Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition

The Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition gives entrepreneurs the chance to win up to $25,000 to grow their ventures and up to $10,000 to support their business ideas.

April 6, 2022
In-person and Virtual

Participants in the Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition (MPSC) must have a current CWRU student (undergraduate or graduate) OR CWRU alum that has some equity stake in the company (either part of the founding team or early employee) are eligible to apply. Companies are selected with the help of Case Western Reserve University students, with support from industry experts.

Applications for the 2022 competition are due February 1, 2022.
Applicants will hear back on their status by February 25, 2022. 

Apply for the Idea Track here.

Apply for the Venture Track here.

Not sure which track you belong in, or looking for more information? Check out the FAQ below.

Current timeline for the 2022 competition

  • January 31, 2022 | MPSC Applications Due
  • February 1 - 20, 2022 | Due Diligence Done by CWRU Students 
  • February 25, 2022 | MPSC Finalists Announced
  • April 6, 2022 | MPSC Pitch Competition

Finalists will take the stage at MPSC on April 6th, 2022 to pitch their business, where judges will award up to $25,000 in prizes for the venture track and $10,000 for the idea track.


I am a CWRU graduate but not currently enrolled, can I enter this competition?
Yes, startups must have a current CWRU student (undergraduate or graduate) or CWRU alum that has equity stake in the company (either founder vesting or 1% of the company vested in the future) are eligible to apply. Ideas must also have a student or alum on the team.  (Note: there is no time restriction on alumni status). A current CWRU student or CWRU alum should be the team’s point of contact for the competition.

How do you define “part of a founding team?”
For the purposes of this competition, a founding team member is defined as a person with an equity position in a startup company.

For the Venture Track, how established must my business be in order to compete? Are ideas or business plans acceptable?
This competition is for startups that have an operating agreement in place. Startups that are found to lack an operating agreement will not be considered in this track of the competition. Groups without an operating agreement should apply as part of the idea track.

For the Idea Track, what kind of ideas should be presented? How early is too early?
We are looking for applicants to demonstrate the discovery of a meaningful problem with a meaningful solution (idea) that has market potential. That's it! We do not expect you to have a formed company for this track, just an idea that has potential to become a product or service.

Can my business or my team be located outside Ohio or even outside the United States?
As long as your team includes at least one current CWRU student or a CWRU alum you are eligible to enter this competition. There are no geographical restrictions. 

When is the entry deadline?
Applications and pitch decks must be submitted by January 31, 2022 at 11:59PM ET.

What should I put in my pitch deck?
Here is a guideline as to what a pitch deck should cover. Pitches do not need to follow this exact format; however, we advise that you touch on these elements during your presentation.

When will the finalists be notified that they have been selected to pitch at the main event?
The competition finalists will be notified on February 25.

Who will make the final decision on who is selected as a finalist?
CWRU student evaluators will score each entry with input from venture industry experts, professionals and the Veale Institute team. These scores will be aggregated and compared in order to identify the finalists in each track.

How will these evaluators score the pitch deck submissions?
All idea track submissions will be scored according to the idea track rubric and all venture track submissions will be scored according to the venture track rubric

What happens if I am not selected as a finalist?
You should continue to work on your business or idea. You are encouraged to work with the Veale Institute and LaunchNet to see how you can improve, and we encourage you to apply again next year!

Will teams that are not selected be given any feedback?
Yes. Completed evaluations will be passed on to each participant so they can see how their entry was scored.

What help will finalists get before the pitch competition?
The Veale Institute and LaunchNet will work with the finalists to make sure that they are prepared to pitch at the main event.

Is this prize money or an investment offer?
The Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition offers prize money. No equity stake or term sheets will be involved. The competition should, however, provide valuable exposure to accredited investors to help ease the process of attracting equity investors down the line.