Frequently Asked Questions

I am a CWRU graduate but not currently enrolled, can I enter this competition?
Yes, if you graduated within the last five years (a degree awarded no earlier than 2013). Beyond that, you would need to be part of a founding team that included a current CWRU student or more recent graduate.

How do you define “part of a founding team?”
For the purposes of this competition, a founding team member is defined as a person with an equity position in a startup company.

How established must my business be in order to compete? Are ideas or business plans acceptable?
This competition is for startups that have an operating agreement in place. Startups that are found to lack an operating agreement will be not be considered in this competition.

Can my business or my team be located outside Ohio or even outside the United States?
As long as your team includes one current CWRU student or a recent graduate (see above) you are eligible to enter this competition. There are no geographical restrictions.

When is the entry deadline?
Applications and pitch decks must be submitted by Friday, November 16, 2018.

What should I put in my pitch deck?
Helpful pitch deck guidelines can be found here.

When will the finalists be notified that they have been selected to pitch at Demo Day?
The six competition finalists will be notified no later than December 15.

Where is Demo Day being held?
Demo Day will take place on May 29, 2019 at the George S. Dively Building, 11240 Bellflower Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106

Who will make the final decision on who is selected as a finalist?
Student evaluators will score each entry with input from venture industry experts and professionals. These scores will be aggregated and compared in order to identify the six finalists.

How will these evaluators score the pitch deck submissions?
All submissions will be scored according to the same scoring rubric.

Will teams that are not selected be given any feedback?
Yes. Completed evaluations will be passed on to each participant so they can see how their entry was scored.

What help will finalists get from JumpStart before Demo Day?
JumpStart Investment Team members will engage with each finalist and provide them with input and guidance to help them refine the content and delivery of their investor pitches for Demo Day.

What do I get if I win?
Judges will select first ($25,000), second ($15,000) and third place ($10,000) winners at the May 29 Demo Day. Competition winners will also receive additional support from JumpStart to help them build connections to other sources of funding and assistance to help them grow their businesses.

Is this prize money or an investment offer?
The Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition offers prize money. No equity stake or term sheets will be involved. However, the competition should provide valuable exposure to accredited investors to help ease the process of attracting equity investors down the line.

Questions? Email us at