Do you have a compelling seed or early-stage venture?
Seeking investors to take it to the next level?

The Galant Challenge connects seed and early-stage ventures from the UVA community with potential investors. Since launching in 2012, the annual pitch competition hosted by the McIntire School of Commerce's Galant Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is one of the nation's premier university startup events, with significant funding by investors each year. In the 2022 Challenge, more than $3 million was invested in six companies by our panel of investors. The 2023 Challenge reached historic levelsentrepreneur teams who pitched raised more than $15 million to take their ventures to the next level.

The 2024 Galant Challenge will take place at UVA on Thursday, April 25, 2024.  Submit your pitch by Friday, March 8!

Submit a Pitch
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How It Works

Entrepreneurs in the UVA community are invited to submit a pitch to the Galant Challenge, UVA's premiere startup event connecting seed and early-stage ventures with potential investors. Since the Challenge started in 2012, more than $25 million has been invested in teams selected to pitch in the Challenge.

Eligibility: UVA students, alumni, faculty, and staff who are founders or members of the startup's management team are eligible to apply. Four to six finalist teams will ultimately be chosen to showcase at the Galant Challenge on Thursday, April 25, at UVA. 

Submit Your Pitch: Include all requested information to ensure your submission receives full consideration. Each submission should include a short PowerPoint describing your concept in 10-20 slides. Check out Guy Kawasaki's 10-20-30 approach. Each submission should also include your five-minute "elevator pitch" video; cell phone footage is perfectly appropriate.

Deadline: All pitches must be submitted through the online form no later than midnight EST on Friday, March 8. Please ensure that your submission does not include proprietary data. Photos and videos will be taken during the Challenge.

Save the Date! All applicants are encouraged to save the date and be available to visit UVA in person on Thursday, April 25, for the 2024 Galant Challenge. Submitters will be notified no later than the week of April 8, 2024, if their venture is selected as a finalist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Galant Challenge?

The Galant Challenge is a "Shark Tank"-style pitch event held annually at the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce to expose startups founded by UVA community members (students, alumni, faculty, and staff) to potential investors.  The Galant Challenge has resulted in more than $25 million in capital raised for finalists since 2012.

Who are the investors?

Led by Mark E. Galant (McIntire '80), the investor panel changes annually but is typically composed of leading entrepreneurs and investors ready to put real capital into the final ventures selected to pitch. In recent years the panel featured Paul Tudor Jones (A&S '76) of Tudor Investment Corporation, Baiju Bhatt, Co-Founder of Robinhood, and John Griffin (McIntire '85) of Blue Ridge Capital, among others. This year's panelists will be announced on the website throughout the coming weeks.

Who has been funded in past Galant Challenges?

Each year, dozens of pitches are submitted to the Galant Challenge, and four to six venture will ultimately be selected to pitch in person to our panel of investors on April 25, 2024 at the UVA McIntire School of Commerce. Of those, many are selected for funding by one or more investors, with the total dollars committed jumping from $1.8 million in 2021 to $3.1 million in 2022.  The 2023 event reached historic levels: Entrepreneur teams seeking funding raised more than $15 million to take their ventures to the next level. 

Check out the Past Events section below for recaps of each year's Challenge, with details about the companies and investments that resulted.

Who should I contact with questions or for assistance with my submission form?

Please email if you encounter any problems submitting your pitch, or for questions about the Challenge.  Someone will respond within 1-2 business days.  Thank you for your patience!

Why is the submission form giving me an error message?

Third-party tools such as aggressive malware monitoring, secure browser extensions, or a VPN could interfere with the form submission.  Please try temporarily disabling secure browser extensions or VPN before submission.