PORTLAND -- Here's the pitch: You have only 60 seconds to sell your idea, in an elevator.

The best idea wins $25,000.

That's the idea behind the University of Oregon's New Venture Championships, now celebrating 23 years.

It's one of the most respected in the country and the world.

Sixteen teams from the United States, Hong Kong, Thailand and India began two days of coaching and judging at the Embassy Suites in downtown Portland.

Most of the ideas are in the medical field.

Teams must get to the point, be engaging and seal the deal.

A win could be the start of a business that can change the world.

Teams walk away with real money, according to Kees de Kluyver, Dean of the Lundquist College of Business. They do real things with it, and all we ask them, as you grow remember where you got this good fortune and have a good word for us when they do.

Following Thursday's coaching, students will participate in a trade show to further explain what their product can do.

Friday the teams get to make their final pitch before judges and venture capitalist.

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