50K in Prizes Available at 2016 McGuire New Venture Competition

April 20, 2016

On April 29, 21 McGuire Entrepreneurship Program student startup teams will present their innovative new ventures in the rapid-fire rocket pitch competition and trade show at the 2016 McGuire New Venture Competition and Showcase. This year, more than $50,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to student teams. 

Five judges, industry experts from California, Washington, Texas and Arizona who represent an exceptional level of business leadership experience and commitment to principles of entrepreneurship and innovation, will evaluate the student startup teams in the rapid-fire rocket pitch competition. In the first round of the pitch competition, each of the 21 new venture teams will present a three-minute rocket pitch. The judges will select six teams to return for the final round, and the finalists will present a five minute pitch and engage in five minutes of Q&A with the panel of judges. The judges will then select the winning teams for the grand prize, second place and third place awards. Meet the judges. 

There are also many prizes provided by partner organizations for teams serious about launching their new ventures. Connect Coworking will award six months of office space to a team, StageXchange will award dealbook setup for up to four teams, and Startup Tucson is offering up to two teams admission into the Thryve Startup incubator program, 10 10West Passports including IdeaFunding tickets, and 6 months of desk space at CoLab Workspace. These are all wonderful opportunities for early-stage startups to advance toward launching their new ventures.  

Audience members are invited to weigh in too. They have the chance to vote for their favorite teams to win the People’s Choice Award. People's Choice voting will be open from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the voting stations on the south side of the Estes Atrium. The team that receives the most votes will win the People's Choice Award and $1,000. 


  • GRAND PRIZE: $10,000
  • SECOND PLACE: $5,000
  • THIRD PLACE: $2,500
  • Best in Class: $1,000
  • People’s Choice: $1,000
  • Connect Coworking Award: Six months of office space for one team. ($11,600 value) 
  • StageXchange Award: Dealbook setup for up to four teams. ($12,000 value)
  • Startup Tucson Award: Admission into the Thryve Startup incubator program, 10 10West Passports including IdeaFunding tickets, and 6 months of desk space at CoLab Workspace, for up to two teams. ($8,400 value) 


Thank you to our generous partners!

The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation is a catalyst to help others achieve their goals and demonstrate that success can be achieved by mutual cooperation, clear goals and steadfast determination. Upholding the values and interests of Mr. and Mrs. Berger, the Foundation often awards financial and real estate support for educational, health and social services organizations and programs that “help people help themselves.”


Located in the Historic Rialto Building in the heart of Downtown Tucson, Connect Coworking is a top-notch Tucson collaborative workspace that provides entrepreneurs, small businesses and freelancers everything they need to grow and evolve their businesses.
StageXchange is a customizable platform used by developers and entrepreneurs to manage their deal’s lifecycle with visually compelling dealbooks, institutional-grade capital raising analytics, and ongoing lender and investor reporting. StageXchange was co-founded by 1999 McGuire Program graduate Rick Yngve.


Startup Tucson is working to grow a strong, vibrant startup ecosystem of companies, entrepreneurs, and talent in Tucson through educational and networking events and the Thryve incubator and accelerator programs.

Reception treats generously provided by:

Cravory Cookies, a 2008 McGuire New Venture Competition finalist, and local startup The Screamery.





McGuire Entrepreneurship Program students receive a year of intensive experiential education that engages them in the process of moving innovation from an early-stage idea to a sustainable investor-ready venture. Learn about all of the 2016 McGuire Program New Venture Teams!  


All events take place at the Eller College of Management in McClelland Hall, 1130 E. Helen St., in the Berger Auditorium and adjoining Estes Atrium. Please plan to join us for this exciting event! It is free and open to the public. Help spread the word - download and print the event


10 a.m. - Trade Show
11:30 a.m. - First Round Rocket Pitches
1:30 p.m. - Business/Law Exchange Presentation
2 p.m. - Finalist Pitches
3:30 p.m. - Awards Ceremony
4:15 p.m. - Reception