Developing and retaining STEM talent in CNY for economic advancement

CNY Innovation Challenge Rules
Sponsored by SRC and Partners for Education & Business

Challenge Problem: Product or Service Idea
Your task in this challenge is to propose and design a product/service that students (or parents) would buy to improve life as we know it today. You will need to have a solid plan for implementation and a marketing pitch to “sell” your concept.

Challenge problem areas:

  • Create a product/service that would make your school life easier
  • Develop a way for students to save time/be more efficient
  • Invent a way to increase understanding of various concepts taught in class
  • Design an app that will help increase communication or make teleworking easier
  • Fabricate an invention that would improve leisure activities
  • Conceive an alternative to standardized tests for measuring student performance
  • Build a product/service that will help the environment
  • Devise a way to enhance family relationships
  • Think of an idea that would help students determine a career path
  • Generate a product/service that the world “can’t live without”


  • Will your product/service appeal to students?
  • How well have you articulated the need for the product/service?
  • How well does your idea address the need?
  • Have you considered all aspects of product/service design? (Designs should consider the utility, usability and desirability of the product)
  • How compelling is your overall presentation? (The “wow” factor. How soon can I buy one?)


  • The Challenge is open to students in grades 6-12
  • There will be winners in the high school category (grades 10-12) and middle school (grades 6-9)
  • Teams need to have a minimum of two students and a maximum of four
  • If a team has students from different grades, they will be entered in the category of the oldest student
  • Team members can be from different schools
  • No more than 3 teams per school (more students can enter school-related contest and then school can down select)
  • Teams need to register online by February 15, 2019
  • Teams will be assigned a mentor and must check in throughout the process to ensure all teams have an equal chance to receive assistance
  • Teams must be able to participate and give their “pitch” at the final competition on March 30
  • PowerPoint presentations will not be allowed during the final competition
  • Winning teams will receive a check a few weeks after the competition made out to the winners
  • All questions should be sent to



Independent judges from the business community will be evaluating teams based on the following criteria:

  • 5-25 pts – originality/creativity of idea
  • 5-25 pts – market considerations
  • 5-25 pts – design worthiness
  • 5-25 pts – documenting intellectual property
  • 5-25 pts – advertisement & packaging
  • 5-25 pts – presentation

30-150 pts – total points possible

Sponsored by: