Three Rounds, One Finale, Ten Thousand Big Ones

The 3rd annual Impact Venture Challenge will span both fall and spring terms of the 2016 - 2017 Academic Year. Recognizing that scheduling conflicts for a student in either the fall or spring may deter IVC engagement, we'll produce fall and spring tracks for the accelerator programming. We encourage all competitors to strongly consider joining as part of the Fall 2016 cohort. The broader time frame enables Impact to deliver a greater breadth of deep value learning opportunities. However, joining as part of the Spring 2017 cohort is still an option for those unable to join earlier.

Rounds of the Challenge


ROund 1

Round One is the competitor's first chance to proves the validity of their idea. Following the informational meeting and ideation workshop, teams will draft their concept overviews. Concept overviews are up to three pages long and outline the business opportunity, solution, and potential impact. Competitors are eliminated, asked to revise and resubmit, or advanced to round 2. 

Round 2 

Round Two is very full round all about planning and practice. Planning is tough, especially for the visionaries in the world, however a strong plan is a critical step towards successful launch. Competitors will receive training in general business planning as well as in-depth marketing and finance training to help them draft their impact venture's plan. Teams will attend a "Story Telling" workshop that empowers them to craft excellent venture pitches. In round 2, teams will also receive a mentor from the community that has proven themselves in business leadership, strategy, or finance. Teams are eliminated, asked to revise and resubmit, or advanced as finalists based on their impact venture plan and pitch.

Round 3

Round Three is the final round of the Impact Venture Challenge. We are anticipating a strong pool of competitors, yet only six teams will advance as finalists in round three. Finalists will continue to team up with their mentors to further refine both their plan and pitch. A final workshop will give teams a chance for in-depth conversations with judges from previous rounds regarding key improvements they should make over the ensuing three weeks leading up to the IVC finale held in Parmer Hall of the High Center at Messiah College at 7pm on April 28th 2017. On the grand stage, finalists will pitch their ventures to six judges and a full auditorium, each of them competing  for a piece of the $10,000 of capital up for grabs. First place wins $5,000; second place $3,000; third place $2,000. 

What is the Criteria to Advance?  


The business model, impact potential and viability evaluation criteria are listed below. Each will be weighted equally and used by a judging panel to determine if a team advances from Round One to Round Two, and from Round Two to Round Three. For finalists, the judges’ assessment of the business plan will account for 60% of a team's final score. Live assessment of the pitches on the night of finale will determine the remaining 40% of a team's final score; 20% is determined by the live judging panel, and 20% is determined by the live audience via a text-to-vote system. 

  • Business Model (20%): Clarity/completeness of business model and plan; opportunity as revealed by market analysis; sales/marketing approach; operations and financial model.
  • Impact Potential (20%): How has God led the team to the business? Is the business consistent with God’s word? Does the business have the potential to advance the kingdom of God? What is the size, significance and priority of impact area? What validation of meaningful impact potential has been done? What is the likelihood of sustainable impact?
  • Viability (20%): Is there a clear and sizable market? How compelling is the value proposition & competitive advantage? How feasible is the product/service offer and is there a “proof of concept” of the idea? What is the likelihood of long-term financial sustainability (not dependent on a donor-based financial model)? What is the likelihood that the team will be able to execute and scale the venture? Would you invest in this venture?   
  • Pitch (20%, Rounds Two & Three only): Quality of materials; Compelling case made for the venture; Practical, real world relevance to venture and impact; Quality of presentation delivery; Q&A; Confidence of presenters; Time management.

Getting Started

Registration and Submissions

Registration and all submissions are done at If you have any questions about signing up, uploading documents, or accessing feedback, send a note to Our team is eager to help you succeed.


  • Are led by a current Messiah College (MC) student
  • Those not formerly affiliated with Messiah College may actively contribute to a team; they cannot actively lead a team
  • All competing ventures consist of teams of 2-5 people. Each team will designate a MC student as the primary point of contact and provide current email and telephone numbers. This primary point of contact must hold an ownership stake in the form of equity in the company.
  • New venture ideas can be part of an existing entity. That existing entity must not have grossed revenues in excess of $20,000
  • Former Impact Venture Challenge competitors may compete in successive IVCs
  • Former Impact Venture Challenge winners, of first, second, or third prizes, may not compete in future IVCs
  • All teams must have MC student representation at all workshops & events.
  • Each team represents that any idea, discovery, invention, or concept disclosed in the business plan originated with one or more members of the team or is being used with appropriate permission from and acknowledgment of its legal owner. It is each team’s responsibility to make sure that its business plan does not violate the intellectual property rights of any third party. Further, each team understands that MC makes no commitment that the business plans shall be kept secret. By submitting a business plan, the team members agree to these terms of eligibility.
  • The authors of the business plans will retain all rights to the business plans regarding its use except as stated below. Due to the nature of the competition, we will not ask judges, reviewers, staff or the audience to agree to or sign non-disclosure statements for any participant. All public sessions of the competition, including but not limited to oral presentations and question/answer sessions, are open to the public at large. Any and all of these public sessions may be broadcast to interested persons through media that may include radio, television and the Internet. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by entrants should be considered information that will likely enter the public domain, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged or presented in these sessions. Messiah College may make photocopies, photographs, videotapes and/or audiotapes of the presentations including the business plan and other documents, charts or material prepared for use in presentation at the Impact Venture Challenge. Messiah College may use the materials in any book or other printed materials and any videotape or other medium that it may produce, provided that any profits earned from the sale of such items is used by Messiah College solely to defray the costs of future competitions. Messiah College has non-exclusive world rights in all languages, and in all media, to use or to publish the materials in any book, other printed materials, videotapes or other medium, and to use the materials in future editions thereof and derivative products. If you are planning to file for patent protection or other intellectual property protection pertaining to any aspect of your business, you should realize that entry into this competition may be construed as a public disclosure.  Thus, you may wish to consult with legal counsel prior to entering.  You are free to exclude any material you feel is proprietary, contain trade secrets or at risk by public disclosure.
  • Each entrant shall indemnify, defend and hold Messiah College (and its trustees, officers, employees and agents) harmless from any third party claims arising out of or related to the competition, including, but not limited to, claims of intellectual property infringement.