Deadline: April 29, 2016 at 23:59 EDT | Apply here
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12-week startup accelerator and $50,000 in investment
Winston, North Carolina

Win your first investment and a spot in a 12-week startup accelerator. Get seed funding, mentors, subject matter experts and follow-on investor contacts.

The New Ventures Challenge 2016

The New Ventures Challenge 2016 startup competition is accepting applications from formative and early-stage entrepreneurial companies with web and mobile software, hardware or device innovation ideas.

A business idea competition that offers startup teams the opportunity to win seed funding and enter the Flywheel New Ventures Accelerator. Winning teams will be awarded cash prizes and follow-up investments with an average $50,000 investment per team in return for a 7.5% equity stake.

The challenge is broad based and will consider any ideas in the categories of Business or Consumer Software Development and Applications, IT and Informatics, High Technology, and Device Innovation. The New Ventures Challenge 2016 has particular interest in ideas that intersect with the following domains:

  • Digital health
  • Medical devices
  • 3-D printing applications and systems
  • Wellness tech
  • Financial and Insurance tech
  • Advanced textiles (especially those intersecting with biomed and nanotech)
  • Wearable tech
  • IOT microelectronics and software
  • Logistics and supply chain management systems and technologies
  • Aerospace systems and design
  • Arts entrepreneurship
  • Social innovation

In addition to pre- and post-revenue startup teams and companies, student teams from accredited higher education institutions are encouraged to apply. Refer to eligibility requirements for more information.


Selected from the pool of applicants, up to eight teams will be deemed winner and be accepted into the Flywheel New Ventures Accelerator and awarded the following cash prizes as the first tranche of an average $50,000 investment per team:

  • $35,000 first prize
  • $15,000 second prize
  • $10,000 third prize
  • $5,000 for up to five runner-ups

Additional investments will be based on milestone achievement as teams progress through the accelerator. The awards will be announced at an award ceremony at the conclusion of the challenge.


  • Experience rapid development, educational workshops and a disciplined lean startup process taught by experienced entrepreneurs and tech mentors over a 3-month acceleration and 2-month follow-up
  • Interact with a pool of over 40 experienced mentors with expertise in startups, the full technology stack, finance, legal, customer development, sales and marketing
  • Get connected to the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a premier urban research, technology and innovation community with clusters of academic research, startups and technology companies
  • Present to New Ventures investors and top southeast angel and venture capital investors.
  • Interact with and present to top corporate and healthcare technology, innovation, and venture development executives.
  • Get introduced regionally and nationally to second stage seed and Series A investment fund managers.

About the organization

A Community of Globally Connected Entrepreneurs & Supporters

Flywheel administers the Challenge on behalf of the New Ventures, provides workspace for selected challenge teams during the finalists briefing and final pitch weekend, runs the accelerator, and organizes the resources and mentors for development of teams’ concepts and commercialization plans.

Flywheel New Ventures is based on the principle that entrepreneurs and active wealth creators are the foundation of a vibrant startup community. They understand what it takes to start a new business, take risks, manage risk, and invest in a vibrant startup community. We are creating a new method of investment and business stewardship as part of the Flywheel Foundation.

The Flywheel Foundation organizes programs to develop community networks essential for the accelerator program. The Foundation’s programs are supported by community donations and grants. Institutional and corporate partners contributing to the Foundation also engage as advisors to the startup teams, giving them visibility into deal flow and later investment opportunities.

The New Ventures Investment Club is a limited pool of local investors, both accredited and non- accredited, organized under the Federal 506 exemption and operates as an investment club structured as an LLC with a member operating agreement governing use of funds and process for investment decisions. All members are active investors.


  • This Challenge is open to persons who are at least 18 years old or the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence and operating companies.
  • Individual entrants may enter either alone or as part of a team. Teams must include no less than two (2) eligible individual entrants and each team member must be clearly identified on the team’s entry materials. An individual who enters on behalf of a business entity represents and warrants he or she has requisite authority to act on behalf of such entity.
  • All entrants in the Challenge must be seeking, or intending to seek, equity capital funding in addition to the awards to be awarded in this Challenge.
  • Entrants forming companies that intend to license technologies from universities or research labs are encouraged to enter.
  • This Challenge is administered out of the United States. Entrants who are not legal residents of the United States are responsible for obtaining any necessary travel documents, including, without limitation, passports and visas, and related immigration papers required to be able to legally attend any required in-person activities related to this Challenge in Winston-Salem, NC USA and to legally work on their submissions within the United States.
  • The Sponsor cannot render legal advice to entrants or winner, who are solely responsible for obtaining any legal advice they deem necessary or proper in order to participate in this Challenge.

The following entrants are not eligible to enter

Investment vehicles that invest in the securities of other entities, residential real property and retail businesses, sports venues, gaming and gambling businesses, places of overnight accommodation or entertainment-related establishments. For this purpose, “retail business” means a business that is primarily engaged in making retail sales of goods or services to customers who personally visit such facilities to obtain goods or services. In addition, generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, roll-ups, real estate syndications, tax shelters and franchise-based outlets.

Before entering the competition please read The Terms and Conditions here.


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