Case Western Reserve University students and recent alumni will compete for money for startup businesses in a new annual competition that honors legendary investor David Morgenthaler.
JumpStart Inc. and the Morgenthaler family, with CWRU trustee and venture capitalist Bob Pavey, created the Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition.
Venture teams, each composed of at least one CWRU student or recent alumnus, will submit presentations for their business concepts to economics professor Scott Shane’s entrepreneurial finance class by the end of October.
The class will evaluate the ventures and select the top six to present to a panel of venture capitalists in March.
The judges will select three winners, who will receive prizes provided by JumpStart. First place is $25,000, second is $15,000 and third is $10,000.
All six finalists will be mentored by JumpStart and connected by the nonprofit to capital, talent and other business development resources in Northeast Ohio.
“We want a competition that creates new, viable high-potential companies coming out of Case Western Reserve University, and we want to train students to invest in these companies,” said Shane, the A. Malachi Mixon III Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at theWeatherhead School of Management, in a statement. Shane is directing the new program.
Lead backers of the competition are JumpStart, which supports and invests in Ohio-based tech startups, and Pavey, managing partner of Pavey Investments in Cleveland and Silicon Valley, California, and partner emeritus at Cleveland-based Morgenthaler Ventures.
Morgenthaler, who died in 2016, was president, chairman or director of more than 30 companies, and considered among the earliest venture capitalists, backing such emerging tech businesses as Apple and Nextel. His Morgenthaler Ventures has raised more than $3 billion and helped more than 325 startups.
“Dave and I have always believed institutions can enhance their student’s academic and life experience by adding something new,” Pavey said in a statement. “We have taken a similar approach at a number of universities around the country, where we were alums, and I am excited that we have an opportunity to do it at home here at CWRU in Cleveland, too. This would have made Dave very happy.”
JumpStart CEO Ray Leach said Morgenthaler “was always asking me how JumpStart could play a more significant role in accelerating entrepreneurship at CWRU. 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.”