The Next Great Startup wants you to apply now with your entrepreneurial idea and compete for the title of the Next Great Startup at OSU. This is a campus-wide opportunity for startup ventures to get funding, visibility, bragging rights, and direct one-on-one mentorship with venture capitalists and local entrepreneurs.

Mentorship, money and visibility are all on the line, however; the real prize is walking away with an actual company.

Still think you have what it takes?

The Next Great Startup is Oregon State University’s campus-wide competition for undergraduate and graduate students looking to turn a startup idea into a real company. The main Next Great Startup competition runs from January 2018-February 2018! 


How it works...

Apply to the main Next Great Startup competition by January 16, 2018. Selected applicants will audition by pitching your business and answering a few questions on the direction of your startup idea. This is your time to show us why you deserve to be in the running, and why you think a successful advisor will want to choose you to mentor during the competition. 

If selected to move on from the auditions, you will compete in The Draft where four successful venture capitalists (VCs) will select students to become a part of their team. The teams the VC’s pick will be a direct reflection of their reputation too, so they will be picking teams or individuals they believe have true potential. They have serious skin in the game, and might even be looking for their next investment.

Drafted startups will work closely with their VC coach, the Advantage Accelerator staff and mentors to prepare for the Semis and the upcoming challenges that are designed to help you meet important milestones. After each round, teams will be eliminated through a process of voting by the mentors until four have been chosen to compete in The Final. 

The winning startup will walk away with cash prizes and goods and services from lawyers to CPA firms to launch their venture. In last year's competition, over $30,000 in cash and services was awarded throughout the competition. In addition, the winning teams will be accepted into the OSU Advantage Accelerator program.

Recapping 2017...

From twenty-seven applicant teams to the last team standing, the four finalists went through three rounds of business development and pitching over the course of three months to make it to the final stage. The first ever run of The Next Great Startup was made possible by our VC coaches, judges, and mentors, as well as the funding provided by our sponsors: Martin Tobias, Klarquist, OSU Office for Commercialization & Corporate Development, OSU Foundation, Ater Wynne, Stover Neyhart & Co., OSU College of Business, OSU Graduate School, OSU College of Engineering, and Oregon RAIN. Due to their generosity, competitors won over $30,000 in cash and in-kind services combined. Congratulations to all the teams for their hard work! Thank you to everyone who made this competition possible; we hope to see you again in 2018. 


We are proud to announce the finishing order for The Next Great Startup 2017 Competition:

Fourth place: Sensiplicity Systems 

Third place: Rambuta Remote Sensing

Second place: Assure

First place: Gobtech


It's not another pitch competition...

We are not looking for students who think they are the best right now; we are looking for startup teams with the potential to become the best. NGSU makes real entrepreneurs, in real time, by giving teams direct access to mentors who will help them reach important milestones in moving their company forward.

In addition to close mentorship from local entrepreneurial leaders, students may also receive increased funding as they make it past each round of the competition in front of a large audience. That is 150 potential customers who will discover your concept and be your potential test group.

Key Dates

Applications Due: January 16th 2018 by noon

Auditions: January 17th,18th, 19th 2018, time to be scheduled, Advantage Accelerator Office

The Draft: January 30th 2018, 5-8pm, Stirek Auditorium

The Semis: February 13th 2018, 5:30-7pm, Stirek Auditorium

The Final: February 27th 2018, 5:30-7pm, Stirek Auditorium