Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What's different about Cozad for Spring 2021?

  • Cozad will be virtual this year.
  • All teams will be assigned their own mentor for the duration of the program.
  • The Demo Showcase (on March 17) will take place prior to the Finals Event (on April 14).
  • There will be a Semi-Finals event (on March 31). Judges will determine which teams will move forward to compete at the Finals Event. Note that all teams who meet the requirements of Cozad NVC (including all mandatory deliverables and meeting attendance requirements) may participate in all events prior to the Finals Event, and are eligible for all prizes except 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes which will be awarded at the Finals Event.

Do I need teammates to participate, or can I participate on my own?
Forming a team is not required. You may participate on your own.

About how many teams compete in Cozad each year?
It varies from year to year, but normally we have between 75 and 125 teams compete each year.

When is my registration (intent to compete) due?
The registration deadline for the 2020-21 academic year is Monday, February 8 by 11:59pm.

Do I need to have a developed company to compete in Cozad?
No, you do not. You can enter with just an idea, but the teams that win usually work on their idea throughout the semester.

What do I win if I win the Cozad New Venture Challenge?
It varies from year to year, but we have given out cash prizes, co-working space, resources, counseling, consulting, and various other prizes to help get the company kick-started. Check out the winning teams and what they won in 2019!

What if someone steals my idea?
More often than not, a successful company is about the person, more than the idea. Someone else would not have the same passion, drive, or motivation that you have to start a company. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs are not afraid of sharing their idea, getting feedback, and changing their business model. Our advice is "Share to Learn".

Is the Semi-Finals Round an elimination round?
Yes, this is an elimination round. However, everyone that presents at the Semi-Finals is eligible for in-kind prizes and other funding awards.

When do the Cozad Showcase, Semi-Finals, and Finals Events take place?
The Demo Showcase will be Wednesday, March 17 at 6:00pm, the Semi-Finals Event will be Wednesday, March 31 at 6:00pm, and the Finals Event will be Wednesday, April 14 at 6:00pm.

Can international students participate in Cozad?
Yes, international students can participate in Cozad. However, it is recommended you speak to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). Contact: isss@illinois.edu 

I am having trouble putting together my final materials. Is there a document to follow?

Yes, you can find guidance here! 

If I am a judge or sponsor and need a hotel room, where should I stay?
NOTE: For the 2020-21 academic year, Cozad events will be held virtually.

University of Illinois Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) Documents - These apply for those teams winning the top placement prizes.