North Bridge Venture Partners Hosting $75K Stanford Seed Capital Competition

The early-stage venture firm North Bridge Venture Partners is teaming up with the Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES) at Stanford in a competition designed to award one Stanford student-led or faculty member-led or alumni-led startup with up to $50,000 in seed capital, $25,000 of in-kind development support, up to six months of incubation space at North Bridge’s San Mateo, Calif., office and access to, and mentorship from members of the North Bridge investment team. Details below.


North Bridge Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital firm with offices in San Mateo, CA and Boston, MA, today announced a new seed capital competition in conjunction with Stanford University’s Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society (ASES). The announcement follows Stanford’s just completed Entrepreneurship Week conference, where North Bridge was a key sponsor of the business plan presentation event, VC3.

The competition will award the winning team up to $50,000 in seed capital, $25,000 of in-kind development support, up to six months of incubation space at North Bridge’s San Mateo, CA office and access to, and mentorship from members of the North Bridge investment team.  

“North Bridge has been very successful identifying and developing new business ideas from the seed stage,” said Cali Tran, principal at North Bridge Venture Partners’ San Mateo office. “In our 2010 seed competition, we saw some great ideas coming from university campuses, so this year we decided to concentrate our efforts there. We’re starting with Stanford and looking at the potential to expand to other schools in the future. We also have a related effort underway at Harvard this year.” 

The firm’s focus on seed capital is not new. Over 60% of the companies funded by North Bridge were initially funded at the seed stage. It was also among the first investors in industry leaders such as Starent Networks ($3 billion Cisco acquisition), A123 (NASDAQ: AONE), PhaseForward ($685 million Oracle acquisition), Tapjoy, Foro Energy and Acquia.  

North Bridge’s inaugural 2010 seed capital competition provided funding for two companies – Magoosh, an online multi-media test preparation company based in Berkley, California and Profitably, a web-based business intelligence and improvement service for small, medium businesses based in New York. Both companies took full advantage of funding, development support and guidance from North Bridge to advance their businesses and expand their market opportunity.       

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are all around you here at Stanford. It’s core to the experience,” said Jason Lin of the Graduate School of Business at the university. “With this competition, North Bridge is opening up a very important outlet to help identify and showcase some groundbreaking business and technology ideas and providing an opportunity to develop them into highly successful ventures.” 

“Our goal at ASES is to help students develop the knowledge and skill set to become successful entrepreneurs,” said Gary Lim, a director at ASES’s Stanford chapter. “The North Bridge seed competition builds on some of the other opportunities we provide such as VC3 in which students get to quick pitch their ideas to top venture capitalists. It forces potential entrepreneurs to sharpen their ideas and take their thinking to the next level to really understand what it will take to make their idea become a successful reality.” 

North Bridge Seed Capital Competition Requirements:

Teams must have at least one (1) member from the Stanford community (student, faculty or alumni). 

Key Dates:

March 20th, first round application due via email submission; details below

March 27th, semi-finalists announced via email

April 2nd, semi‐finalist presentations

April 7th, finalists announced via email

April 13th, finalist presentations and decision

Application Details:

Email submissions by March 20th to bplan at  In the email, attach 7-10 slides (finalists to present same or edited slides) that cover:

·         Team – Bullet point bios, resumes in appendix, references if applicable.

·         Problem – What are you trying to solve? Why is it important?

·         Solution – How will you solve your problem? Any dependencies?

·         Market Size – Real market size, as best as you can estimate.

·         Competition – Alternatives to your solution, if any.

·         How can this idea be a $100M business? Business model.

·         What can be proven/milestones achieved on $50k within six months?


Email Cali Tran (cali at or Jason Lin (Lin_Jason at GSB.Stanford.Edu).

 About North Bridge Venture Partners

North Bridge Venture Partners is an active, bi-coastal, early-stage venture capital firm based in Boston, Massachusetts and San Mateo, California. Established in 1994, North Bridge provides seed-to-growth financing and company-building expertise. Together with North Bridge Growth Equity, our mid-market focused growth capital fund, North Bridge manages over $3 billion. For North Bridge Venture Partners, success is derived through a partnership with entrepreneurs that produce industry-leading companies in large emerging markets. Historically, the firm’s partners have played a significant role in organizing, starting and building successful companies. Working in concert with entrepreneurs, North Bridge adds value by providing strategic guidance, sharing operating experience, industry specific knowledge, team-building skills and an in-depth understanding of both private and public financings. North Bridge’s sector focus includes Software, Communications & Infrastructure, Healthcare Technology, Digital Media, and Materials. For more information about North Bridge, go to

About ASES

ASES is an international network of today’s student innovators and tomorrow’s business leaders. From its inception in 1998 as a Stanford student group focused on introducing members to the myriad entrepreneurial opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, ASES has grown into a global organization with 500+ members in 15 university chapters in 10 countries, all committed to the goal of building a global entrepreneurship community through educational outreach, community partnerships, and international summits. For more information, visit