CMU Summit New Venture Competition (“the Competition”) aims to build a communication platform for leading Chinese and American entrepreneurs and investors. We are bridging the gap between the resources that entrepreneurs need and what the entrepreneurial ecosystem has to offer. The Competition strives to identify, nurture, and showcase emerging entrepreneurs to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Our panel of judges consists of top-tier angel investors and venture capitalists from both China and the US. Previous years’ competitions have been supported by IDG Ventures, Zhen Fund, SoftBank China, Sinovation Ventures, and FreeS Fund. We also have strong support from academia and industry. Students from top universities and leading experts from China and the US will meet at Carnegie Mellon University to explore solutions to critical social issues, and seek technological and financial collaboration. 

This year the Competition Final and Demo Day will be held on April 16, 2017, in Pittsburgh, PA. 

The New Venture Competition is supported by leaders of ventur e capital firms in China and the US. Every participating team will have the opportunity to present their innovative ideas and products to the investors. 

New Venture Competition


Participant Eligibility

Eliminating the previous requirement that at least one member of the team must be currently enrolled in an educational institution, the Competition this year will pose no limit on the status of the participants. Any team with ideas that have significant social or technological values is welcome to participate. We especially encourage teams with ideas applicable to the global landscape to apply. 

Project requirements

  • All submissions must represent the original work of each contestant. Submitted Executive Summaries must be written by team members themselves; writings from any other individual or institution is strictly forbidden. 
  • Submissions must not violate any contract obligation, intellectual property and/or other rights of a third party. Participating teams will take the full responsibility of resolving any legal issue in case of disputes. 
  • We encourage teams to submit product prototypes (if applicable) and/or other relevant materials along with the Executive Summaries. 
  • All submissions must be based on legitimate business purpose. Ventures that involve illegal activities or are hazardous to human health or the environment are strictly prohibited. 


After the registration deadline, a committee of judges formed by Chinese and American angel investors and venture capitalists will review all start-up projects, and the top 10 to 12 projects who receive the highest scores will be the finalists and have the opportunity to present at the final Competition during the Summit. For teams who cannot attend the Competition in person due to geographic barriers, we will provide service to facilitate virtual participation. 


judging criteria

The judges will evaluate each executive summary based on the following criteria: 

  • Importance of the problem solved by the project 
  • Originality, creativity and feasibility of the proposed solution 
  • Market size and competitive advantage 
  • Business model and economic value 
  • Team members’ contribution 


  • The winning teams will receive cash awards of up to $15,000 
  • The competition will presents special awards sponsored by the Intel Capital for startup team in robotics. 
  • All finalists will have one-on-one mentorship from top-tier investors and seek potential collaboration opportunities 
  • Carnegie Mellon University has many world-leading research institutes such as the Robotics Institute, and you can connect to the world class leading researchers in these fields. 
  • Potential financial collaboration opportunities with top venture capital in US and China 
  • The opportunity to connect with incubators and materialize innovative ideas in China CMU talents from the CMU-Summit Career Fair 
  • Opportunity to connect and even qualify for the final round of our partnering venture competitions 


Step 1

Complete the Competition contestant registration form. If the google form cannot be opened, please complete the alternative registration form. 

Step 2

Before March 15, 2017, submit the executive summary and/or pitch deck to the official email of the Competition 


cmu.summit.competition@gmail. com



  • Contestants need to provide a 150 to 200-word description of their projects or prototypes. 
  • By submitting the descriptions, each team authorizes the CMU Summit to use their description and names of the team members for marketing, fundraising, or use for any other public relations purpose. 
  • Contestants may be asked to speak to the media upon request by the CMU Summit. 
  • Contestants must follow all guidelines of the Competition and adhere to decisions made by the Organizing Committee of the Competition. Contestants will be disqualified otherwise. 
  • The Organizing Committee of the Competition will reserve the rights to change the setting of the awards or the schedule for the Competition according to how matters stand. 


The Organizing Committee of the Competition protects the confidentiality of all contestants’ business plans and products in the following ways: 

  • Members of the Organizing Committee must not share confidential information of contestants and submitted material with unauthorized personnel. 
  • The Organizing Committee requests that all judges must not share confidential information of contestants and submitted material with unauthorized personnel. However, the Organizing Committee is not responsible for actions or verbal statements by the judges.


  • To protect the rights of contestants, we strongly encourage all contestants to raise the awareness of intellectual property rights. In cases of intellectual property violations to third parties, the Organizing Committee reserves the rights to disqualify any team committing the violations. The Organizing Committee is not responsible for any of the legal redress and have the rights to disqualify any team in case of such violations. 
  • Contestants are fully responsible for any legal redress of participating in the Competition including, but not limited to, violation of third party patents, copyrights, trademark rights, privacy rights etc. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to disqualify contestants in cases of such violations and is not responsible for the legal redress. 
  • The Organizing Committee reserves the rights to revise, update and make final explanation on the contents above.