Why is everyone surveying his or her friends with exciting ideas?
Why does everyone with an entrepreneurial spark have dark eye circles lately?
What are they awaiting anxiously after those dark eye circles have faded?
What are they so excited about in the next few days?
How will investors grill them if they get in?
How will the ideas evolve into real businesses over time?
What is it like standing on the stage of the Finals?
It’s that exciting time again!
This year we decided to create a series of articles to share with you, in real time, what it is like to compete in the #1 university accelerator program across the nation – the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC). The program has graduated more than 160 start-up companies still in operation today and created thousands of jobs for the economy. NVC companies have achieved more than $4 billion in mergers and exits, including Braintree, which acquired Venmo and was then later acquired by PayPal in 2013 for $800 million; Bump Technologies, which was acquired by Google in 2013; and GrubHub, which completed an IPO in April 2014.