Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition

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

Feb. 4, 2021 6 p.m. ET 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 Professor Scott Shane’s Entrepreneurial Finance Class, with support from industry experts.

Applications for the 2021 competition are now closed.
Applicants will hear back on their status by December 21, 2020.


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.  Note there is no time restriction on alumni status.

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.

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 be not be considered in this competition.

Can my business or my team be located outside Ohio or even outside the United States?
As long as your team includes one current CWRU student or a recent graduate (see above) 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 November 15, 2020 at 11:59PM ET.

What happens if I cannot commit to the seven-week gBETA program but I still want to apply to the competition?
Committing to the gBETA program is not a requirement for participating in the MPSC. But, it is definitely a major perk!! (If a company is a finalist and doesn’t want to do it we would probably give the gBETA slot to another company so as to help more CWRU entrepreneurs.) Also we are working on the possibility of virtual participation in the gBETA program.

What should I put in my pitch deck?
Helpful pitch deck guidelines can be found here.

When will the finalists be notified that they have been selected to pitch at Demo Day?
The six competition finalists will be notified before the end of the Fall semester.

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

How will these evaluators score the pitch deck submissions?
All submissions will be scored according to the same scoring rubric.

What happens if I am not a finalist?
You will be given the opportunity to work with our gBETA Directors during office hours on your startup. If your startup grows, we encourage you to apply again next year (bonus points for applying again)!

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 Demo Day?
gener8tor’s gBETA Director will work 1-1 with each finalist for seven weeks during the gBETA program and provide them with input and guidance to help them refine their businesses and the content and delivery of their investor pitches for Demo Day.

What do I get if I win?
Judges will select first ($25,000), second ($15,000) and third place ($10,000) winners at Demo Day. Competition winners will also receive additional support from gener8tor to help them build connections to other sources of funding and assistance to help them grow their businesses.

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. However, the competition should provide valuable exposure to accredited investors to help ease the process of attracting equity investors down the line.