Hosted by the Center for Leadership Education, HopStart: Hopkins New Venture Challenge (formerly the JHU Business Plan Competition) is an annual startup competition that challenges Johns Hopkins students to develop a business plan around a novel idea and pitch their plan to industry leaders.

Throughout two stages of competition held during the spring of each year, students build an understanding of their target market and competitors, craft an effective market entry strategy, and present their plans to industry professionals on competition day.

Learn more about the history of the competition.

Register for HopStart 2024

The registration deadline for HopStart 2024 is Wednesday, February 14. Want to compete but don't have an idea or a team? Fill out our form and get connected with teams looking for additional members.

Compete in HopStart 2024

Become a Judge or Mentor

Join us as a HopStart judge or mentor and share your expertise with students who are innovating to solve some of today’s most pressing problems. Mentors help student teams perfect their business plans and pitches in advance of competition day, while judges evaluate pitches, provide feedback, and network with teams in person on competition day.


Read through our frequently asked questions for competitors, judges, and mentors.

The extensive feedback and conversations with mentors really forces competitors to do a deeper dive on all the subsections of the business plan, and because of that, [HopStart] is ideal for startups at all stages.

Ronak Mahatme '21 Competitor

HopStart News

  • 2023 Competitors Somnair win first prize at ASU's Innovation Open

    Somnair, a non-invasive neurostimulation device for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, won $100,000 at Arizona State University’s annual competition on February 9.

  • Former HopStart winners CurveAssure receive $140,000 President's Venture Fellowship

    2023 Second place winners CurveAssure recently received the Johns Hopkins’ President’s Venture Fellowship, which includes $100,000 in funding and a $40,000 stipend for their venture lead. Read more here.

  • 2023 HopStart winners TasteeTape named one of Time's 200 best inventions

    Tastee Tape, edible tape for wraps, burritos, gyros, and other foldable snacks, was recognized by TIME Magazine as one of 2022’s best inventions. Read more here.