McGuire New Venture Competition Set for April 27 at the Leo Rich Theater

April 24, 2018


22 student new ventures to compete for $40,000 in cash and prizes at the event

TUCSON (April 20, 2018) – Imagine how many people could benefit from a biomedical device that betters the lives of people with muscular limitations. Consider the environmental benefits of construction materials composed of recycled byproducts that are safe, cost-effective and eco-friendly. Think of the peace of mind parents would have if there was a wearable tracker for kids using the WiFi system at busy destinations. 

These are just three new venture concepts that could receive funding when 22 student startups compete for more than $40,000 in cash and prizes during the 2018 McGuire New Venture Competition on Friday, April 27. The rapid-fire rocket pitch competition and trade show is open to the public and takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at a new venue this year, the Leo Rich Theater, 260 S. Church Ave., in downtown Tucson.  

Students presenting their new ventures are enrolled in the Eller College of Management's McGuire New Venture Development Program, where they have received nearly a year of intensive experiential education that engages them in the process of moving innovation from an early-stage idea to a sustainable launch-ready venture. The competitive-entry program is open to undergraduate and graduate students from across the University of Arizona. The New Venture Development Program class of 2018 is made up of 86 students from the following nine colleges: Eller College of Management; College of Agriculture and Life Science; College of Engineering; College of Fine Arts; College of Humanities; College of Letters, Arts and Science; College of Pharmacy; College of Science; and College of Social and Behavioral Studies. 

“This year’s competition promises to be one of the best yet,” says Eller College Dean Paulo Goes. “Not only are there dynamic student ventures presenting, but the new venue choice in downtown Tucson makes the event more accessible to the public.”

Several McGuire student startups have gone on to realize substantial growth after competing in the New Venture Competition.

“We have many entrepreneurship success stories,” Goes says. “McGuire alumni have co-founded ground-breaking ventures across a wide range of industries, such as Lyft, the rideshare company, Notehall, an online marketplace for class notes that was featured on "Shark Tank" and acquired by the digital textbook company Chegg for $9.5 million, and Avery Therapeutics, a Tucson-based biotech startup that aims to change the way heart failure is treated – and possibly even cure it.” 

This year’s event sponsors include H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and Microsoft, the McGuire Center’s Annual Social Impact Sponsor. For more details and to see a list of this year’s student venture teams, visit the McGuire Center website.