Team Composition

Competing teams should consist of no more than 5 degree-seeking students enrolled at least part-time at an accredited institution of higher education during the competition year. Non-students may be part of the venture but cannot participate in the competition (e.g., video submission, pitching, Q&A, etc.). The competition is for student-created and -managed ventures, including new ventures launched by licensing university technology. Students are expected to:

  1. be the driving force behind the new venture,
  2. have played the primary role in developing the business model,
  3. have key management roles in the venture, and
  4. own significant equity in the venture (if allocated)

If the company has allocated equity, then the participating team members must collectively own 20% or more of it.


The student team must control a minimum of 51% of the venture’s voting rights.


Because revenue is often the best form of validation, minimal revenues gained in the process of validation are allowable for the competition. Excessive revenues will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the CBMC organizers.


No more than $100,000 will be allowed from friends and family, debt (any source — convertible, venture, traditional), accelerators, and equity investments (angel and venture capital).

NOTE: We do not encourage early investment because it can lead to premature scaling which is a leading cause of startup failure.

Nature of Venture

Ventures cannot be a buyout, an expansion of an existing company, a real estate syndication, a tax shelter, a franchise, a licensing agreement for distribution in a different geographical area, or a spin-out from an existing corporation. Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is encouraged, assuming they have not been commercialized previously.

Language of the Competition

English must be used in all competition submissions and presentations.

Prior Activity

While a venture may compete only once in the CBMC, team members may participate multiple times.