External Competitions

External Competitions

Are you a USC student entrepreneur interested in competing in external venture competitions? Greif faculty are here to help you prepare and win! If you are taking a BAEP course, speak to your professor. Other undergraduate students, please contact professor Patrick Henry; graduate students, please contact professor Steven Mednick.

Cleantech Open

Cleantech Open is a not-for-profit organization that runs the world's largest accelerator for cleantech startups. Teams must have at least one U.S. resident and have less than $1,000,000 in funding.


Think you might be on to something big? Showcase your innovation at eMerge and compete with other startups from around the globe. With hundreds of angel investors and venture capitalists on the EXPO floor, the exposure alone is powerful. Winning has its perks, too – up to $175,000 in cash and prizes.

Carnegie Mellon Venture Challenge

Formerly the Tepper Venture Challenge, the Carnegie Mellon Venture Challenge is an annual undergraduate business plan competition providing student entrepreneurs with the opportunity to receive feedback from experts in the entrepreneurial community, win monetary prizes, and acquire legal services that will help advance an idea to the next stage in the entrepreneurial process. Apply Now

Rice Business Plan Competition

Self-proclaimed "world's richest and largest" graduate-level business plan competition, the Rice Business Plan Competition is hosted by Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. Open to graduate students enrolled in degree program. Prizes available surpassing $1,000,000. 

Global Social Venture Competition

The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) provides aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring exposure, and $50,000 in prizes to transform their ideas into businesses that will have positive real world impact. In 2015, GSVC received more than 500 entries from nearly 40 countries. Previous years' finalists include Husk Power, Revolution Foods, and d_light design.

California Dreamin' at Chapman

The California Dreamin' competition brings together students from top entrepreneurship programs. The is event is by invitation only. Schools selected to participate determine the team to compete.

Startup Challenge Monterey Bay

Startup Challenge Monterey Bay is a regional new business competition and acceleration program for entrepreneurs in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. The Challenge provides workshops and mentoring to empower entrepreneurs to communicate their ideas effectively to investors, customers and employees. The Challenge offers three divisions – The Venture division for businesses that are intended become large enterprises, the Main Street division for small businesses, and the Student division for students at any level. Up to $20,000 cash plus $10,000 in legal and other services.

Student Startup Madness

Student Startup Madness is a nationwide tournament for college student digital media startups, culminating with the "Entrepreneurial Eight" national finals at South By Southwest in Austin, TX on Monday, March 12. The top eight teams will be invited to pitch to a celebrity panel of well known entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors. 


TigerLaunch is the nation's largest student-run inter-collegiate entrepreneurship competition, put on annually by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Club at Princeton University and with the support of many other student partner entrepreneurship associations across the country. In addition to at least $30,000 in prize money, TigerLaunch also offers the chance to meet with some of the top VC firms in the country.

WBENC's Student Entrepreneur Program

WBENC's Student Entrepreneur Program is a week-long development program for women entrepreneurs enrolled  in a college or university in the U.S. Aspiring collegiate female entrepreneurs studying in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) or Business receive mentoring from some of the most successful Women's Business Enterprises and America's largest Fortune 500 companies while also participating in a tailored entrepreneurial curriculum, a pitch competition awarding $20,000 in seed capital and experiential learning through off-site visits to Women's Business Enterprises, corporate campuses, and accelerators.