43rd edition

 

Empowering entrepreneurs to build new businesses

The INSEAD Venture Competition (IVC) is the flagship entrepreneurship experience for all current degree programme participants. This twice a year event represents a natural and exciting step in the development of INSEAD entrepreneurial students’ ventures, allowing them to pitch their start-up concept and business model. Throughout the multi-stage competition, students are immersed in a supportive yet rigorous environment to develop and showcase their venture ideas. Through extensive coaching and feedback from seasoned entrepreneurs and investors, participants gain valuable knowledge and experience on how to launch a start-up.

Quote:

"I came to INSEAD with the aspiration to build a new venture, and it was the INSEAD Venture Competition that helped turn that aspiration into reality. In addition to the invaluable mentorship from Ben and Nancy throughout our journey, the rigorous schedule of the IVC helped us stay focused in an MBA year full of fun and distractions. With all the help and support from the IVC, we were able to turn SPATULA from an idea into a fully operating business in just a few months. For any founder serious about building a business, you don't want to miss out on the IVC!" – Ian Weng MBA’21J, 42nd IVC Winner

Information Session - 14 September 2021

1) Tips on what you can expect from the IVC 2) How to prepare your venture summary so it will resonate with the judges, and much more.

 

Dates to remember

The IVC is a rigourous three stage competition which culminates with the top six teams pitching to a panel of judges for seed funding and various prizes. Judges will use a scoresheet with elements found under the IVC Criteria as a guide for judging each entry.

Stage 1: Call for entry – Team registration & venture summary submission

Registration opens: 6 September 2021
Submission deadline: 28 September 2021, 09:00 CET / 15:00 SGT
Announcement of Semi-Finalists: 22 October 2021

  • Teams to submit their venture summaries (up to 4 pages + 1 optional cover page).
  • Submissions evaluated by pool of judges from the INSEAD Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR) programme. At least four judges will assess each venture summary.
  • Judges will select the top 12 most compelling ventures to progress to the semi-finals.

Stage 2: Submission of full venture plan / Semifinals

Due date for venture plans: 15 November 2021, 09:00 CET / 16:00 SGT
IVC Semi-finals: 24 November 2021

  • Semifinalists to submit full venture plan (maximum 15 A4-sized pages, including exhibits and appendices).
  • Teams will be assigned 2 mentors and have access to IVC Chairperson for guidance.
  • Teams will have a total of 12 minutes (5 mins pitch / 7 mins Q&A) to present to judges. Judges will select up to six top teams to advance to the final.

Stage 3: Revised venture plan (optional) / Final

Due date for revised venture plans: 1 December 2021, 09:00 CET / 16:00 SGT
IVC Final: 8 December 2021

  • Finalists have the option to submit revised venture plans based on feedback received.
  • Finalists will have a total of 17 minutes (7 mins + 10 mins Q&A) to pitch their ventures to judges who will select the top 3 ventures.
Note:
  • Mentoring and practice pitches will be organised for teams proceeding to the Semifinals and Final rounds of the competition. Teams which do not advance to the next round may request for a mentor/advisor to continue developing with their venture idea.
  • Videos of finalist presentations are made available after each competition. Documents and materials may be referenced in INSEAD degree programme courses and as examples for future IVC participants.

Know the rules!

The IVC is an INTERNAL competition open only to current INSEAD degree programmes including MBA, GEMBA, TIEMBA, MIM, and MFIN participants. Teams must have an INSEAD participant who will assume the primary role to develop the venture plan and pitch to the judges. The member would also have a significant role, as a founder/co-founder, should the team win the competition. Distinguished judges comprising of venture capitalists, angel investors and/or entrepreneurs will designate the prize and award winners of the competition.

Teams

  • Venture ideas should come from the INSEAD degree programme students/participants. They should also be the ones to prepare most of the business plan, pitch deck and deliver the presentation.
  • Maximum of six members per entry. Each member can only participate in the submission of ONE ENTRY to the competition. Multiple entries are not allowed. Team members who are alumni or non-INSEAD students/participants are admissible but can only participate in the Q&A sessions during the Semifinals and Final.
  • Changes to team members are allowed up until the semifinalist’s submission of the venture plan. The Maag Centre for Entrepreneurship admin team must be informed of any changes made.
  • Winners of past IVC are NOT to participate in the competition with the same venture idea. Teams which have participated and did not win a prize may compete with the same venture idea but should show significant highlights of growth made over the last competition.

Ventures

  • New venture is defined as not formed, in operation or incorporated earlier than 12 months at the time of the competition's “Call for Entry”.
  • There are no restrictions regarding business sector other than the business activities must be legal. Social-oriented ventures are admissible and encouraged.

Confidentiality & IP Protection

  • IVC participants are responsible for any information that they share as part of the competition. The Maag Centre for Entrepreneurship takes no responsibility for unwanted or unintended disclosure of protectable ideas or content shared by the participants or teams. It is advisable for participants to seek their own legal counsel if they have any questions regarding the protection of their ideas or content.
  • Entrants to the competition must agree to make their venture summaries and plans available for INSEAD’s pedagogical purposes. Videos of finalists’ presentations will be uploaded and made available online after each competition.
  • The Executive Committee of the Maag Centre for Entrepreneurship reserves the rights to update these rules at any time.

Only for Winners - Claim of prize monies

  • The winning team members are responsible amongst themselves for any agreements, ownership rights, change in team members and engagements before, during and after the competition.
  • The newly incorporated company, as presented during the IVC, must have INSEAD team member(s) as founders or co-founders on the company’s documents. If any eligible team member(s) decide not to be part of the incorporated company, he/she will have to give a letter of consent or acknowledgement before the claim of the prize money.
  • The company is to be legally incoporated (anywhere in the world), within six months after the IVC prize announcement, with an official bank account and details. No disbursement of funds will be made to individual founding members.
  • Any change to the company's name should be made known to the Maag Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Prizes

The judges will determine the winners using a combination of raw scores, rankings and any other means that they deem appropriate at the time. Feedback is encouraged and given to teams throughout the various stages. Such feedback may or may not fully represent all factors considered by the judging panel when determining the winners of any prize.

Winner - Thomas C. Barry Prize: €40,000 seed funding

  • + 30 days development support from MOHARA
  • + USD25,000 AWS Activate Package
  • + USD10,000 Freshworks credit across all products
  • + Automatic berth in the summer NAA UK entrepreneurs group business angel event
  • + Automatic berth in the Angel Club @ IAA Germany pitch event
  • + Bespoke introduction and access to leading investors in your choice of Europe (Central Europe, Eastern Europe and/or Israel), the UK, the US (Silicon Valley and/or New York), and Asia (Singapore and/or Hong Kong). The offer is open to the winning team, either the team collectively or the team members individually.
  • + USD10,000 investment from Loyal.vc

Runner-Up: €20,000 seed funding

  • + 10 days development support from MOHARA
  • + USD25,000 AWS Activate Package
  • + USD10,000 Freshworks credit across all products

Patrick Turner MBA'78 Prize: €10,000 seed funding

  • + USD25,000 AWS Activate Package
  • + USD10,000 Freshworks credit across all products

Social Impact Prize (optional): €5,000 support for business expenses

  • Prize to be awarded to a venture which addresses a COVID-19 pandemic solution with a social impact angle.
  • Prize is generously sponsored by the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society

Our distinguished supporters

We are indebted to our generous INSEAD alumni, friends and partners for their gifts and time to support the IVC.

 

 
 

 

 
 

Registration

The IVC is an internal INSEAD competition open to current INSEAD MBA, EMBAs (GEMBA and or/TIEMBA), MFIN and MIM students.

For the first round, participants are required to submit a 4 page venture summary along with name(s) of team member(s). Each team is allowed a minimum of one member and maximum of six members.

To access the registration page, you will need to use your INSEAD email account and password. If you are denied access to the site, kindly check the rules on your eligibility. If you have issues with your login, please send your request to the INSEAD IT Service Desk.

Registration for the 43rd IVC is CLOSED!

The next competition for the 44th IVC will be from Mar to Jun 2022. Application for registration will be opened sometime end Feb/early Mar, 2022.

Register Here

Semi-finals, 24 November 2021

Thirteen teams will present to a panel of 5 judges. Each team will have a maximum of 5 minutes for presentation and another 7 minutes Q&A from the judges.

We invite you to join us online to watch the teams pitch their innovative venture ideas to the judges

REGISTER HERE

Programme

Asia (SGT)Europe (CET)

Schedule (5-min Pitch & 7-min Q&A)

15:5008:50Welcome Address by Ms. Nancy Hsieh, Executive Director of Rudolf & Valeria Maag ICE and Mr. Ben Ling, IVC Chairperson
16:0009:00Team BellaWealth: App offering the best-In-class wealth planning services to women at affordable cost. Members: Vishalakshi Verma - MBA'22J, Ramesh Botta - GEMBA'23E, Neely Soni & Pulkit Saxena
16:1409:14

Team Fittle: All-in-one bench (fitness equipment) combined with engaging and motivating content app to provide progressive full body workouts anywhere. Members: Dolapo Koku, Isabel Holder, Laura McGinnis, Tony Adams - MBA'21D & Ben Gordon – MBA’22J

16:2809:28Team Little Wallet: Money management platform for kids aged 6-18 years, improving financial literacy and promoting better parent-child financial connectivity through self learning, empowerment, and inclusion. Members: Rahul Sharma – GEMBA'23A & Dhanashree Sharma
16:4209:42Team Footbit: Smart footwear technology for fitness and lifestyle enthusiasts. Members: Filippo Principi - MBA’21D, Simone Tanzarella & Sofia Telatin
16:5609:56Team RetroStar: One-stop-shop with a suite of options to simplify the energy retrofit process from start to finish. Members: George Korakitis - MBA’21D, Nikolas Kampas & Winston Tan – MBA'21J Alumni & Amy Paterson
17:1010:10Team Saturne-I: AI solution for agriculture insurance & climate risk. Members: Olivier Puech & Xin Xu - GEMBA'22E
17:2410:24Team Seggu: 100% digital insurance broker partnered with the largest and best insurance policy underwriter in Brazil. Seggu facilitates the auto insurance from start to finish and customize policy. Members: Leticia Neves & Fernanda Nebreda – MBA’21D, Alfredo Cavalcante & Raissa Dantas
17:3810:38Break
17:5010:50Team sensate: A sensor that is placed on the back of any traditional watch allowing for health tracking functionality while maintaining the sophisticated look of a traditional watch. Sensate is paired with an app which provides insights and analytics about your overall health level. Members: Amaya Mugica Ortiz, Anjum Rangwala, Janine Bacher & Maximilian Ebner – MBA’22J
18:0411:04Team Sora: A privacy-preserving, address-less shipping tool for C2C e-commerce. Sora operates as a virtual data intermediary between senders, recipients, and shipping carriers, and is available via browser extension, app plugins, and web app. Members: Thomas Borgers – MBA’21D & Dimitri Borgers
18:1811:18Team Switch-E: Social mobile app that encourages users to reduce their energy consumption during peak hours in exchange for rewards. Switch-E acts as a demand response aggregator (DRA): collecting the reduced energy of user-base and selling it to various energy stakeholders. Members: Carl Lackmann, David Young, Marie-Clara Schwab, Niklas Rudolf & Sibylle Soers – MIM'22
18:3211:32Team Symbio: A product and process platform enabling industrialized energy renovations as well as enjoyable and hassle-free user experience for building owners. Members: Emanuele Bressan & Jakob Langen – MBA’21D
18:4612:46Team Voice Over: A platform that uses AI and community-based reviews helping amateur scriptwriters to perfect their work, and production studios to find the ideal script for their movie. Members: Ladislav Habinak, Marco Palleschi & Stephane Gielkens – MBA’21D, Sophia Cui - MBA'22J, Nicola Mazza de Piccioli & Vojtech Nedved
19:0012:00Team Willow: Social remembrance platform where everyone’s story gets told. Members: Adam Fischer, Ankit Agrawal, Julia Gaumier, Nicolas Blondel & Aishik Dhar – MBA’22J
19:1512:15Presentation by Marloes van Leersum, Marketing Director of Fundsup – “The pros and cons of angel investment and how the Fundsup platform can help you”
20:1513:15Judges’ feedback to all teams follows by announcement of finalists

Final, 8 December 2021

Seven teams will present to a panel of judges. Each team will have 7 minutes for presentation follow by another 10 minutes for Q&A, a total of 17 minutes. All presentations will be videotaped and may be used in future INSEAD MBA electives.

We invite you to join us online to watch the teams pitch their innovative venture ideas.

REGISTER HERE

Programme

Asia (SGT)Europe (CET)

Schedule (7-min Pitch & 10-min Q&A)

16:0009:00Welcome Address by Ms. Nancy Hsieh, Executive Director of Maag INSEAD Centre for Entrepreneurship and Mr. Ben Ling, IVC Chairperson
16:1009:10Team Seggu: 100% digital insurance broker partnered with the largest and best insurance policy underwriter in Brazil. Seggu facilitates the auto insurance from start to finish and customize policy. Members: Leticia Neves & Fernanda Nebreda – MBA’21D, Alfredo Cavalcante & Raissa Dantas
16:3009:30Team Switch-E: Social mobile app that encourages users to reduce their energy consumption during peak hours in exchange for rewards. Switch-E acts as a demand response aggregator (DRA): collecting the reduced energy of user-base and selling it to various energy stakeholders. Members: Carl Lackmann, David Young, Marie-Clara Schwab, Niklas Rudolf & Sibylle Soers – MIM'22
16:5009:50Team Sora: A privacy-preserving, address-less shipping tool for C2C e-commerce. Sora operates as a virtual data intermediary between senders, recipients, and shipping carriers, and is available via browser extension, app plugins, and web app. Members: Thomas Borgers – MBA’21D & Dimitri Borgers
17:1010:10Team Willow: Social remembrance platform where everyone’s story gets told. Members: Adam Fischer, Ankit Agrawal, Julia Gaumier, Nicolas Blondel & Aishik Dhar – MBA’22J
17:3010:20Break
17:4010:40Team RetroStar: One-stop-shop with a suite of options to simplify the energy retrofit process from start to finish. Members: George Korakitis - MBA’21D, Nikolas Kampas & Winston Tan – MBA'21J Alumni & Amy Paterson
18:0011:00Team Little Wallet: Money management platform for kids aged 6-18 years, improving financial literacy and promoting better parent-child financial connectivity through self learning, empowerment, and inclusion. Members: Rahul Sharma – GEMBA'23A & Dhanashree Sharma
18:2011:20Team Fittle: All-in-one bench (fitness equipment) combined with engaging and motivating content app to provide progressive full body workouts anywhere. Members: Dolapo Koku, Isabel Holder, Laura McGinnis, Tony Adams - MBA'21D & Ben Gordon – MBA’22J
18:4011:40Presentation by Dima Djani, EMBA'18Dec - CEO & Founder of Alami and 35th Dec IVC runner-up winner
19:3012:30Break
19:4012:40Judges’ Feedback & Presentation of Awards

Criteria & Judges' profiles

Throughout all three stages, judges will be provided with a scoresheet based on the elements below as a guide to evaluate the team's venture summary, business plan or pitch. Cash prizes awarded to teams, in the judges' opinion, offer the best combination of business potential, credible founder(s), and likelihood of successful implementation.

Summary & Venture plan requirement

Elements to consider and include when crafting your summary or plan:

  • Team: quality of team and fit with the idea; credentials to show a capability to take on specific roles and responsibilities; advisory board, strategy partners;
  • Execution Plan: clear and believable path forward; know what must be done and how; timeline and execution plan
  • Financials: business model; financial forecasts & valuation; funding required and for what purpose
  • First round - Structure of Venture Summary: clarity and quality of writing; structure and sequence of ideas; the document reads well
  • Semifinals & Final - Presentation & Structure of Plan: clarity and quality of writing; structure and sequence of ideas; presentation slides; Verbal presentation/Q&A
  • Innovation & Value Proposition: original/innovative idea; solves a problem for customers; must-have vs. nice-to-have; feasible, marketable, profitable
  • Market Opportunity & Strategy: potentially large/fast growing market; niche identification; competitor and customer analysis; effective strategy
  • Sustainable Competitive Advantage: sustainability; differentiation from competitors; IP strategy
  • Product & Services: clear product/service/platform description; offering is superior to competitors; addresses actual customer needs
  • Potential to invest in this idea: credibility and persuasiveness; venture has merit and will create value; understanding of entrepreneurship; demonstrates industry knowledge
  • Viability: Long-term survival; sustainable profits or business model
 

IVC Chairperson & Judges

43rd IVC Semifinals, Wednesday, 24 November 2021

 

  • Ben Ling

    Ben Ling, EMBA'16Dec, IVC Chair

    Founder & CEO of Equilibria Hotels & Properties

  • Kun Jiang

    Kun Jiang, MBA'13D

    Managing Director, Key Investments

  • Inti Paolucci

    Inti Paolucci, EMBA'15Dec

    Founding Partner, Feel Venture Partners

  • Ruby Teo

    Ruby Teo

    Founder & CEO, Stalford Education Group

  • Shaun Hon

    Shaun Hon

    General Partner, Motion Ventures

  • Bart-Jan van Leersum

    Bart-Jan van Leersum

    Former Alternative Investments Fund Selector, Rabobank Private Banking

  •  

43rd IVC Final, Wednesday, 8 December 2021

 

Frequently asked questions

Can I participate if I am not an INSEAD student?
The IVC is an internal competition mainly for current INSEAD students. The objective is to help them accelerate an idea during their course of study and subsequently create a new venture upon graduation.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of team members allowed on a venture’s team?
Teams may have a minimum of 1 and maximum of 6 members. Involvement of external members from outside INSEAD degree programme is allowed up to maximum of 2 members.

I am an exchange student at INSEAD but would like to take part. Can I participate in the IVC?
The competition is open to current students of the INSEAD degree programme. As an exchange student, you may ask to join in a current student’s team but will not be allowed to pitch during the semifinals or final round.

Can I participate in multiple teams?
Each person can only participate in the submission of one team to the IVC. Being a member in multiple teams is not allowed.  However, if your venture does not advance past the first round, you may join a semifinals team if you are asked.

If I register to participate, may I withdraw from the competition later on? At what point am I fully committed to the competition?
If you should wish to withdraw at any point, please inform us immediately.

Do you only accept a 4-page venture summary at the first stage or will a first version of the business plan be acceptable? What criteria will the judges use to evaluate my submission?
The first stage of the competition requires teams to submit only the 4-page (A4-sized) venture summary. Judges will evaluate these summaries based on a set of elements provided in a score sheet. You may find the general guide under Judges & Criteria.

Are participants allowed to participate after graduation?
INSEAD alumni are allowed to participate as part of an existing student’s team. They will not be allowed to pitch to judges but can participate during the Q&A.

I am working on developing an idea with an external company, founders of whom are not INSEAD students. If I am playing an active role in the development of the business, am I able to apply?
You are eligible to participate as long as your business idea is less than a year from the point when the "Call for Entry" is announced. Your team members can be external partners or non-INSEAD participants but they will not be allowed to pitch to judges during the semifinals and final round of the competition.

I had already participated in the previous competition with no success. Can I participate again with the same project?
If your venture did not win a prize in any of the previous IVCs, you are eligible to apply again with the same project.

I have a reasonably mature business idea that I would like to present for the competition. Can I register my business idea if my company is not yet incorporated?
The IVC is restricted to new ventures. As long as you have not yet incorporated the business, you are eligible to register for the competition

Is the company’s incorporation a requisite at present time or only in the case when the venture is awarded a monetary prize?
The criterion to incorporate the company within 6 months only applies to award winners after the competition.

We are in the midst of recruitment, assignments and classes. Is it possible to extend the IVC summary/plan submission past the deadline?
The competition is intense and all deadlines are fixed. No exceptions to the deadlines will be made.

Are there any specifications for the documents of the venture summary and business plans (font size, margins and spacing)? Should it be a Word or PowerPoint file?
So long as the font size is no smaller than 8 and it fits into the maximum 4 pages (1st round venture summary) or 15 pages (semifinals and final business plan), inclusive of exhibits and appendices, there is no set format on how you should present your plan.  We encourage you to be creative and make the business plans easy and engaging to read. All documents must be in A4 size paper.

Is there a dress code for the presentation?
There is no particular dress code but our suggestion is to dress smart since you are presenting to panel of judges/and or audience who may be your potential investor.

We are part of the IVC team and although very interested with all the projects, we were just wondering whether if it would be possible to attend at a specific time so as not to miss our class.
It is fine for you or any of your fellow classmates to drop in any time whilst the competition is ongoing. We do understand that your classes take priority. However please be mindful when entering the Amphi or Auditorium, especially when a team is presenting, to avoid loud noise and minimise disruption. Note: for 2020 & early 2021, the IVC had taken place online via Zoom due to the pandemic.

Mentors & Resources

Internal Support

Our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) volunteer their time on campus and online to share their expertise and provide students with direct feedback on entrepreneurial topics in all stages of the entrepreneurship journey. We currently have over 160 entrepreneurs who cover a wide range of domains and industries. Have a one-on-one conversation with them to get advice on your startup and learn about what it is like living an entrepreneurial life.

Quote: “Point of view of people who have been through the process of starting up ventures, being in the position of running and growing a small company. Sincere feedback on improvement areas. Genuine interest in our project and networking opportunities.”

The Rudolf & Valeria Maag INSEAD Centre for Entrepreneurship organises the bi-yearly venture competition to help students accelerate their idea during the course of their study. We also offer a variety of other programmes, activities and resources for those who are interested in pursuing entrepreneurship. Do keep in touch and stay connected with us on our LinkedIn group!

Alumni Support

INSEADAlum Ventures Pte Ltd (“IAV”) is a investment company focused on providing seed funding, value-added resources and mentorship to selected INSEAD alumni who are becoming entrepreneurs after graduation. IAV is founded by two INSEAD Alumni with successful track records as entrepreneurs and investors; Deepak Shahdadpuri (MBA‘98D) and William Klippgen (MBA‘03D). IAV will invest from SGD $50k to $200k in each start-up and will help develop the start-ups to a point where they easily can raise further seed or Series A funding.

INSEAD Angels (Asia), an alumni investment club, provides early-stage seed minority investment to high-calibrate start-ups where the founder or co-founder is an INSEAD alum. The club encompasses alumni with diversity of thought and experience. They balance their vision on three pillars: i) funding and mentoring for the entrepreneurs, ii) returns for the investors, and iii) contributing portion of the returns to INSEAD.

IVC Support

Amazon Web Services provides startups with low cost, easy to use infrastructure needed to scale and grow any size business. AWS Activate is a program with resources designed to help startups get started on AWS. Join some of the fastest-growing startups in the world and build your business using AWS.

Freshworks is one of the fastest-growing unicorns backed by Google Capital, Accel, Sequoia, Tiger Global with $400M funding, valued at $3.5Bn+. They're a leading maker of the cloud-based customer and employee engagement software based in San Mateo, California. INSEAD startups get up to $4000 in credits on the Freshworks suite of products! Boost your startup journey with leading customer and employee engagement solutions from Freshworks including CRM, LiveChat, Support, Marketing automation, Project Management, and HRMS.    Priority access to Freshworks startup program including, events, resources, workshops, and much more.  Check out an introduction video here.  

Map of Money is a platform to connect amazing entrepreneurs to great investors with a focus on Southeast Asia.

MOHARA is a global product, technology and venture development specialist who partner with startups and corporates, with offices based in London (HQ), Brighton, Bangkok, Cape Town and Dallas. New and existing businesses make the same innovation mistakes every day - technology is the end game, not the starting point. Without laying the right foundations to truly innovate, businesses expose themselves to problems like poor product-market fit, little return on investment and negative perceptions of innovation. MOHARA has a proven process to help you create, launch and scale innovative technology products.

Tin Men Capital is a Singapore-based venture capital firm and with focus in enterprise technology segments with large and growing Total Addressable Markets (TAM) in Southeast Asia. As an INSEAD EIR, Murli Ravi, co-founder of Tin Men Capital, would like to share some chats he had with successful entrepreneurs from SE Asia on Spotify and other channels like Podcasts etc.

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