The proud mom in the front row was telling me all about her son. Nick Martitsch was about to compete in a prestigious collegiate event. This wasn’t football, baseball or basketball. It was pitch day, a contest where young entrepreneurs vet their startup concepts, the new team sport sweeping America. The setting was not Stanford or even UC Berkeley, but another vanguard of the future, where change is happening fast with a proven formula for success.
Five hundred students, professors, mentors, investors, and parents were packed into the Corwin Pavillion on the UC Santa Barbara campus for the annual New Venture Competition finals. An elite panel of judges, a film crew, and multiple photographers stood at the ready. Six university teams were about to fight for a share of $40,000 in prize money. Past competitors have gotten angel and venture funding and launched major companies.
By Johnathan Littman, Writer, SmartUp