Discovery Competition

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!). By focusing upon the “fit” between customer needs or wants and the project’s product or service, as well as the personal skills, connections and effort students bring to this challenge, this stage of the competition requires students to—and rewards students who—demonstrate that they have taken steps to “de-risk” their idea, perhaps the most crucial step in the startup process.

The top five projects in the Discovery Competition will be awarded $5,000 each, for a total of $25,000 in total awards. Furthermore, these projects will receive additional, in-kind resources in the hopes of helping the projects to the next stage of development.


Friday, February 5, 2021 – Submissions due by 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (HIGH NOON)
Thursday, February 11, 2021 – Finalists announced 
Thursday, February 18, 2021 – Final presentations at 4:30 p.m. 


2021 Venture Lab Opportunity for Discovery Winners

The winners of the Discovery Competition will be invited to apply to the 2021 Venture Lab. Teams interested in being considered will receive a request to meet with Jason Brewster, Director of the program, who will gather additional information about interested teams and their projects. 

To view more information about the Discovery Competition, follow the links below: