Camino Real Venture Competition

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Camino Real Venture Competition
March 9 - 10, 2012


Hosted By














Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors


Mike Loya Distinguished Chair in Engineering





Silver Sponsors







Bronze Sponsors

























































March 9 - 10, 2012

University of Texas El Paso, College of Business Administration

To see the list of teams that participated in the 2012 Camino Real Venture Competition, please click here

First Place for Entrepreneurship - EXOGRIP, United States Air Force Academy
Second Place for Entrepreneurship - Timamu Food Solutions, Colorado State University
Merit in Entrepreneurship Final Division - NanoSense, University of New Mexico
Merit in Entrepreneurship Final Division - Green Tech Innovations, New Mexico State University
First Place Challenge Round A - ABIOMTECH, University of Texas at El Paso
First Place Challenge Round B - AMDAT, University of Texas at El Paso
Business Plan - AMDAT, University of Texas at El Paso
60 Second Elevator Pitch - Timamu Food Solutions, Colorado State University

The Camino Real Venture Competition’s (CRVC) primary purpose is to provide a venue for young entrepreneurs to develop a business concept from planning stage, to start up, and hopefully to product commercialization.

Student teams will present business plans based on innovative technologies to a group of judges consisting of successful business people, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other business experts. Teams will submit a written business plan to the judges prior to the event and will be expected to participate fully in the Competition. The Competition will consist of a 60 Second Elevator Pitch, and the PowerPoint presentation of the business plan. 

Last year, the Camino Real Venture Challenge (CRVC)  and STEM Challenge partnered in a joint business plan competition that included separate tracks for college and high school students.

All tracks will run concurrently and bring the same opportunities for high school and college students in our region.



UTEP News - March 6, 2012

The CRVC is for student created, managed, and owned ventures. In other words, students must (1) have played a major role in conceiving the venture, (2) have key management roles in the venture, and (3) own significant equity in the venture. Non-students may be members of the venture’s management team and may participate in planning the venture. However, only students may participate in the Competition.

The maximum number of students on a Competition Team is five (5); although there is no restriction on the total size of the venture’s founding team. At least one (1) of the members of the Competition Team must be a graduate student. Team members can be pulled from all academic disciplines. In order to be eligible to be on the Competition Team students must have been enrolled for at least one (1) semester of the Academic Year in which the Competition is held.

The following schools are allowed to send up to two teams:

  • Colorado State University
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
  • University of Colorado at Denver
  • University of Denver
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • United States Air Force Academy
  • University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
  • New Mexico Highlands University
  • University of New Mexico
  • New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
  • New Mexico State University
  • University of Texas, Permian Basin
  • Texas Tech Paul Foster Medical School
  • University of Texas at El Paso
  • Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Cd. Juárez
  • Universidad TecMilenio, Campus Cd. Juárez
  • Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Chihuahua
  • Universidad TecMilenio, Campus Chihuahua
  • Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados, S.C.


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Entry Forms and Written Business Plan
Each school must submit an Intent to Compete Form in order to reserve slots for their Teams in the CRVC.

Each Team must submit a Team Competition Entry Form detailing the names of team members and a Project description. This Form certifies that all work on the Business Plan by all Team Members is original.

Teams must submit an electronic copy of the Written Business Plan in English. Plans should be:

  • Plans should be submitted as a single, printable PDF file.
  • Plans are limited to no more than 10 pages (not including a single cover page and single table of contents page) and can include up to 6 additional pages of appendices.
  • Page format is 1.5 line spacing with 1 inch top, bottom, left and right margins, and 12 point font. This line spacing and font requirement applies to the textual content of the document and not to titles and descriptions accompanying pictures, graphs, tables or worksheets. All pages must be numbered excluding the cover page. The cover page must include venture name and university affiliation.
  • Financial data should include cash flow, income statement, and balance sheet details.
  • Include an explanation of the offering to investors indicating how much money is required, how it will be used and the proposed structure of the deal.
  • Delineate the exit strategies if equity is part of the offering.
  • Appendices should be included only when they support the findings, statements and observations in the plan.

Plans should be submitted to Nancy Lowery at

Elevator Pitch
All Teams will participate in an Opening Reception. During the reception, one (1) team member will present a 60 Second Elevator Pitch to an audience of entrepreneurs, investors, academics and their peers. The winner will receive a cash prize sponsored by Innovate El Paso

PowerPoint/Oral Presentations
Each team must present its business plan following this rules:

  • In the Opening Round, the presentation format is 30 minutes running clock (judges are allowed to ask questions at any time in the presentation). Teams are responsible for effectively managing their presentation time.
  • Each member of the team present at the competition must participate fully in the formal presentation of the plan.
  • Teams may not observe other teams’ sessions in their division until after they have presented their own plan.
  • Each team needs to supply its own PC-compatible laptop computer and is responsible for assuring it works with the provided audio-visual equipment in advance of their presentation.
  • Teams will then participate in Feed Back Rounds. Teams that are selected to go onto the Finals round will present the second day of competition. All Team not in the Finals round will present in Challenge rounds.
  • In the Final and Challenge Rounds, the presentation format is 45 minutes running clock


IP Considerations:

  • Teams requiring non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) should not participate.
  • All sessions of the competition are open to the public and may be broadcast to interested persons through media which may include radio, television and the Internet.
  • Any data or information discussed or divulged throughout the competition should be considered information that will enter the public domain.
  • The competition and the organizer of the competition may make photocopies, photographs, video recordings and/or audio recordings of the presentations including the business plan and other documents, charts, media or other material prepared for use in presentation.
  • CRVC may use the materials in any book or other printed materials and any videotape or other medium that they may produce, provided that any profits earned from the sale of such items is used by these entities solely to defray the costs of future competitions. CRVC has non-exclusive world rights in all languages, and in all media, to use or to publish the materials in any book, other printed materials, videotapes or other medium, and to use the materials in future editions thereof and derivative products.

Student Involvement: The competition is for student created, managed, and owned ventures. This is the most common area for requested rules clarification. The guidelines are:

  • Students played a major role in conceiving the venture by having key management roles and owning significant equity in the venture.
  • Significant equity is 50% or more of the equity allocated to the management team and key advisors. 
  • The objective of this rule is to exclude ventures formed and managed by non-students who have token student representation to compete on the investment circuit.

Team Composition: This is a competition for graduate students; teams with undergraduates can compete. Students from any graduate program (not just MBAs) are eligible to participate, including executive and evening format programs. Non-students may be members of the venture’s management team and may participate in planning the venture, however only students may participate in the competition.

Any team participating in an undergraduate competition, regardless of team re-configuration, is disqualified from competing.

Student Enrollment: The competition is for students currently enrolled in graduate school. Executive or evening program formats are eligible in the next competition season following their graduation if they did not graduate on a traditional (month of May) graduation schedule.

Exceptions will be made for students who both wrote their business plans for academic credit and graduated during the preceding summer and for students from universities south of the equator not having a traditional (month of May) graduation timeframe.

Nature of Ventures: Companies must intend to be operating companies with corporate structures and financial statements that reflect real operating revenues and expenses. This is intended to exclude investment vehicles, partnerships, licensing and other pass-through entities where returns are measured for investment value versus operating earnings.

The competition focuses on new, independent ventures in the seed, start-up or early growth stages. In addition to what is outlined in the above paragraph, generally excluded are the following: buy-outs, expansions of existing companies, roll-ups, real estate syndications, tax shelters, franchise based outlets, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area and spin-outs from existing corporations.

Licensing technologies from universities or research labs is encouraged assuming there has been no previous commercialization. Key in these types of ventures is demonstrating significant added value to the technology through the efforts of the management team.

All ventures must be seeking outside equity capital.

Prior Activity: Ventures and their base concepts may compete for only one season in the competition. Ventures that have generated revenue or raised equity capital from sources other than the members of the student team before the current academic year are excluded.

Ventures that have generated revenue or raised equity capital from sources other than the members of the student team before the current academic year are excluded.

University Sponsorship and Faculty Adviser Involvement: The business plan must be prepared under faculty supervision. Ideally, the business plan will be prepared for credit in a regularly scheduled course or as an independent study. The business plan must represent the original work of members of the team. All universities with participating teams are strongly encouraged to send faculty or other university advisors to the team to most, if not all, all of the competitions in which their teams compete.

Bids to cCompetition must be accepted by a team’s faculty adviser. The faculty adviser must, on behalf of the sponsoring university, attest to the eligibility of team, their adherence to the rules and guidelines and acknowledge potential penalties for violations and infractions.

Dropping Out of a Competition: If a team withdraws or does not compete in a competition after accepting a bid  the team and university will be subject to disqualification  from competing in CRVC for that year and the following year, a two year ban. All violations will be reported to the Venture Labs Investment Competition Directors Committee.

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Please check back for updates

Monday, November 21, 2011 - Submission of Intent to Compete Form

Monday, January 30, 2012 - Submission of Team Competition Entry Form

Monday, February 13, 2012 - Tlast day to confirm hotel reservation at group rate

  • Hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn, 111 West University Avenue, El Paso Texas, 915-351-2121
  • For hotel reservations, please contact directly Leslie Ramirez at or 915-351-4902. Please make your reservations as soon as possible since rooms are based upon availability.
  • Rooms are reserved at the rate of $89.00/night

Monday, February 27, 2012 - Submission of electronic copy of the Competition Written Business Plan to Nancy Lowery at

Monday, February 27, 2012 - Submission of Team Eligibility, Permission and Prize Money Forms

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - Arrive to El Paso

March 9 to 10, 2012 - Camino Real Venture Competition.

May 2 to 5, 2012 - Venture Labs Investment Competition (formerly Moot Corp®)

  • Winning Camino Real Venture Competition Team has an automatic invitation to participate in Venture Labs Investment Competition at the University of Texas at Austin

If you have difficulties meeting these deadlines, please contact the competition's administrators

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Judging panels will const of successful business people, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other business experts. Judges reserve the right to alter prize amounts. The decisions made by the judging panels are final.

Judging Criteria
Judges will evaluate the written plan and the oral presentation. Judges will score the materials presented in the following manner: Judges Evaluation Form

  • Written Business Plan (40%)
  • Presentation (20%)
  • Viability of Company (40%)

These quantitative measures will depend upon the qualitative evaluation of the judges.

Judging will focus on:

  • Clarity and Quality of the written plan
  • Clarity and quality of the oral presentation
  • Ability to address issues/concerns raised by the judges
  • Viability of the proposed venture
  • Perceived ability of the management team to carry out the proposed venture
  • Prospective financial return to investors

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All questions not answered by this website can be directed to Nancy Lowery at: or Lidia Caraveo at:

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