Now in its 24th year, the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition is a leading-edge forum for students and researchers in the MIT community to act on their talent, ideas and energy to launch tomorrow’s leading firms. A year-long educational experience, the MIT $100K brings together a network of resources (feedback from top venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, media exposure, mentors, educational guidance, networking and more than $350K in cash and prizes) to help participants through the new venture construction process. As such, the competition is structured across three contests:

Have a winning business idea that will impress investors? Think you can deliver it in 60 seconds? Practice your 60-second pitch in front of a qualified panel of judges and get immediate feedback on your idea and presentation.

Turn your idea into reality. Teams will work on creating a demo of their idea over December and January, and the best demos will present at the ACCELERATE Finale Show to a crowd of hundreds. The MIT $100K will be providing resources and mentoring to help teams build their demos.

Complete your idea and prepare yourself for funding and business creation. All entries into the Business Plan Contest will be eligible for more than $350,00 in cash and prizes to put toward their new venture. In addition, semi-finalist teams receive formal mentoring, and an expense account to refine your idea, and prepare to pitch to a group of judges in a simulated funding meeting. Of course, the winner of the competition will win a check for $100,000.

Within each contest, there are six distinct industry tracks:

Emerging Market
Life Sciences
Products and Services

Since 1990, the Competition has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and business startup services to outstanding teams of student entrepreneurs who submitted business plans for new ventures showing significant business potential. The refinement process of the Competition, its network of mentors, investors and potential partners, and the cash prizes awarded have helped many of these teams to act on their dreams and build their own companies and fortunes.


Resources for Entrepreneurship

The MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition provides teams who enter with valuable resources in the following areas crucial to successful entrepreneurship:

  • Networks of world-class entrepreneurs, investors, and potential partners
  • Mentoring by successful and seasoned professionals
  • Education in specific business planning skills as well as general entrepreneurial insight
  • Content rich feedback on their business model from world class entrepreneurs, investors, and professional service providers on our Judging Panel
  • Team-building opportunities to create a winning team of founders
  • Access to members of the private equity community
  • Broad media exposure and PR buzz

Students from all five schools at MIT (Sloan, Engineering, Science, Humanities, and Architecture) at the undergraduate and graduate levels have entered and been successful in the Competition. Multi-disciplinary teams that combine members from technical disciplines with members from the Sloan School have proven the most successful competitors. These teams bring together the pieces necessary for making the bridge between technology and the marketplace. Their business plans are judged by a panel of experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and legal professionals.


Real Ideas, Real Companies

As the world leader among student run university entrepreneurship competitions, the Competition has facilitated the birth of over 160+ companies with aggregate exit values of $2.5 billion captured and a market cap of over $15 billion. These companies have generated over 4,600 jobs and received $1.3 billion dollars in Venture Capital funding.

Many of these companies have been extremely successful. Recent IPOs have included Akamai (AKAM), net.Genesis(NTG), and C-Bridge Internet Solutions (CBIS). Recent acquisitions include Brontes Technologies (by 3M), Direct Hit (by, Silicon Spice (by Broadcom), WebLine Communications (Cisco), and Harmonix (MTV). Other success stories include Actuality Systems, Frictionless Commerce, SensAble Technologies, Stylus Innovation, and Virtmed.


24 Years of $100K

The MIT $100K was born in 1989, when the MIT Entrepreneurs Club and the Sloan New Ventures Association teamed up to create a competition that would take advantage of the winning combination of engineers and business students. In the spring of 1990, 54 teams competed in the first competition with the winner receiving $10K, and $3K and $2K going to the runners up. The original sponsors included the deans from the MIT Sloan School of Management and the School of Engineering as well as Thermo Electron and Price Waterhouse. The MIT $10K has run every year since its inception, and in 1996 it evolved into the $50K with $30K going to the winner and $10K each to two runners up. In 2006, the $50K doubled in size with the incorporation of the Development Track, and became the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition.

Today, the MIT$100K Competition is the nation’s premier business plan competition, with three separate contests, each focused on different skill sets: the Elevator Pitch Contest, the ACCELERATE Contest, and finally, the Business Plan Contest. There are six distinct tracks, allowing students to concentrate on their specific areas, while learning how to turn their ideas into companies.