Skip to Main Content

Build The Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Support Page Content

Spark Venture Competition

GEW 2023 Spark Venture Competition

About Spark Venture Competition

The Spark Venture Competition in Sacramento is an annual venture competition hosted by the Carlsen Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, powered by Western Health Advantage.

The Spark Venture Competition includes early-stage for-profit startups as well as social impact ventures. A total of $20,000 in cash prizes were awarded.

5th Annual Spark Venture Competition Winners

For Profit:
1st Place - Agrinerds1st Place: Agrinerds

2nd Place - Rely-Estate2nd Place: Rely-Estate

Social Ventures:
1st Place - Inspirame1st Place Social Ventures: Inspirame

2nd Place - 2nd Place Social Ventures:

2023 Judges

Sara Ledterman - Founder and Investor of 3+ Ventures
David Peregrine - Managing Director at BarronKent | A Family Office
Douglas Younger III - Founder & CEO of 3STEPS4WARD

Our 2023 Spark Venture Finalists

Our Finalists:

For Profit:

Social Ventures:

decorative image

About Spark Venture Competition

The competition is open to early-stage ventures aiming to operate in the Greater Sacramento Region. An application is required to be considered for Round 1 of judging. In the final round, teams compete by presenting their pitches to a panel of judges (5 min presentation and 5 min Q&A) to win cash prizes.

The focus of this competition is to catalyze a group of early-stage ventures by elevating their startups at the Spark Venture Competition and having a select few of them walk away with cash awards to advance their venture. We are aiming to select startups with at least problem-solution fit and evidence around product-market fit.

Problem-Solution Fit - this occurs when you have evidence that customers care about certain jobs, pains, and gains. At this stage, you've proved the existence of a problem and have designed a value proposition that addresses your customers' jobs, pains and gains. Unfortunately, you still do not have clear evidence that your customer really care enough about your value proposition enough to buy it.

Product-Market Fit occurs when you have evidence that your value proposition is actually creating value for customers by alleviating their pains and creating the gains they desire. Your product or service is beginning to gain traction in the market and you've gone through the long and iterative process of running tests that have validated and invalidated the various assumptions underlying your value proposition. - Strategyzer, Nabila Amarsy 2014