The University organizes two major new venture Competitions: the UVA Entrepreneurship Cup (E-Cup), a three-stage competition supporting student ventures, and the Galant Challenge, connecting Alumni ventures with seed-stage investors. Every year, the E-Cup provides at least $100,000 in awards to student ventures. The Galant Challenge has connected ventures with greater than $2,000,000 in seed capital over the first four years of the event.
The University of Virginia Entrepreneurship Cup, also known as the E-Cup, is an annual $100,000 competition that seeks to enrich the area’s entrepreneurial community by encouraging new ventures with the potential to address unmet needs, solve social and economic problems, and do so in an interdisciplinary way. The E-Cup is open to all UVA undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.
The Concept Competition is the first stage in a three part series of annual competitions organized under the UVA Entrepreneurship Cup. $25,000 in total prize money will be awarded as part of the Concept Stage. The purpose of the Concept stage of the competition is to surface and seed ideas from all parts of the university at every stage of development.
The second stage of the UVA Entrepreneurship Cup, the Discovery Competition, is all about customer and product development. $25,000 in total prize money will be awarded as part of the Discovery Stage. The Discovery Competition is based upon the principles of effectuation, a problem solving process that expert entrepreneurs undertake after they have conceived of their idea (Stage I: Concept), but before they invested significant time and money into the project (Stage III: Launch!).
The Launch Competition is the third and final stage of the UVA Entrepreneurship Cup, and its goal is to showcase and provide seed capital to the most compelling student ventures. In past years, upwards of $50,000 in total prize and in-kind resources have been awarded. This stage of the competition is about commitment, sustainability, and scale.
The Galant Challenge connects ventures from the UVA community with potential investors. This exciting event has successfully funded ventures with more than $1.5 million in capital, in just the past few years alone. The Challenge is open to ventures founded by any UVA graduate or individual affiliated with UVA.
Pike Technology Showcase
The Pike Fellows Program is available to three to five student entrepreneurial teams each academic year. The highly selective program develops each team's entrepreneurial potential and leadership skills through hands-on experiences, networking, mentoring, access to an initial seed fund up to $5,000, and workshops on key topics in entrepreneurship. The culmination of the Pike Engineering Entrepreneuship Fellows Program is the annual Pike Technology Showcase event where the Pike Fellows Teams are judged and the $50,000 Pike Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is awarded.