• Guildlines

    CMU SummitNew Venture Competition
  • 1




Any student team with ideas that have significant social or technological values is welcome to participate. We especially encourage teams with ideas applicable worldwide (esp. China) to participate. The Competition also requires that:

  • At least one member of each team must be a currently enrolled student (i.e. undergraduates, graduate students or postdocs).
  • Each participant can only represent one team.
  • Every team must submit supporting materials on time and in the required format.


  • All submissions must represent the original work of each contestant. Submitted Executive Summaries must be written by team members only; writing by any other individuals or institutions is forbidden.
  • Submissions must not violate contracts, intellectual property and/or other rights of third parties. It is the participating teams' full responsibility to resolve related disputes.
  • All submissions and final presentations must be presented in English.
  • The preliminary selections will be based on the Executive Summaries submitted (please limit the text to two pages). We encourage teams to submit product prototypes (if applicable) and/or other relevant materials along with the Executive Summaries.
  • All submissions must be based on legitimate business enterprises. Ventures that involve breaking the law or are hazardous to human health or the environment are strictly prohibited.


  • A committee of judges formed by angel investors and venture capitalists will select 10 to 15 finalists from all submissions.
  • At least one member of each of the finalist team must be able to attend the final presentation; absent teams will be automatically disqualified.
  • Finalists are required to deliver a 7-minute presentation followed by a 8-minute Q&A session. Only pitching team member(s) can answer questions (Only the people who present the work may answer the questions from the judges or the audience).
  • Using notes during a presentation is permitted, but reading entirely from notes will adversely affect the evaluation of a team.
  • Equipment provided includes a built-in multi-media projector and a computer with internet access and USB ports.


The judges will evaluate each business plan based on the following criteria:

  • Importance of the problem to be solved
  • Feasibility of solution
  • Market size
  • Competitive advantage
  • Economic value
  • Originality


  • The top 3 teams selected by the judges will share cash awards of $10,000 in total.
  • Additional $5,000 cash awards include Social Innovation Award and Environmental Innovation Award, sponsored by Sinovator. Each of the two includes:
    • Best Idea with a $1,000 cash award (recipients must have detailed product description, business model and feasibility analysis);
    • Best Prototype with a $1,500 cash award (recipients must have usable product prototypes). All finalists will have direct feedback from the mentors, the opportunity to have one-to-one conversations and seek further investment from them.

Other Issues


  • Project Introduction, a 150 to 200-word description of the business plan or prototype, may be used for marketing, funding raising or other public relations purposes.
  • Contestants may be asked to speak to the media upon request by the CMU Summit.
  • Contestants must follow all guidelines of the Competition and adhere to decisions made by the Organizing Committee of the Competition. Contestants will be disqualified otherwise.


The Organizing Committee of the Competition protects the confidentiality of all contestants’ business plans and products in the following ways:

  • Members of the Organizing Committee must not share confidential information of contestants and submitted business plans with unauthorized personnel.
  • The Organizing Committee requests that all judges must not share confidential information of contestants and submitted business plans with unauthorized personnel. However, the Organizing Committee is not responsible for actions or verbal statements of the judges.


  • To protect the rights of contestants, we strongly encourage all contestants to raise the awareness of intellectual property protection. In cases of intellectual property violations to third parties, the Organizing Committee reserves the rights to disqualify any teams committing intellectual property violations. The Organizing Committee is not responsible for any of the legal outcomes.
  • Contestants are fully responsible for any legal outcomes of participating in the Competition including, but not limited to, third party patents, copyrights, trademark rights, privacy rights etc.
  • The Organizing Committee reserves the right to disqualify contestants in cases of such violations and is not responsible for the legal outcomes.
  • The Organizing Committee reserves the right to make changes to the awards and schedule.