Win your first Tranche of investment

Seed Funding, Mentors, Subject Matter Experts and Follow On Investor Contacts

 Application Deadline is March 31, 2019


2019 New Ventures Challenge

A business idea competition that offers startup teams the opportunity to win seed funding and enter the Flywheel New Ventures Accelerator. Winning teams will be awarded cash prizes and follow-up investments with an average $50,000 investment per team in return for a 7.5% equity stake.


Powered by Flywheel Coworking

Flywheel administers the Challenge on behalf of the New Ventures, provides workspace for selected challenge teams during the finalists briefing and final pitch weekend, runs the accelerator, and organizes the resources and mentors for development of teams’ concepts and commercialization plans.


New Ventures Backs the Challenge

The New Ventures Investment Club is a limited pool of local investors, organized under the Federal 506 exemption and operates as an investment club structured as an LLC with a member operating agreement governing use of funds and process for investment decisions. All members are active investors.



Selected from the pool of applicants, up to eight teams will be deemed winner and be accepted into the Flywheel New Ventures Accelerator and awarded the following cash prizes as the first tranche of an average $50,000 investment per team:

$35,000 1st prize

$15,000 2nd prize

$10,000 3rd prize

$5,000 for up to five runner-ups

Additional investments will be based on milestone achievement as teams progress through the accelerator. For more information, please see Terms and Conditions.


The New Ventures Challenge 2019 startup competition is accepting applications from formative inception and early-stage entrepreneurial companies with web and mobile software, hardware or device innovation ideas.
The challenge is broad based and will consider any ideas in the categories of Business or Consumer Software Development and Applications, IT and Informatics, High Technology, and Device Innovation. The New Ventures Challenge has particular interest in ideas that intersect with the following domains:

Digital Health
Medical Devices
3-D Printing
Wellness Tech
FinTech and InsurTech
Advanced Textiles

Wearable Tech
Logistics and Supply Chain
Arts Entrepreneurship
Social Innovation

Selected teams will benefit from Flywheel’s significant programmatic investment in developing market skills in software development, data analytics, internet and cloud technology. In addition to pre- and post-revenue startup teams and companies, student teams from accredited higher education institutions are encouraged to apply. Refer to eligibility requirements and terms for more information.




Applications Open

January 25, 2019


Deadline for Applications

March 31, 2019, 11:50 PM EDT


Round 1 Judging

April 8–12, 2019


Finalists Announced, Round 2 begins

April 13, 2019


Finalists Briefing

April 23, 2019


Final Pitches - Winners Announced

May 4, 2019


Due Diligence

May 6–June 3, 2019


Accelerator Begins

June 4, 2019


Accelerator Demo Day

September 6, 2019



Experience rapid development, educational workshops and a disciplined lean startup process taught by experienced entrepreneurs and tech mentors over a 3-month acceleration and 2-month follow-up residency at Flywheel.

Interact with a pool of over 40 experienced mentors with expertise in startups, full stack technology, marketing and design. The are an average of 40 investors each year, most of whom are successful serial entrepreneurs. Our community is teeming with finance, legal, customer development, sales and marketing, product design and social media experts willing to pay it forward.

Get connected to the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, a premier urban research, technology and innovation hub with clusters of academic research, startups and technology companies.

Make exclusive presentations to New Ventures investors and top southeast angel and venture capital investors.

Interact with and present to top corporate and healthcare technology, innovation, and venture development executives actively seeking innovative startups.

Get introduced regionally and nationally to second stage seed and Series A investment fund managers.



Teams that advance to the accelerator qualify for an average investment of $50,000 based on progress toward milestones.*


The Accelerator is an intense three-month program through which startups develop ideas into investor-ready functional business models. Teams are taken through a lean-startup method with weekly workshops and agreed upon milestones.
The educational program that accompanies the investment and mentorship is one of the most important ways that the Accelerator’s management team can positively influence startup success.
Flywheel’s principals and New Venture Investors are involved at every step. Because of the pressures on founder time and founder focus, it’s critical that the education program consist of only the most relevant topics, covered in a concise way that is easily and immediately applicable.

*Please refer to Terms and Conditions before applying.




Focus is placed on both refining the business concept and value innovation (making the competition irrelevant). Emphasis is on the business idea development and understanding core concepts of product and customer portfolios, market position and Blue Ocean strategies.
Key milestones at the conclusion of Week 4 include first development steps toward design of an MVP (or next iteration) and meeting needs of early adopters .


Focus is on building and testing Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in the form of functioning software, infrastructure and/or device prototype. This phase involves structured interactions with early adopter and customers, continuous refinement of MVP, and confirmation of customer and market channels. The key milestone for this stage is defined as an MVP and initial customer acceptance.

Informing Customer Relations: Networking, Pitch Practice, Marketing, Sales and Service, Communications, PR and Branding
Key Concepts: Strategic Alliances, Colllaboration, Industry Clusters, Resource Sharing, Co-Branding, Purchasing Partnerships, Co-Production

Critical path toward Week Six milestones.

WEEKS 9-12

Focus continues on building and testing MVP and preparing for Demo Day. Emphasis on metrics and validation that founders have created an attractive business concept, a strong organizational plan, are developing good client/customer relations, and will achieve profitable operations.

Informing Customer Development: Partnerships, Pitch Practice, Sales Process Chain, Sales Activity Plan, Sales Arguments, Sales Objections
Key Operational Concepts: Financials, Production and Delivery, Funding and Internal Process Systems

Critical path toward Weeks Ten and Twelve milestones.


Follow-up residency allows teams to continue receiving guidance, sales and marketing coaching involvement from mentors as they develop market traction and scale thier customer base. Teams benefit from the financial support in the form of initial equity investment, but also the quality of the Accelerator's domain, legal and infrastructure support, a strong mentorship network, and robust relationships and seed investors.


Please review the terms and conditions, and then click below to begin your application.


Community | Startups | Innovation
New Ventures is located at Flywheel Coworking – a community hub for bleeding edge technology research and high growth startups. Each year Flywheel attracts thousands of attendees to over 100 hosted programs such as Google for Entrepreneurs Startup Grind, Techstars Startup Weekend, and Triad Startup Demo Day.


Flywheel is colocated in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter Center for Design Innovation (CDI).
New Ventures daily programming takes place in this nationally recognized innovation facility supported by the areas major universities and colleges. CDI has state of the art 3D printing labs, motion capture studios and inspiring architecture.

CDI Flywheel New Ventures 2019