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.

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