Davidson Venture Fund

Applications are closed.

The Davidson Venture Fund is an annual pitch competition that gives Davidson students and recent alumni the opportunity to compete for up to $25,000 in investment in their innovative, for-profit ventures. Finalists receive up to six weeks of coaching and mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs and business professionals before pitching to a panel of investors and entrepreneurs!

The Davidson Venture Fund is specifically designed for currently enrolled Davidson College students and recent alumni (2015 – 2020) to support their entrepreneurial journey. Please note, in order to be eligible to receive investment, your venture must be incorporated. See below for more details.

How do I apply?

1. Develop Written Application

This is your chance to let your idea shine! Give us all the details. What problem are you attempting to solve? How will you do it? Do you have teammates? Who are your customers? Who are your competitors? We also want to know about your venture’s finances, including how much capital you are seeking through the competition.

2. Create a Pitch Video

Develop a two-minute video to pitch us your business. We care more about the content than your video production skills — webcam or smartphone video is just fine. Be sure to speak loudly and clearly, and double check the volume of the video before submitting it.


Need help? Check out Techstars’ Master Your Pitch.

3. Sign Participant Agreement

As part of your application, you must sign a Program Participant Agreement to acknowledge and agree with the program terms and conditions. Please use this document to fill in your personal information and upload it with your application. Remember we are here to help, so feel free to ask any questions along the way.

2019 Finalists

2018 Finalists

The Details

A: Enrolled Davidson students and alumni classes of 2015-2020. Other eligibility rules are as follows:

• Each team must include at least one currently enrolled Davidson student(s) and/or at least one Davidson alumni classes 2015-2020.
• Currently enrolled Davidson student(s) and/or alumni classes 2015-2020 must own 25% or more equity in the business to be eligible for an investment.
• One currently enrolled Davidson student or alumnus/a class of 2015-2020 must deliver the pitch and answer questions from the judges.
• Teams may compete and win without being incorporated (or, in the case of a limited liability company, organized), but in order to receive investment, teams must be incorporated or organized.

A: We accept applications from any profit business model.

A: No, but they must own at least 25% of the company.

See more details under “Q: Who is eligible?”

Yes. Student teams are required to participate in six weeks of mentoring sessions. Teams are also encouraged to attend any relevant events or clinics hosted at the Hub. Non-local alumni and students studying abroad must participate in remote mentoring sessions.

A: Sometimes! Usually, one finalist team takes home the entire $25,000 prize. When the judges believe there should be more than one winner, they have the discretion to divide up the prize. In addition, there is no requirement that the judges make an investment in any team. The investment will be granted in the judges’ discretion.

A: We generally reimburse up to $250.

A: Investment from the Davidson Venture Fund is an investment by Davidson College (or a subsidiary of the college) in a Davidson student or young alumni business venture.

While teams may compete and win the investment without being incorporated (or, in the case of a limited liability company, organized), the investment will only be disbursed to a corporation or limited liability company. The winning team(s) will have the option to structure the investment as either a convertible note or a warrant. If the convertible note structure is selected, then the team will enter into a Convertible Promissory Note and a Loan Agreement with Davidson College or a subsidiary of the college (referred to as the “Investor”). If the warrant structure is selected, then the team will enter into a Warrant and Investment Agreement with the Investor.

The Finer Print


Confidentiality of information is not guaranteed and teams should not include any confidential information in their submissions, including trade secrets or other proprietary information that would be at risk for disclosure. Entry into this competition may be considered a public disclosure for patent purposes. If teams plan to file patent protection on an aspect of their business, they should consult with an intellectual property attorney before entering. Intra-team confidentiality is the sole responsibility of team members.

Additional Rules

Teams are subject to the Davidson College Honor Code. Teams may be disqualified at any time before, during, or after the pitch competition for failing to comply with these general rules or the conditions set forth in the program participation agreement.