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INSEAD Centre for Entrepreneurship

INSEAD Venture Competition - INSEAD Centre for Entrepreneurship

Overview

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.

Click here to view the slides from the information session to gain some ideas of what to include in your four page venture summary for the first round.

"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

 

Key dates

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: 1 February 2024, 09:00 CET / 16:00 SGT
Submission deadline: 04 March 2024, 09:00 CET / 16:00 SGT

  • Submit venture summaries (up to 4 A4-sized pages + 1 optional cover page, no smaller than 10pt font ).
  • At least 4 judges will assess & evaluate each venture summary.
  • 12 most compelling ventures to progress to the semi-finals.

Stage 2: Semifinals - Submission of full venture plan

Semi-Finalists Announcement: 28 March 2024
Venture plans due date: 29 April 2024, 09:00 CET / 15:00 SGT
IVC Semi-finals: 15 May 2024

  • Submit full venture plan (maximum 15 A4-sized pages + 1 optional cover page, no smaller than 10pt font, including exhibits and appendices).
  • Assign 2 mentors and have access to IVC Chairperson for guidance.
  • 12 minutes pitch (5 mins pitch / 7 mins Q&A) to judges.
  • 6 teams to advance to the final.

Stage 3: Final - Revised venture plan (optional)

Revised venture plans due date: 27 May 2024, 09:00 CET / 15:00 SGT
IVC Final: 12 June 2024

  • Option to submit revised venture plans.
  • 17 minutes pitch (7 mins + 10 mins Q&A) to judges.
  • 3 top ventures as winners of the prize monies.
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.

Rules & Eligibility

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 (ie. 1 February 2023) 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.

Conditions for Claiming Winning Teams' Prize Monies

1. Delivery of prize money:

  • The winning new venture shall fulfill the following cumulative conditions:
  • being legally incorporated (anywhere in the world);
  • having at least one INSEAD team member listed as Founder or co-Founder. If a team member is no longer involved or chooses not to be part of the incorporated company, he/she will have to inform the Maag Centre Organisers by email of his/her consent to the arrangement.
  • Prize money will only be deposited in the official bank account of the winning new venture, at the express exclusion of any individual’s bank account.
  • Should the newly incorporated venture’s name be different from the name used during the competition, a written approval request shall be submitted to INSEAD before the claim of prize money.

Should the above-listed cumulative conditions not be met within six months after the INSEAD Venture Competition’s prize announcement of June 2024, prizes and awards will be forfeited and redistributed at the sole discretion of the organizers.

2. Upon receipt of prize money:

  • The venture shall have at least one INSEAD Founder listed as a major or equal shareholder for a minimal duration of 12 months after INSEAD Venture Competition’s prize announcement;
  • Venture members are responsible amongst themselves for any agreements, ownership rights, and engagements of the new venture;
  • A progress report/shareholder communication shall be sent to the Organisers at 6 months and 12 months mark after the prize announcement. These reports should include (i) a breakdown of expenses with invoices proving the use of the prize money and (ii) a progress update with photos.

Should the Organisers find that these conditions are not met at the end of the above-mentioned 12 months period, INSEAD reserves its right to decide if repayment of the Prize Money will be required.

Prizes & Supporters

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 Grand Prize: €35,000 seed funding

  • + 30 days development support from MOHARA
  • + USD5,000 AWS credits
  • + 90% off 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
  • + USD10,000 investment from Loyal.vc

Runner-Up: €15,000 seed funding

  • + 10 days development support from MOHARA
  • + USD5,000 AWS credits
  • + 90% off Freshworks credit across all products

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

  • + USD5,000 AWS credits
  • + 90% off Freshworks credit across all products

Our distinguished supporters

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

  • Rudolf Maag MBA'73
  • Chaitanya Kalipatnapu MBA’06D; through this gift, he would like to pay tribute to his grandfather, Kondiah Kalipatnapu, for fuelling the entrepreneurship spirit
  • Ben Ling GEMBA’16A
  • All alumni and friends of INSEAD who donated to the Patrick Turner MBA’78 Memorial Fund
  • Ben Blomerley MBA'11J and MOHARA
  • National Alumni Association UK Entrepreneurs Group Business Angel
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Freshworks
  • Loyal.vc
  • Angel Club @ IAAG (INSEAD Alumni Association in Germany)
2022_Loyal-logo
2022_Moharalogo
Freshworks
2019_AWS

Registration

The IVC is an internal INSEAD competition open to current INSEAD MBA, EMBAs (GEMBA and or/TIEMBA), MFIN and MIM students. Please refer to key dates for submission requirements.

To access the registration page, 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 other login issues, please contact INSEAD IT Service Desk.

Entries for the 48th IVC will open on 1 February 2024

Registration

Semi-finals

Teams will present to a panel of 5 invited judges. Each team will have a maximum of 5 minutes for presentation and another 7 minutes Q&A from the judges. We will feature teasers of all teams' venture ideas on our LinkedIn page and other INSEAD social media posts nearer to the week of the semifinals.

 

Programme 

Asia (SGT)

Europe (CET)

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

15:00

9:00

Welcome Address by Nancy Hsieh, Executive Director of Rudolf & Valeria Maag ICE & Ben Ling, IVC Chairperson

15:15

9:15

Team ANETA: Max Haines – MIM’24 & Kaden Schaat
•    Aneta is an innovative software aimed to improve the efficiency of solar sales representatives
 

15:30

9:30

Team Ryme: Neelash Hansjee – MFIN’25
•    Ryme is a music betting and iGaming ecosystem that also combines a content platform and media channel.
 

15:45

09:45

Team Unhook: Vineet Desai, Ram Thilak – GEMBA25A, Kevin Cho – GEMBA24A & Alexandra Cartee – MBA’24D
•    UnHook provides an AI-powered innovative solution to enable conscious and responsible social media consumption.
 

16:00

10:00

Team APT: Varnim Goyal, Viren Sood – MBA’24J & Prakhar Gupta & Prekshi Gupta
•    APT is an AI-Powered platform that revolutionizes personalized education at an affordable price.
 

16:15

10:15

Team Care.Trip: Varun Sharma & Jashan Gupta – MBA’24J
•    CareTrip revolutionizes medical tourism by providing patients access to affordable and quality healthcare globally.
 

16:30

10:30

Team Ella: Nina Haverkamp – MBA’24D

•    Ella is a holistic platform for women 35+ that allows women to manage their hormonal health proactively.

16:45

10:45

Break

17:00

11:00

Team Handshake: Alex Lindsay, Ahmad Badran, Harminder Kaur - MBA'24J
•   Handshake aims to empower retailers & suppliers in their negotiations. In doing so, drive better deals for everyday customers , create greater transparency and accountability , and enable significant cost savings. 

17:15

11:15

Team Hiya: Riley Crane – MBA’24D
•    Hiya is a cohort-based social language learning platform that combined group instruction, peer exchange along with AI-powered feedback.
 

17:30

11:30

Team MXT: Arthur Matjlis, Sanne Blok – MBA’24D & Jass Liew - GEMBA25A
•    MXT offers customized multi-nutrient supplements, making wellness a fun lifestyle for everyone.

 

17:45

11:45

Team MAxAI: Virginie Simon – MBA’24J

•    MAxAI helps pharmaceutical companies put drugs on the market more efficiently using Generative AI. 

18:00

12:00

Team Mashi: Petra Janney – MBA’24D, Patty Isaias & Diego Ortega
•    Mashi is a platform that reduces the gap between the oversupply of adoptable pets and unmet consumer demand, centralizing and streamlining pet adoption across the US.
 

18:15

12:15

Team Simple Solar: Asante Thabethe, Gabby Yupangco, Andy Prachuablarb & Nicholas Evenepoel  – MBA’24D

•    Simply Solar is a solar systems marketplace in South Africa that aggregates solar installation providers and connects them with customers with a seamless customer experience. 

 

18:30

12:30

Break

19:30

13:30

Judges’ feedback to all teams followed by announcement of finalists

Final

Teams will present to a panel of 4-5 invited 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 made available online. 

Programme (to be updated soon)

Asia (SGT)Europe (CET)Schedule: (7-min Pitch & 10-min Q&A)
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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

  • First round - Structure of Venture Summary: clarity and quality of writing; structure and sequence of ideas; the document reads well
  • Semi finals & Final - Presentation & Structure of Plan: clarity and quality of writing; structure and sequence of ideas; presentation slides; Verbal presentation/Q&A

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

  • Team: quality of team and fit with the idea, advisory board, strategy partners
  • Innovation & Value Proposition: original idea that is solving a problem for customers, feasible, marketable, profitable, positive impact, business as a force for good
  • Execution Plan: clear and believable path forward with timeline, know what must be done and how to do it
  • Financials: business model & financial forecasts, funding required
  • Market Opportunity & Strategy: potentially large/fast growing market, competitor and customer analysis, effective strategy
  • Product & Competitive Advantage: clear product/service/platform description, differentiation from competitors
  • Viability: Long-term survival & sustainable profits, ability to attract investors

IVC Chairperson & Judges

Profiles to be updated soon 

FAQs

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.

Are there any sample copy or specifications from past venture summary or business plans? Must the documents be submitted in word document or if detailed power power slides would be appropriate?
No sample copies are available from previous submissions. All teams’ ideas and plans are confidential information. No specific size or margin so long as the information fits the maximum of 4-page for venture summary and 15-pages for plan, inclusive of exhibits and appendices.

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 10 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 channels like Podcasts etc.

For more entrepreneurship advices and useful websites, including competitions, events and podcasts, have a look at our Resources page

Past IVC finalist videos