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Student Resources

Below are helpful resources to consult when preparing to apply for VentureCat. Please review more details on what is required to apply here

Organization & Planning

Student Business Formation Resources website | Developed by Northwestern faculty & staff
This site includes guidance on many common questions and concerns about forming a business as a student. Students will find helpful information on complying with University IP policy, transitioning from class project to business, developing co-founder agreements and more. A Northwestern NetID is required for access.

Business Entity Formation & University IP Policy Overview Session
This prep session from Winter 2021 featured Esther Barron, Director of the Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurship Law Center (DPELC), and Darren Green, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and Practice and faculty in the DPELC. They covered commonly asked questions about entity formation and co-founder agreements. Sarah Kamper, Invention Manager at INVO, Northwestern’s Innovation and New Ventures Office, presented an overview of the University IP policy and steps to ensure you are working in compliance with all guidelines.

How to Write a Great Business Plan by William A. Sahlman | Harvard Business Review

Build Your Lean Canvas | Techstars

Business Model Canvas: The One Tool Startups Need to Brainstorm, Test and Win | First Round Review


Sample Executive Summary

Springrose (VentureCat 2021 third place winner) Application Elevator Pitch Example

Mert Iseri NU ’13, SwipeSense 60-second elevator video pitch | Wall Street Journal

VenutreCat 2021 Semifinalist Pitches | Playlist of recorded pitches on YouTube

VentureCat 2020 Semifinalist Pitches | Playlist of recorded pitches on YouTube

TED’s Secret to Great Public Speaking by Chris Anderson | TED

30 Startup Pitch Decks And What You Can Learn From Them | Piktochart

31 Pitch Deck Slide Examples | Crunchbase

How to Pitch Your Startup | Y Combinator

Master Your Pitch | Techstars

The Pitch | Gimlet Media Podcast