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The Burgess New Venture Challenge showcases Michigan State University’s top student entrepreneurial talent.

The Burgess New Venture Challenge is, at its core, an experiential learning odyssey. It’s an opportunity to bring big ideas and bold solutions to a larger audience. Teams are expected to harness the power of the entrepreneurial mindset, working together and leveraging their members’ strengths. They must also demonstrate the capacity to listen closely to their customer bases and respond quickly with verve.

Our mission is to offer excellence: in mentorship, in connections with successful and emerging entrepreneurial alums, and in the opportunity to build key relationships with investors from across our ecosystem.

Are you ready for the Challenge?


How to Apply

The Burgess New Venture Challenge will use rules & guidelines for submissions set out by the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. For complete information on Eligibility Requirements, Submission Guidelines & Rules, please read the Competition Guidelines.

If you have any questions, please contact Aubrey Haase, haaseaub@msu.edu.

Application Process:

The Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation utilizes StartupTree as its preferred platform for managing application submissions.

To apply, click the 'Enter Now' button, below, to fill out your application.

Important Dates & Deadlines:

Applications Open: December 1, 2020

Application Deadline: February 1, 2021

Semifinalists Notified: February 17, 2021

Semifinalists Announced: February 22, 2021

Competition: April 1, 2021


Each year, the Burgess New Venture Challenge awards over $40,000 in prizes to competing teams. The Top Three Finalists will receive winnings in tranches based on milestones.

All awards will be made available in the form of scholarships. Funds will be transferred to Burgess New Venture Challenge winners via MSU student accounts in compliance with Michigan State University policy guidelines. The remaining semifinalist teams will each receive $500 in the form of scholarship funding. Awards will be paid to the students and are intended as seed funding for the continued building and growth of their ventures. 

All Burgess New Venture Challenge competitors are eligible for support and follow-on resources from the Burgess Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.


1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place

People's Choice


I won a previous competition, will I qualify for Burgess New Venture Challenge?

If the company/idea won a monetary award at a prior Broad Business Model Competition/Burgess New Venture Challenge, you will not be eligible to compete in this Burgess New Venture Challenge.

I have non-Michigan State University students on my team, can our team still participate?

Yes! We require that the company/idea must be at least 50% owned by a currently enrolled student at Michigan State University (undergraduate or graduate) in good academic standing, and the applicant must be a currently enrolled Michigan State University student. 

I was selected as a winner, how will I receive the award?

All awards will be made available in the form of scholarships. Funds will be transferred to Burgess New Venture Challenge winners via MSU student accounts in compliance with Michigan State University policy guidelines.

Who should I contact with any questions?

Contact our Events & Project Coordinator, Aubrey Haase with any questions regarding Burgess New Venture Challenge.

What are the eligibility requirements?

For eligibility requirements, submission guidelines, and rules, please see the Competition Guidelines.

To apply, what will I need?

Please visit Page 4 of the Competition Guidelines for the specific questions you should be prepared to answer.

What deadlines do I need to be aware of?

For all-important deadlines, please visit the 'How to Apply' section.

Can I edit my application?

In StartupTree you will have access to edit your application until February 1, 2021.

If I am selected as a semifinalist, what should I expect?

If selected as a semifinalist, you will be expected to respond by the required reply-by date, attend the mandatory group practice pitch session and understand that you may be contacted on a regular basis and asked to provide data on company status, metrics, and, where applicable, financial information.