The Startup Cup is an exciting business idea competition organised by the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship and supported generously by members of the business community. Participants (1) go through a competitive selection process and (2) present their business case. Each winning team will be awarded (1) $10k of leverageable funding, (2) $2,500 for reimbursement of approved marketing and legal services, and (3) access to MCE’s co-working space for the following semester.


2017 Winners Peachy, Sutu, and CoLab


About the Cup

The primary objective of this competition is to invest in Memorial University students with an innovative business idea. The secondary objective is to foster increased interest in entrepreneurship and to connect entrepreneurial students with the entrepreneurial community in Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond.

Phases

  • 01 / Applications

    Submit your application before March 28th through our online community platform Startup Tree

  • 02 / Preliminary Selection

    The top eight teams will be selected based on the application submitted.

  • 03 / Startup Cup Presentation

    If you are selected for the final round, you will submit a three-page action plan and present to a panel of judges on April 6th.

  • 04 / Post-cup Support

    All participating teams will be able to take advantage of MCE or its partners’ services going forward.

Prizes

Available prizes, cash and in-kind, are subject to the quality of teams and ideas.

What You Can Win

  • 01 / Cash

    Up to three prizes of $10,000 of leverageable funding.

  • 02 / In-kind

    Up to $2,500 worth of marketing and legal services.

  • 03 / Genesis Centre Support

    Automatic enrollment into the Genesis Centre’s Evolution Program (for tech companies) as well as access to market research.

  • 04 / MCE Support

    A reserved spot for you and the team in MCE’s co-working space for the Spring semester.

Eligibility Criteria

While these guidelines provide general parameters, eligibility will be determined at the sole discretion of the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship.

What We’re Looking For

  • 01

    Applicants must currently be registered full-time or part-time (undergraduate or graduate) at Memorial University. Teams may include one non-Memorial individual (e.g. Memorial alumni) as long as the team is led by students owning at least 50% of the company (upon incorporation date).

  • 02

    Applicants must have a business idea with an element of innovation compared to the solutions that currently exist in the marketplace.

  • 03

    Applicants must be working on/in pre-revenue startups with less than $5,000 in sales and have not received any government or private funding of more than $5,000 (Family / own money is acceptable).

  • 04

    Applicants must have the intention to create the start-up in Newfoundland and Labrador or an existing start-up registered in Newfoundland and Labrador.


Competition Rules

Download the competition details in PDF format here.




Teams
[1] Participants may compete as individuals, but are encouraged to create teams (maximum of 5 per team) with a variety of different skill sets and strengths.
[2] Individuals may participate on more than one team.

Nonprofits
Nonprofits may participate in the competition but must demonstrate income generation potential beyond traditional philanthropy. While we recognize that startup funding and initial capital for operations may come from philanthropic funds/individual donations, we view a social enterprise – regardless of the type of entity formation – as designed to operate like a for-profit business, which must include a revenue-generating income stream in addition to traditional philanthropic sources (donations, grants, foundations, etc.). All entries in the Startup Cup will be judged on their ability to become financially self-sustaining, that is, to generate revenue more than costs.

Eligibility
[1] Applicants must currently be registered full-time or part-time (undergraduate or graduate) at Memorial University.
[2] Teams may include one non-Memorial individual (e.g. Memorial alumni) as long as the team is led by students owning at least 50% of the company (upon incorporation date).
[3] Applicants must have a business idea with an element of innovation compared to the solutions that currently exist in the marketplace.
[4] Applicants must be working on/in pre-revenue startups with less than $5,000 in sales and have not received any government or private funding of more than $5,000 (Family / own money is acceptable).
[5] Applicants must have the intention to create the start-up in Newfoundland and Labrador or an existing start-up registered in Newfoundland and Labrador.
[6] While these guidelines provide general parameters, eligibility will be determined at the sole discretion of the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Prizes
Leverageable funding ($10,000):
[1] Funding that can potentially be matched with other sources of funding (e.g. IRAP, RDC, etc.) if the startup meets the funding organisation’s eligibility criteria. Teams with a technology focus are encouraged to apply for IRAP or RDC funding to further develop their business.
[2] Up to three $10,000 prizes of funding are available. The final number of recipients will depend on the quality of applicants and is at the discretion of the judging panel.
[3] The prizes will be awarded by the MCE in one of the following ways:
– If an individual is selected as a prize – winner, the MCE will award the prize directly to that person.
– If a team is selected as a prize – winner, the winning team must provide the MCE with the account information of a shared, personal bank account to which the prize money will be wired.
[4] If a team is selected as a prize winner, it is recommended (not required) that an agreement is created within the team to determine the use of the prize money in furthering the objectives of the startup.

Marketing & legal services ($2,500 per winning team):
[1] MCE will approve the companies providing marketing and legal services before any expenses are incurred.
[2] MCE will award this additional prize upon proof of payment to the approved companies and in one of the following ways:
[3] If an individual is selected as a prize – winner, the MCE will award the prize directly to that person.
[4] If a team is selected as a prize – winner, the winning team must provide the MCE with the account information of a shared, personal bank account to which the prize money will be wired.

Co-working space (for Spring semester, 2017):
[1] Students are invited to use MCE’s co-working space (in the Faculty of Engineering, and Applied Sciences EN3075).
[2] Non-students will need to sign a Facilities Use Agreement Form to access MCE’s co-working space (e.g. for students who become alumni after the competition).

Specific prizes for technology-based business ideas:
[1] Winning teams with a technology-based business idea will have free registration to the Genesis Centre’s Evolution Program.
[2] Winning teams will have access to the MaRS market intelligence reporting ($50k worth of reports).