Koch Innovation Challenge

The annual Koch Innovation Challenge will emphasize teamwork and entrepreneurship. In addition to a technically feasible and potentially profitable prototype, competing cross-disciplinary teams will submit an opportunity statement to determine market size, profitability, and potential for commercialization.

Winning entries will have:

  • Demonstrated utility and technical feasibility
  • Met technical, economic, legal, and regulatory requirements
  • Featured a novel and practical design
  • Demonstrated potential for commercialization including a market assessment, and proposed regulatory and intellectual property strategies

The College of Engineering organizes the Koch Innovation Challenge from its Introduction to Technology & Innovation Freshman Seminar general education course. In this course, students experience the innovation process by learning the design thinking process, a human-centered design method for innovation that combines creative and analytical approaches and requires collaboration across disciplines and diverse backgrounds. It focuses on empathy as a way to understand the user and design to meet their needs. Completion of this course serves as a prerequisite to enter the competition.

From this competition, Angel Competition Team winners will be selected to advance to the spring semester. Each of the winners will be provided up to $500 in investment capital to pursue their big idea ventures during their second semester. Additionally, students on the five winning teams will be awarded a $1,000 Koch Innovation Challenge scholarship for their second semester. Further, each winning team will be paired with a faculty innovation mentor as they pursue their big idea ventures.

At the end of the second semester, a final competition will take place in order to identify the Grand Champion Team. The members of the Grand Champion Team will be awarded a travel grant to attend the national Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization (CEO) Conference during their third semester. At the National CEO Conference, they will compete in the National Elevator Pitch Competition.