The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship is committed to hosting the 2020 Dempsey Startup Competition and has been working behind the scenes to determine how to provide a high quality experience for student teams around the region. In light of the University of Washington’s announcement that Spring Quarter classes will take place online, we have adapted our competition format into entirely virtual experience. 

Our goal is to retain as much of the original format of the competition as possible, but to host the experience using Zoom in addition to our competition management platform, Reviewr. Given that the first round of the competition (the Screening Round) is already an online experience, students should continue to work towards submitting their entry by 11:59pm on April 6, 2020.

The live Investment Round on April 29th will be now held as a virtual event from 1-5pm. Judges will be invited to join us on Zoom for a virtual welcome and to hear 60-second pitches from the teams. After the pitches, each team will host their own virtual booth using Zoom. Judges will be provided with a link to each team’s virtual booth and can visit each of them between 2-4:30pm to ask questions using the video or chat function. Judges will have until 5pm to submit their final scores and we will announce the Sweet 16 teams via email and social media later that evening.

We will make several small adjustments to the Investment Round so that we can provide a more manageable and more robust virtual experience:

  • 30 teams will advance from the Screening Round to the Investment Round instead of 36.
  • The top 30 teams will be asked to submit a video recording of a 60-second pitch, and will also deliver their pitch virtually during the first hour of the virtual event.

Subsequent rounds of the Dempsey Startup Competition will also be held as virtual events. More details will be provided to the teams that advance from the Investment Round and into the Sweet 16 and Final Rounds.

Please apply for the competition by the April 6th deadline. Below is the updated list of resources that students can use to prepare their submission.

Feel free to reach out to Sarah Studer, Dempsey Startup Competition Manager, directly if you have any questions: sstruder@uw.edu.

5 Ways to Prepare for the Dempsey Startup Competition!
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
Alexander Graham Bell, inventor

Here are five actionable steps you can share with entrepreneurial students who are planning to enter the Dempsey Startup Competition:

  1. Review the judging criteria and Submission Checklist on the competition website.
  2. View examples of business summaries online to see how to structure your application.
  3. Students can schedule an online appointment with the Foster School librarians to learn how to use library databases to identify the market opportunity of their idea.
  4. Schedule 30-minute appointments with local entrepreneurs during Office Hours!
  5. Catch up on the video recordings from the Startup Business Plan Practicum class!

Applications for the Dempsey Startup Competition are due at 11:59pm on Monday, April 6, 2020. Visit the competition website for rules, eligibility requirements and competition schedule.

Fun Fact: Students who enter the competition and advance to the Investment Round can earn 2 credits for participating!

Submission Checklist

Review the judging criteria and use the Submission Checklist to make sure your 5–7 page executive summary is complete and ready to be submitted.

Click the “Preparation” tab on the competition website to download the checklist!

Review Past Examples

Review examples of executive summaries from past teams who have entered the competition! There are
examples available on the Dempsey Startup Competition’s website – click the Preparation header to reveal the links to the examples.

Utilize the Library!

Take advantage of the research databases available at the Foster School library!Schedule an ONLINE appointment with a librarian to discuss how to focus your research topic, identify and evaluate sources and how to effectively use library databases to build your plan!

Entrepreneur Office Hours

Entrepreneur Office Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays, 3-5pm
Students who are preparing to enter the Dempsey Startup Competition can now schedule a 30-minute session to discuss their idea with a local entrepreneur! Click here to view the schedule and to book an appointment!

Startup Business Practicums

Video recordings of the Startup Business Practicum course and weekly summaries are posted on the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship’s blog. Each lecture covers an important aspect of creating a business plan and guest speakers help to contextualize the lesson based on their own experience. Guest speakers for this quarter’s class included: