The Next Great Startup is Oregon State University’s annual, multi-round competition for student-led teams looking to turn a startup idea into a real company.

This is a campus-wide opportunity for startup ventures to get visibility, bragging rights, prizes and direct one-on-one mentorship with venture capitalists and local entrepreneurs.

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

The Next Great Startup returns Winter 2021 for a VIRTUAL COMPETITION. More details to come. The application is open now until January 18!




It's not another pitch competition...

We are looking for student-led startup teams with the greatest potential to build sustainable businesses. The Next Great Startup competition makes real entrepreneurs in real time by providing teams with direct access to mentors and coaches, with proper guidance to reach important entrepreneurial milestones. Students who advance in the competition receive additional funding while competing live in front of a large audience who could be early adopters.

How it works...

Apply, the Audition, The Draft, The Semis, The Final


Selected student applicants audition by pitching their concept business and answering a few questions on the direction of their startup idea. 

If selected to move on from the auditions, student-will compete in The Draft where four successful venture capitalists (VCs) will select teams to coach. 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.

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 deliberation by the judges until four have been chosen to compete in The Final. The teams will have one last chance to pitch to make their case for the Next Great Startup.

The winning startup will walk away with cash prizes and goods and services from lawyers to CPA firm to launch their venture. In this year's competition, over $20,000 in cash and services were awarded throughout the competition. In addition, the winning teams will be accepted into the OSU Advantage Accelerator program.

Key Dates - Winter 2021 VIRTUAL Competition


1/19 - 1/22 - Auditions, scheduled individually

2/4 - 2/5 - The Draft | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm | ZOOM

2/18 - 2/19 - The Semis | 3:00 pm - 5:00 PM | ZOOM

3/4 - The Final | 3:00 pm - 5:00 PM | ZOOM

Next Great Startup - The Final Pitch | February 26, 2020

Through several rounds of elimination, it was down to the final four to compete for the title of the Next Great Startup! Each team delivered a great pitch. The 2020 Campus-wide competition concluded February 26th. Congratulations to the winning team, identifi! 

Thank you to all the coaches, mentors, partners and sponsors who made the Next Great Startup 2020 competition a success! We appreciate your support and could not have made this event possible without you.

The Final placements are....

  1. Identifi - Low-cost test strips for rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases. 
  2. Hazadapt -  mobile application to improve communication between civilians and emergency managers before, during, and after an emergency. 
  3. Hempress Hygenics - high-quality, natural menstrual products harnessing the benefits of hemp fiber.
  4. Crick-ITZ - Nutritious, high-protein snack crackers fortified with cricket powder

Each team received some prizes in the form of cash and legal services to support the development of their venture.