Our jurors and mentors are business leaders– BC venture capitalists, chief executive officers, angel investors, industry experts and academics.

Jury and judging criteria

The jury’s criteria for picking winners? To pick the idea most likely to be commercially viable with the greatest value in today’s market.

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.

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

Jury Conflict of Interest Policy
New Ventures BC selects its jury members in advance of the Competition. As a result, there may be instances where a jury member has a conflict of interest with a venture in the Competition.

A conflict of interest arises when a juror has a material conflict with a venture. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • The juror is a shareholder, director, employee or consultant in a venture;
  • The juror is related to one or more of the participants in the venture; or
  • The juror stands to materially benefit from the success or failure of a venture.

In these cases, New Ventures BC follows these guidelines:

  • All jurors must disclose any material conflict of interest to New Ventures BC, in writing,  before reviewing submissions
  • If a judge has a conflict of interest, they must recuse themselves from reviewing the identified company and/or any of this company’s direct competitors
  • New Ventures BC will make best efforts to find a suitable a replacement judge. If a replacement cannot be found, Competition scores will be tabulated with one less judge.

Mentorship program

Over 100 business experts mentor 25 competitor teams in Round 3 and 25 serve on mentor panels.

How do our mentors help? Team 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.

Panel mentors watch business pitches, offer feedback, answer questions and evaluate presentations.

Meet our mentors.

Who can be a mentor?

Successful technology entrepreneurs, corporate financiers, industry experts and academic professionals who have registered with and have been accepted by NVBC organizers.

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

  • Previous experience as a technology-entrepreneur who has raised equity financing from arms-length investors;
  • Corporate finance experience – either investing in or raising investment for early-stage technology ventures;
  • 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.

Mentor 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 contact@newventuresbc.com if you think your skills could benefit our competitors.

See all past winners