Late in the summer, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) partnered with university trustee and venture capitalist Bob Pavey, JumpStart and the Morgenthaler family to introduce the new Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition.
Designed to identify and support high-potential startup companies coming out of CWRU, the annual competition is currently seeking applications from ventures whose founding teams include at least one currently enrolled CWRU student or an alumnus who has graduated within the last five years.
The competition will place students on both sides of the financing process, as all submissions (due November 15) will be reviewed by CWRU ‘s entrepreneurial finance class, led by CWRU’s A. Malachi Mixon III Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies Scott Shane.
Shane’s students will have the opportunity to step into a venture capitalist’s shoes to make initial evaluations of the ventures and select the top six, who will then be invited to present in March at a demo day-style competition held at the CWRU’s Sears think[box], a 50,000 square-foot innovation and entrepreneurship center.
Regional investors, acting as competition judges, will select three winners to receive financial prizes provided by JumpStart. First place is $25,000, second is $15,000 and third is $10,000. While monetary prizes will only be awarded to the top three, all six finalists will be mentored by JumpStart and connected to capital, talent and other business development resources in Northeast Ohio.
Beyond supporting CWRU student and alumni ventures, the competition also aims to honor the legacy of American venture capital industry titan David Morgenthaler, who passed away in 2016. Morgenthaler served as president, chairman or director of more than 30 companies and was among the earliest venture capitalists to back legendary tech startups such as Apple and Nextel. His Morgenthaler Ventures has raised more than $3 billion and helped more than 325 startups.
“Dave was always asking me how JumpStart could play a more significant role in accelerating entrepreneurship at CWRU,” said JumpStart CEO Ray Leach. “That is why we’re so excited about the opportunity to partner with Bob Pavey and our long-time partner, the Ohio Third Frontier, to create an entrepreneurial competition that will have a lasting impact at CWRU for many years to come.”