New Venture Challenge

Registration deadline is Tuesday at 5 p.m. Visit cunvc.org for more information.

The University of Colorado's New Venture Challenge is encouraging the campus community to turn dreams into realities through entrepreneurship -- along with more than $10,000 in prize money.

The CU-Boulder's New Venture Challenge (CUNVC) is a campus-wide a business competition, hosted by the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, allowing local business-minded students, faculty or residents to pitch business plans to investors.

Matthew Burns, director of the CUNVC, said a goal of he challenge is to connect teams to mentors -- some are CU professors and many of them are community professionals.

"Some teams that come in the door have more experience than others," said Burns. "They may have already taken steps to make them into a business, but its really more of a launch-pad for teams that have ideas that they want to turn into a business but haven't really done that yet."

A stipulation, Burns said, is at least one member of each team must be a student, faculty, or staff member at CU.

Throughout the challenge the NVC organizes workshops and speakers, said Ogheneovo Dibie, co-founder of last year's winning team, Rideorama.

"(Speakers) talk on specific topics, like teambuilding or pitching ideas," said Dibie.

Although workshops have already begun, last-minute entries can still be competitive, Burns said.

CU junior and NVC participant Fletcher Richman said the workshops are an educational way to learn how to build a business from the ground up.

"I think it's one of the coolest things that happens on campus," said Richman, who is competing this year for the second time. "The energy and some of the ideas are just awesome."

CU graduate Bryant Mason, who won his division and second place overall in 2012, said the challenge was "one of the most critical things" in helping his business move forward

"(The New Venture Challenge) was one of the most important things in my success to this day," Mason said.

The prizes, provided by local sponsors, also provide extra incentive.

Last year's winners, Boulder airport ride-share company Rideorama, collected $8,000. Dibie said his team split half of the winnings among one another and used the other half to invest in the company's website.

Mason's team, The Urban Farm Company, won $6,000 that he used to buy landscaping tools and lease a truck for his company.

All three participants who were interviewed said it was a great experience and would do it again if they had the chance.

"We have 29 teams right now and I'm hoping to have around 50," Burns said.

Registration deadline is Wednesday at 5 p.m. Find out more information at cunvc.org.