MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition

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The MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition is one of the largest and most famous business plan competitions in the world. Entirely student-managed, students from all programs and levels at MIT organize and enter the $100K. Teams must include at least 1 full-time MIT student, but membership is not restricted to the MIT community. The Competition is supported by the MIT Entrepreneurship Center at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Every year - a total of $300,000 is distributed as non-dilutive grant money. Since 1990 the MIT $100K has given birth to over 160 companies, generating 4,600 jobs, receiving over $1.3 billion dollars in venture capital funding and have a cumulative market value of over $15 billion Throughout the academic year, the teams take part in a process that includes:

  • Industry & legal mentorship
  • Multiple live judging rounds
  • Prototyping & pitch workshops
  • Expense accounts for venture development
  • Networking events with sponsors & alumni
  • Non-dilutive prize money (~300K annually)

The competition started in 1990 as the $10K competition, and continued to grow throughout the 1990s. In 1996 the $10K evolved into the $50K with $30K going to the winner and $10K to each of two runners-up. In 2006, the $50K added another competition focused on business plans for low-income communities to complement the traditional business venture competition. Subsequently, the competition has rebranded as the MIT $100K.


MIT $100K PITCH Contest[edit]

The MIT $100K Pitch Contest is put on every year by the MIT $100K organizing committee. It is held in the fall of each year and is intended to provide a way for entrepreneurs with ideas to form teams. It is considered a warm-up event for the Executive Summary Contest held in the winter and the Business Plan Contest held in the spring. In the Elevator Pitch Contest, each contestant is given 60 seconds in front of a crowd to give their "elevator pitch," with the winner receiving a cash prize. This contest is open to the public.

MIT $100K ACCELERATE Contest[edit]

The MIT $100K ACCELERATE Contest has replaced the MIT $100K Executive Summary Contest in 2011. It is held in the winter of academic year and is intended to help teams build a robust prototype for their start-up idea. Teams will work on creating a demo of their idea over December and January, and the best demos will be presented in the ACCELERATE Finale Show to a crowd of hundreds. MIT $100K will be providing resources and mentorship to help teams build their demos which will be reviewed by a panel of judges with the winner receiving a cash prize.[1]

MIT $100K LAUNCH - Business Plan Contest[edit]

The MIT $100K Launch Contest is the flagship of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition. In the spring, semi-finalists are selected from all business plan submissions. LAUNCH is the final contest in the $100K cycle. Participants present full-scale business plans for the chance to win a $100,000 Grand Prize.

Winners - Business Plan Contest[edit]

Year Winner Track and Description Team Members
2016 Astreaus n/a Joseph Azzarelli
2015 Raptor Maps n/a Nikhil Vadhavkar, Forrest Meyen, Edward Obropta
2014 Disease Diagnostic Group n/a
2013 3dim Mobile Track Andrea Colaço, Nan-Wei Gong, Vivek K. Goyal, Ahmed Kirmani, Nate Stewart, and Rahul Tejwani
2010 C-Crete Products & Services Track Rouzbeh Shahsavari, Natanel Barookhian
2009 Ksplice Web/IT Track Tim Abbott, Jeff Arnold, Waseem Daher, Anders Kaseorg, Nelson Elhage
2008 Diagnostics for All Life Sciences Track Roozbeh Ghaffari, Jon Puz, Hayat Sindi, Gilbert Tang, Carol Waghorne, Krishna Yeshwant
2007 Robopsy Medical Devices (for biopsies) John Harthorne, Conor Walsh, Nevan Hanumara
2006 Semprus BioSciences (formerly SteriCoat) Surface Modifications on Medical Devices Chris Loose, David Lucchino, Joel Moxley, Mike Hencke and Vipin Gupta
2005 Balico Medical Devices Baruch Schori, Harry Lee, Kathleen Sienko, Jimmy Robertsson
2004 Active Joint Brace
Now:Myomo Inc.
Medical Devices Mira Sahney, Kailas Narendran, John McBean, Joe Jackson, Hocking Chen, Raja Surapanani,
2003 SmartCells Medical Devices Todd C. Zion, Robert Bruch, Martin Curiel, John Hebert, Tsafrir Vanounou
1998 Direct Hit Technologies Internet search engine Mike Cassidy, Gary Culliss, Steven Yang
1992 Toolbox Machine Tool Controller Miles Arnone, Chad Clawson, Dan Berkery
1991 Stylus Innovation Barcode-based remote shopping Krisztina 'Z' Holly, Mike Cassidy, John Barrus

Notable companies formed through the competition[edit]

Since its founding, the $100K Competition has helped launch more than 60 companies with an aggregate value of greater than $10.5 billion. Prominent $100K alumni companies include Akamai, net.Genesis, and C-Bridge.

Year Competition Result Company Result Exit Value
1991 Grand-Prize Winner Stylus Innovation Acquired - 1996 $12.8M
1995 Finalist Harmonix, Inc. Acquired - 2006 $700M
1995 Finalist Silicon Spice Acquired by Broadcom $1.2 billion
1996 Finalist Webline Communications Acquired by Cisco $325M
1998 Grand-Prize Winner Direct Hit Acquired - 2000 $517M
1998 Runner-up Akamai IPO - 1999 $26.00 per share

Current market cap: $11 Billion

2003 Finalist Brontes Technologies Acquired by 3M - 2006 $95M
2006 Finalist HubSpot Current Market cap $2.29 Billion
2010 Finalist Pushpins Acquired by Ebates - 2012 $10-15M

History: MIT $10K/$50K/$100K Entrepreneurial Competition[edit]

The competition was founded in the 1989-1990 academic year and was initially intended as a promotional vehicle for the MIT Entrepreneurs Club (now the MIT E-Club.) Club members Richard Durling-Shyduroff and Douglas Ling along with club Founder Peter Mui envisioned a cross-campus event that brought MIT's varied schools together to identify and support innovative ideas on campus. The goal was to create a safe, nurturing, (relatively controlled) sandbox environment where fledging entrepreneurs could try their wings. The lead alumni donor was George Hatsopoulos of Thermo Electron. with additional generous support from other alumni, the Sloan School (Dean Lester Thurow) and Engineering School (Acting Dean Jack Kerrebrock.)

Managing Directors[edit]

Year Name
2017 Bar Kafri
2016 Monique Guimond
2015 Marc Chalifoux, Jake Auchincloss
2014 Peri AbouZied, Gino Korolev
2013 Ally Yost, Haya Al Ghanim
2012 Alice Francis, Adam Borelli
2011 John Casey, Kourosh Kaghazian
2010 Daniel Vannoni
2009 Sombit Mishra, Brian Cantwell
2008 Frederic Kerrest
2007 Jeff Sabados
2006 Karina Drees
2005 Jason Fuller, Lawrence Walmsley
2004 Ian Blakely, Marcus Lopez
2003 Dan Riskin, Matt Richards
2002 Brian Curtis
2001 Michael Parduhn
2000 Elad Gil
1999 Heather Wilding
1998 Scott Blankstein
1997 Sally Shepard
1996 Will Clurman
1995 James Deverell
1994 Joost Bonsen
1993 Joost Bonsen
1992 Doug Ling
1991 Doug Ling
1990 Peter Mui, Doug Ling
1989 Peter Mui, Doug Ling

Entrepreneurship for Development Competition[edit]

The Entrepreneurship for Development Competition is a competition for business plans that are judged on the following criteria: uniqueness of business idea, management strength, path to sustainability and social impact. The competition was added in 2006 as a complement to the Business Venture Competition due to increasing demand and interest in socially conscious ideas. In the spring, semi-finalists are selected from all business plan submissions. Semi-finalists submit more detailed business plans and 5-6 finalists are then chosen. At the awards ceremony, the top team is awarded the Entrepreneurship for Development grand prize.

Winners - Entrepreneurship for Development Competition[edit]

In 1998, a dual award within the Venture Competition was awarded to a pair of finalists including Volunteer Community Connection. At the time, VCC was a non-traditional entry into the competition and has since served as a motivating example for the genesis of the MIT $100K Developmental Entrepreneurship Competition. As a result, they are listed as a winner and implicitly as an innovator within the Entrepreneurship for Development Competition.

Year Winner Description Team Members
2007 Bagazo Alternate Fuels from Agricultural Waste Johan Löfström, Felicita Holsztejn
2006 CentroMigrante Sustainable Housing for Migrant Communities Illac Diaz, Neil Ruiz, Tina Laforteza, Artessa Salvidar-Sali, Bianca Locsin, Chester Yu
1998 Volunteer Community Connection The Volunteer Community Connection enables the easy and automated sign-up and management of volunteers with non-profit agencies. Michael Bryzek, Jonathan Allen, Oumi Mehrotra, Emily Sandberg, Mark Y. Sun

See also[edit]

External links[edit]