The Competition jurors and  mentors are experienced members of the business community. They include venture capitalists, bankers, chief executive officers, angel investors and experts from industry and academia.

The Jury
The jury’s job, says NVBC board member Michael Volker, is to “pick the idea most likely to be commercially viable with the greatest value.”

Judges sit for either Rounds 2 and 2.5, or for Rounds 3 and 4. They evaluate submissions and presentations, offer feedback, and decide who advances to the next round. The Round 3 and 4 jury choose the final winners.

BCIC-New Ventures uses Octothorpe Software for judging analysis. See details here.

The Mentors
Business experts mentor 25 competitor teams in Round 3. Some mentors will also serve on mentor panels during Round 3.

Mentors answer questions, provide focus, examine the business plan, brainstorm possible partnerships, evaluate milestones, provide relevant contacts, evaluate presentations and advise on incorporation and intellectual property rights.

Click here to see our current mentors.

Who can be a mentor?
Successful technology entrepreneurs, corporate financiers, industry experts and academic professionals who have registered with and been accepted by NVBC organizers.

The preferred qualifications of BCIC-New Ventures Mentors (in order of preference) are as follows:

  1. Previous experience as a technology-entrepreneur who has raised equity financing from arms-length investors;
  2. Corporate finance experience – either investing in or raising investment for early-stage technology ventures;
  3. Deep domain experience (10+ years) relevant to a NVBC participant company e.g. sales and marketing for technology products, or product development expertise for a specific technology area.

Panel mentors
Panel mentors will listen as competitors present their business ideas in the space of one hour. Panel mentors will then offer feedback, answer questions and evaluate the presentation. Competitors receive the mentors’ written recommendations.

Code of conduct
Both mentors and competitors are bound by a code of ethics and conduct that reflects the principles and purpose of the New Ventures BC mentorship program:

  • Any conflict of interest must be acknowledged and avoided.
  • Mentors and competitors must maintain confidentiality, practice clear communication, display professional conduct and demonstrate their commitment to the relationship through cooperation, courtesy and mutual trust.

Entrants to the Competition are generally very early-stage start-ups. If your primary goal as a mentor is to find a good investment or buy your way into equity, please do not volunteer.

Interested in volunteering? E-mail us at if you think your skills could benefit our competitors

See all past winners