Overview of VentureCat
VentureCat is a day-long showcase and celebration of Northwestern’s most promising student-founded startups. The event culminates with a pitch competition, in which over $100,000 in prize money will be distributed to student ventures.
VentureCat is an evolution of the Northwestern University Venture Challenge (NUVC), which was originally introduced in 2007. From inception, NUVC has distinguished itself from other pitch competitions around the globe by organizing competitors in industry-specific tracks, which leverages the rich expertise of distinct schools from across the university in both graduate and undergraduate programs, and awarding top teams with non-dilutive capital.
VentureCat is an experience for Northwestern’s 25 most promising student-founded startups teams to network and pitch their ventures to an esteemed panel of judges and the broader community. New this year, semifinal teams will participate in the Four Week Semifinalist Prep Program. The program will include: pitch coaching, advice from industry experts, and professional graphic design support .
On May 24, 2017, those 25 teams will compete in one of six tracks: Business Products and Services, Consumer Products and Services, Green Energy and Sustainability, Life Sciences and Medical Innovations, Social Enterprises and Nonprofit, and Transportation and Mobility. The 1st place winner of each track will take the main stage to compete for the grand prize at the Finals.
VentureCat 2017 Semifinalists
Business Products and Services (B to B)
Consumer Products and Services (B to C)
The Right Hook
Energy and Sustainability
Life Sciences and Medical Innovations
LifeMotion Technologies, LLC
Social Impact and Nonprofit
Transportation and Mobility
Intelligent Flying Machines, Inc.
2017 Finals Judges
- Bret Maxwell McCormick ’80, KSM ’82- Managing General Partner, MK Capital
- Bruce Barron – Partner & Co-Founder, Origin Ventures
- Jim Dugan KSM ’97- CEO, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, OCA Ventures
- Kevin Willer – Partner, Chicago Ventures
- Michael Liang – Partner, Baird Capital
- Robert Hatta – Partner, Drive Capital
- Samara Mejia Hernandez KSM ’14- Senior Associate, MATH Venture Partners
- The Graide Network – connecting middle and high school teachers with qualified teaching assistants to grade and provide feedback on student work
- Surgical Innovation Associates – an early stage medical and surgical device company focused on soft tissue repair
- Eat Pakd – delivering customized, healthy lunches to your door
- Opticent Health – positively impacting healthcare monitoring and delivery through the commercialization of next generation patient-specific technologies that address unmet needs for diseases across a range of medical practices