Academic Events

The McGuire Entrepreneurship Program provides many hands-on opportunities for student ventures to actively engage with the start-up community. Each event is an occasion for students to meet potential stakeholders, refine their venture concept and become more fluent in communicating about their venture.

Speed Networking

The McGuire Entrepreneurship Program has partnered with the Desert Angels to develop a mentoring program for McGuire students. Twice yearly, approximately 10 Angel investors and industry experts come to the McGuire Center to listen to pitches from student venture teams. The experts provide critical feedback to help the students refine and expand their ventures. In addition, McGuire students have adopted the Angel-supported Gust format to shape their pitches, presentations, executive summaries and business plans. For more information on the Gust format, visit

The Desert Angels are a Tucson-based non-profit organization of accredited investors who seek opportunities to invest in Southwest regional startup or early stage companies. The organization serves as a forum for its 80+ members, who invest individually from their personal funds. Since 2000, Desert Angel members have invested over $20 million in more than 55 presenting companies. 

Business Plan Competitions

WorkSphere at Carnegie Mellon University Venture Challenge

WorkSphere at the 2016 Carnegie Mellon University Venture Challenge. From left: Timothy Wolfe, business economics; Chaoying Yan, MIS; Daniel Dicochea, business management; Ivan Mendez, MIS; and Dante Egger, business management.

McGuire Program new venture teams can decide to compete internally to be selected to participate in a number of regional and national business plan competitions. The competitions selected change each year, but recently we have sent students to: 

McGuire Innovation Expo

McGuire Innovation Expo is the McGuire Program’s annual trade show where student teams present their innovative new ventures to the public for the very first time. This trade show allows our students to gain experience taking about and presenting their new ventures to a variety of stakeholders, including potential customers, partners, investors and employees, and is a chance to network with the local start-up community. Student teams debut their prototypes, launch beta apps and pilot test their services at this interactive event.

Learn more: McGuire Innovation Expo 

McGuire on the Mall

McGuire Program Academic Review

In order to sustain our top-rated, innovative curriculum, the McGuire Program conducts a rigorous annual Academic Review each Spring. For this review, we bring entrepreneurship educators from universities around the world to our campus for two full days to assess student learning. This event not only challenges students as they reach a fundamental milestone in the entrepreneurial process - going public with a plan - but also ensures that the McGuire Program continually provides students with the skills necessary to apply principles of entrepreneurship and innovation to any field.

McGuire New Venture Competition and Showcase

The McGuire New Venture Competition and Showcase is the signature event of the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program. After a year spent creating investment-ready business ventures, McGuire teams present their ventures to hundreds of spectators including UA faculty, investors, and the media. The event opens with a tradeshow, during which teams debut highly polished and professional tradeshow booths. In the afternoon, McGuire teams compete in rocket pitches for more than $30,000 in prize money and in-kind contributions. 

Learn more: McGuire New Venture Competition and Showcase

Worksphere wins 2016 NVC