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Dempsey Startup Competition
May 23, 2019

The Dempsey Startup Competition (Dempsey Startup), organized by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, provides a real-world experience for student entrepreneurs, promoting student ideas and new venture creation to the entrepreneurial community. Participating in the Dempsey Startup gives students practice in the dynamics of venture creation by developing an idea, putting together a founding team, writing a business plan, and presenting to investors. In fact, many ideas that started as a class project turned into a start-up company through the competition process! The Dempsey Startup is open to undergrads and grad students at accredited colleges and universities across the Cascadia Corridor – Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia.

The Dempsey Startup begins with the initial Screening Round online from April 11–14, 2019. There are four subsequent rounds, all competitive elimination rounds, from May 1 through May 23, 2019. From the deadline to apply on April 8 through the end of the competition, the Buerk Center hosts office hours with mentors, workshops, and information sessions, all designed to help students go from idea to launch!

Teams in the Dempsey Startup Competition must comply with the following criteria to be eligible for the competition.

- Teams entering the University of Washington’s Dempsey Startup Competition must have at least one full-time or part-time student on the team who is enrolled in a degree seeking program at an accredited college or university in Washington, Oregon, Idaho or British Columbia. If you graduated in Summer quarter of the current academic year or later (e.g., graduated at the end of summer quarter 2018 for the 2019 competition), you are considered a current student in the competition.
- The business plan must be developed during the student’s tenure at the university. Students working with outside entrepreneurs must create an original business plan.
- All submissions to the Dempsey Startup Competition must live up to the higher ideals of the University of Washington. Your idea must be appropriate for a university-sponsored event. The Buerk Center reserves the right to disqualify any entry that in its judgment violates the letter or the spirit of the competition or exceeds the bounds of social convention.
- If the company is revenue positive, the company’s actual annual revenue cannot exceed $500k. Please note this is different than the company’s projected revenue. This rule does not apply to projected revenue.
- Eligible students can form a team with non-student business community members or alumni, but there are restrictions to this involvement (see below).
- In the Investment Round, no more than four team members, including both students and non-students, can present the new business concept to the judges. In the Sweet Sixteen and Final Rounds of the competition, only student team members will be allowed to make presentations to the judges.
- Students must have an ownership stake in the business or the potential for equity or employment.
- Only student members of a team may use the Startup Tree and Office Hours resources. Non-student members may not reach out to mentors nor should they attend any Office Hours appointments, even if accompanied by a student. These resources are for students only.
- Only student team members are eligible to earn prize money. No payments will be made to non-students.

University of Washington - Foster Business School