Three Rounds, One Finale, Ten Thousand Big Ones

The 5th annual Impact Venture Challenge will span both fall and spring terms of the 2018-2019 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 2018 cohort. The broader time frame enables Impact to deliver a greater breadth of deep value learning opportunities. However, joining as part of the Spring 2019 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 May 3rd 2019. 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.