This is not a pitch competition...

This is not a business plan competition...

This is the Next Great Startup.


Teams will be selected by Venture Capitalist Coaches to advise them through the knockout rounds for a chance to win $10,000 and more!


The Next Great Startup is Oregon State University’s cornerstone competition for undergraduate and graduate students looking to turn a startup idea into a real company. It’s a winner-take-all opportunity for ventures to get visibility, direct one-on-one mentorship with local entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, funding, and bragging rights to be called the next great startup at OSU.

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

How it works....

After submitting an application for your concept, you 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, you will compete in The Draft where four successful venture capitalists (VC’s) 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.

For each following round, startups will work closely with a VC, the Advantage Accelerator staff, Executives in Residence and mentors to prepare for 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.

The winning startup will walk away with at least $10,000* in cash and goods and services from lawyers to CPA firms to launch their venture. Over $30,000 in cash and services will be awarded throughout the competition. In addition, the winning teams will be accepted into the OSU Advantage Accelerator program.

Still think you have what it takes?


*Thank you to Martin Tobias for the generous donation of $5,000 to the grand prize!


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: 4. Sensiplicity Systems, 3. Rambuta Remote Sensing, 2. Assure, and 1. Gobtech!

Congratulations to Gobtech, the winner of the Next Great Startup


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 16 by noon

Auditions: January 17-18 2017, time to be scheduled, location TBA

Round 1: January 30 2017, 5-8pm location TBA

Round 2: February 13 2017, 5:30-7pm location TBA

Finals: February 27 2017, 5:30-7pm location TBA