Foster Swift attorneys will be among the judges at the 2018 Central Michigan University New Venture Competition (NVC) on April 13. In its 8th year, the NVC allows teams made of CMU students the opportunity to pitch a business idea, receive feedback and possibly earn seed funding to make their vision a reality. The law firm will also be involved in awarding teams the opportunity to be involved in the NVC Summer Accelerator Program.
Leading up to the NVC and over the course of the academic year, Foster Swift attorneys, industry professionals and CMU faculty have mentored and monitored teams through a series of workshops and events focusing on different aspects of entrepreneurship. This year’s workshops provided teams with education on topics including legal issues and basics for start-ups, customer discovery, revenue models, pitching to investors, marketing strategies and other aspects of the Business Model Canvas.
On NVC Day, over 30 teams have a chance to earn cash prizes that will be awarded to the teams that present the best business pitches in the categories of “Best Overall Venture” and “Highest Growth Potential”, among others. Nearly 20 current businesses are in operation after competing in the NVC in past years. Foster Swift business attorneys David Nows, Nick Oertel, and Taylor Gast will be a part of the various judging panels for the NVC.
In addition to its existing awards, the NVC will be presenting a new award: an invitation to CMU’s Summer Accelerator program. Made possible in a collaborative effort with Foster Swift, this six week program will allow the recipients a creative work space on campus and hands-on support from a team of experienced mentors and advisors. Jeff Thomas, Chair of Entrepreneurship at CMU had this to say about the firm’s involvement, “the in-kind services being donated by Foster Swift are likely to be more valuable than the generous cash contribution they are making. New ventures face legal issues. Access to Foster Swift’s SEED group is an incredible resource for our student ventures.”
Foster Swift will provide funding to help defray housing and living costs for the winning teams during the program as well as funding for legal services to help get their business idea off the ground. The award recipients will also receive invitations to Michigan entrepreneurial events, including a showcase presentation with potential investors on June 21.