Get Ready to Compete in the Shocker New Venture Competition!

Welcome! We can't wait to see the innovative ideas student entrepreneurs enter.

Before you compete in the Shocker New Venture Competition, scroll through this guide to ensure you know the competition rules, what you'll face in each of the three rounds, and the valuable resources available to help you thrive.

Best of luck to all participants!

Key Dates    Rules    Round Information    Competition Prep

Rules: The Fine Print Behind Success

The following rules are binding throughout the entire time one competes in 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 WSU 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. 

General Rules / Confidentiality & Intellectual Property

Confidentiality and 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 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 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.


  • Entries must represent the original work of team members and must be for a new business (e.g. opening a franchise of an existing chain is not considered a new venture).
  • 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 2024 semester at a Kansas college or university. It is the primary contact's responsibility to communicate with other members of the team.
  • No team may have more than five participating members. Not every member needs to be from the same college / 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.
  • Each team must have a community mentor or a faculty advisor with an email address. Faculty advisors must have a .edu email address. For a team to be officially registered, the mentor/faculty advisor will be required to confirm their participation.
  • The Center for Entrepreneurship may select alternates for any round if selected teams are unwilling or unable to continue in the competition.
  • All deadlines and guidelines for submissions must be adhered to. Materials must be submitted by the announced due dates and times. Failure to meet these deadlines will result in the team being eliminated from 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.
  • 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.
  • Payment of Awards The Wichita State University Foundation will issue checks in the full amount of the award to the primary contact. Tax payments on the awards will become the responsibility of those receiving the checks.
Round 1 (Business Model Video) Rules & Requirements

The 3 Minute Video is an overview of your new venture through the use of the lean startup model. Below you will find the information that should be covered in your video that addresses your business model. Click on the heading to view a short video on the topic. Failure to include your business model information will result in being eliminated from the competition.

Video Content

You have the option of either using Youtube or Vimeo. It is important that you make your video unlisted so that you do not make your idea public. Please verify that you have submitted a shareable link. Instructions to make your video unlisted.


What is the problem/opportunity:
Identify the problem you are solving. If your product or service doesn't solve a problem that potential customers have, you don't have a viable business. Consider using a real customer story that addresses the problem you are solving in the marketplace.

Once you have a clearly defined problem that you are solving, you need to explain the solution. Describe how customers use the product or service and how it addresses the problem. Be careful of falling into the trap of being focused on your product and not your customer.  What feedback have you received from potential customers to support your solution.

Target Market/Customer:
Expand on who your ideal customer is and how many of them there are. What is the total market size and how do you position your company within the market?Define who your customers are. Who will buy your product or service? Research everything about them. You want to know demographic information, income statistics, and family makeup. Create a complete profile of your target market.

Value Proposition:
This statement should explain what benefit you provide for who and how you do it uniquely well. Describe your target buyer, the problem you solve, and why you are distinctly better than the alternatives. This statement is extremely important.

There is always competition. Even if no one has come up with the exact solution you have, your potential customers are already solving their problem with some alternative. Research your competition. You can only set yourself apart if you know what has already been done. Describe your key differentiators from your competition.

Revenue Model:
How does the company make money?

What is your cost of doing business?

Why are you and your team the right people to build and grow this company? Highlight the team members and the key expertise that they bring to the table.


Other Resources:

Failure Sucks
9 Things that take a pitch from good to great   DEFINITELY READ THIS
Vaylenx Video Pitch Example


Rules specific to the Trade Show and Finals will be sent to the point of contact of the teams who made it into the round.

How to Compete

Round 1

Business Model Video

Applications & Videos may be submitted by selecting the "Apply Now" button on the SNVC website; the applications are live March 4th - March 28th.

Judges will review the videos submitted by April 4 and select approximately 16 teams to advance to the Trade Show. Primary contacts and mentors of teams advancing will be informed via email.

The 3-minute video submitted during this round should be an overview of your new venture and cover aspects of the business model canvas.
For details on content and instructions for upload:

*** Failure to to include the required information listed in the Video Guide will result in being eliminated from the competition. 

Round 2

Trade Show

To participate in the Trade Show, at least one team member is required to attend the Informational Meeting/Training for Trade Show Participation on April 11th.

The Trade Show will be held April 26th. It will entail the following timeline:

Set-up: 8:00 - 10:00 A.M.
Open Judging: 10:30 - 1:00 P.M.
Finals Announcement: 1:10 P.M.

Before the judging starts, teams will set up booths, which provide the visual component of their pitches. As judges and other visitors visit the booths, team members are to offer pitches about their business idea and respond to questions and comments.
Teams are expected to come prepared with thorough knowledge of all aspects of their business model.

There will be two types of judges visiting your booth: community judges and student judges.

The 5 teams team with the most community judge investments will move onto the Finals; meanwhile, the team with the most student judge "investments" will be awarded the People's Choice Award. 

As judges visit your booth, you will be pitching your venture to them and answering their questions.  

Round 3


The five teams will be assigned a presentation time by blind draw conducted April 26th, after the conclusion of the Trade Show.

Starting at 2:00 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 - 5 minutes
Q&A - 5 minutes

***A slide presentation is required and a demonstration is recommended. 

Craft Your Competitive Edge

Competition Prep

Through the offerings provided by the WSU Center for Entrepreneurship and Ablah Library, strengthen the venture you bring to the Shocker New Venture Competition. Learn, practice, and prepare what you need to succeed!


We invite you to participate in Ablah Library's carefully curated entrepreneurship workshops.

Attend both "Market Research for Startups" and "Intro to Intellectual Property" to fortify your foundation.

(We advise checking in for updates, as this series is offered fall and spring)
Entrepreneurship Research Series

Pitch Practice

Hone your pitching skills and improve your pitch content by scheduling an appointment to practice and get feedback for your pitch, an essential element of each round of SNVC.

Schedule today!
If you cannot find a date and time provided when scheduling, reach out directly to Nancy Kersenbrock (, and we will find a time that works for you. 

Startup Resources

Researching Your Business Idea

Wichita State's Albah Library offers a wealth of resources, such as market and industry reports, at no cost to students. The Entrepreneurship Research Guide is specifically designed to guide new business owners through their available resources. The Kauffman Foundation provides access to insights, research, and articles on entrepreneurship. IBIS World provides industry reports. Just look up your industry and read about size, growth, and trends.

Look up news articles regarding your industry and competitors. Read reviews for your direct competitors to get an idea of what you can do that your competitors do not.

Electronic Database

Intellectual Property

The United States Patent and Trademark Office Copyright Google Patents Workshops

Library Assistance

Wichita State University's Ablah Library is the only Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) in Kansas. Visit the library guide for intellectual property resources. Contact Sara Butts if you have general questions about intellectual property or if you would like assistance with a patent or trademark search. You can reach Jessica Pierpoint at (316) 978-5074 or

Business Model

Strategyzer, Alex Osterwalder Nail It Then Scale It, Nathan Furr & Paul Ahlstrom The Lean Startup, Eric Ries

Launch Your Business

Small Business Administration (SBA) Startup America Partnership Startup Tools from Steve Blank

Miscellaneous Resources

Pitching to Investors: Examples Legal and Tax Help 

Get involved today!


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