first, second, and third place.

General Rules:

  • Shocker New Venture Competition entries must represent original work of team members.
  • The entry must be for a new business (e.g. opening a franchise of an existing chain is not considered a new venture).
  • At least one member of each team must be a current student, or December 2019 graduate, of an accredited Kansas college or university.
  • Each team must have a faculty advisor from the same college or university as the primary contact. Faculty members may advise more than one team.
  • An individual may only be a member of one team.
  • No team may have more than five participating members, but not every member needs to be from the same college or university, or needs to be a currently enrolled student. Teams may list 'additional members' to credit individuals that contribute behind the scenes.
  • Only one entry per individual or team is permitted.
  • The only persons with access to the entry materials will be judges and members of the organizing committee.
  • All deadlines and guidelines for submissions must be adhered to. Materials must be submitted by deadline by the announced due dates and times.
  • The Center for Entrepreneurship may select alternates for any round if selected teams are unwilling or unable to continue in the competition.
  • The Center for Entrepreneurship reserves the right to disqualify, in its sole and absolute discretion, any team from the competition at any time. Reasons for disqualification may include, but are not limited to, plagiarism and any other form of dishonesty, misappropriation or infringement of the intellectual property of others, and any failure to comply with these rules and regulations. Disqualified teams shall forfeit all prizes awarded to them.
  • The names and photographs of contestant's and brief descriptions of their entries may be used in news coverage or promotion of the Center for Entrepreneurship or the Shocker New Venture Competition.
  • The Center for Entrepreneurship reserves the right to amend or change the rules or organization of the competition.