2017 McGuire New Venture Competition

Event Date

Friday, April 28, 2017 -
9:00am to 5:00pm


McClelland Hall

2017 McGuire New Venture Competition PosterSee Innovation In Action!

On April 28, 19 McGuire Entrepreneurship Program student startup teams will present their innovative new ventures in the rapid-fire rocket pitch competition and trade show at the 2017 McGuire New Venture Competition. This year, more than $40,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to winning teams. The event is free and open to the public. Please plan to join us for this exciting event! 

All events take place in McClelland Hall, 1130 E. Helen St., in the Berger Auditorium and Estes Atrium. 

9:00 - First Round Pitches
10:45 - Business/Law Exchange
11:30 - Trade Show
12:30 - Final Round Pitches
2:30 - Awards Ceremony
3:45 - Reception & Trade Show



McGuire Entrepreneurship Program students receive a year of intensive experiential education that engages them in the process of moving innovation from an early-stage idea to a sustainable investor-ready venture. Learn about all of the 2017 McGuire Program New Venture Teams!  



  • GRAND PRIZE: $10,000
  • SECOND PLACE: $5,000
  • THIRD PLACE: $2,500
  • Microsoft Social Impact Award: $5,000
  • Best in Class: $1,000
  • People’s Choice: $1,000
  • Connect Coworking Award: Six months of office space for one team. ($11,600 value) 
  • StageXchange Award: One year of dealbook hosting. ($4,700 value)



Leaders in entrepreneurship and business innovation  

Tyler Hall, VP of Operations, Samsung SmartThings

Tyler Hall, a 2008 graduate of the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program, started his first company, Student Experts, as a “white-glove tech support” company, providing labor and assistance to small businesses looking to expand their technology. He started with four partners; in three years it grew to 100 employees. The tech-support arm of the operation merged with Mural Consulting, where he was VP of Operations for three years. In 2012, he got involved in a startup called SmartThings, which Samsung purchased in 2014 for around $200 million, according to reports in trade publications. Samsung SmartThings allows users to connect a hardware hub to a Wi-Fi router, fire up an app, and control all of their smart devices from one place.

Base Horner, Managing Partner, Arch Partners

Basil “Base” E. Horner serves as an Executive Board Member and Chairman of the Screening Panel for the Desert Angels, and also serves on the board of Eller Executive Education and several companies. He is a co-founder of Arch Partners LLC, a team of successful entrepreneur-investors who utilize their expertise in “go to market” strategy and execution, financing and exit strategies to build and realize value for the owners of their portfolio companies. In 1999, Mr. Horner was a co-founder of US Capital Partners LLC, a boutique investment banking firm formed to provide middle-market companies with advisory services. Mr. Horner received his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a MBA degree with honors in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago.  

Christopher McGuire, Vice-President of Programs and Director, H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation

As Vice-President of Programs and Director of the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, Christopher McGuire, a University of Arizona graduate, is responsible for executive leadership, vision and oversight for a variety of programs and services, and has initiated new philanthropic endeavors. The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship and the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program were both renamed in 2003 in recognition of Mr. McGuire, and his wife, Carol. They and the California-based foundation have provided significant support — financial and personal — to the Center and its program since its inception. 

Michelle Tinsley, Director, Retail Sales, Intel

Michelle Tinsley is Intel’s Director of Sales for Retail and Market Channel Acceleration accounts across the Americas. Prior to this role she served as the Director of Mobility & Secure Payments in the Retail Solutions Division where she was responsible for Intel’s efforts in setting global strategy for retail mobility devices and defining product strategies to solve retailer problems. She started at the company about 25 years ago and rose through the ranks to become an expert in business strategy creation and execution, business development, and corporate entrepreneurship. Ms. Tinsley is an active angel investor in the Arizona Technology Investment group and serves on the Board of Directors for Ubora, an IT Solutions Company for Small Business. She also serves on the WNet Board of Directors, the organization for women in the payments industry. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oregon and an MBA from Arizona State University. 

Matt Williams, Founder and CEO, Pro.com

Matt Williams is Founder and CEO of Pro.com, a home services marketplace where customers get instant price estimates for home projects, find trusted pros and schedule appointments online. After earning a B.S. in Business - Entrepreneurship in three years and graduating Cum Laude with University Honors Distinction from the UA, Mr. Williams co-founded LiveBid.com, a Seattle-based company that pioneered real-time, event-based auctions online. After his startup was acquired by Amazon in 1999, Mr. Williams spent 11 years in a variety of executive roles at the company. Mr. Williams was CEO of Digg from September 2010 until completing the sale of the company in July 2012. He spent a year as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Andreessen Horowitz before starting Pro.com.



Thank you to our generous partners!

The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation logo The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation is a catalyst to help others achieve their goals and demonstrate that success can be achieved by mutual cooperation, clear goals and steadfast determination. Upholding the values and interests of Mr. and Mrs. Berger, the Foundation often awards financial and real estate support for educational, health and social services organizations and programs that “help people help themselves.”
Connect Coworking Logo Located in the Historic Rialto Building in the heart of Downtown Tucson, Connect Coworking is a top-notch Tucson collaborative workspace that provides entrepreneurs, small businesses and freelancers everything they need to grow and evolve their businesses.
Microsoft logo

Microsoft is the McGuire Center's Annual Social Innovation Sponsor. Microsoft Social Catalyst is focused on engaging university students through Microsoft’s social impact stories and partnering to make a positive social impact on the world. 

StageXchange Logo

StageXchange is a customizable platform used by developers and entrepreneurs to manage their deal’s lifecycle with visually compelling dealbooks, institutional-grade capital raising analytics, and ongoing lender and investor reporting. StageXchange was co-founded by 1999 McGuire Program graduate Rick Yngve.