Eligibility. Current Georgia Tech undergraduate students working towards their first undergraduate degree can enter individually or as teams. Spring 2019, Summer 2019, and Fall 2019 BS graduates from Georgia Tech are also eligible to compete, but the idea for the invention must have been initially conceived while enrolled as an undergraduate. A student can only enter one invention into the competition, either as an individual or as a member of a team. All team members must fulfill these eligibility requirements. Teams with generated revenue or venture capital funding in excess of $100,000 are not eligible to compete. This includes funding from both institutional and non-institutional sources (contests, grants, friends and family, bank loans, etc.)
Registration. Registration will open in the fall semester and must be submitted by January 13, 2020. Submitting a complete registration application obligates students to compete and fully disclose their idea to protect their rights as inventors, as well as the rights of others in the community. Please note that an Inventor Profile must be completed as the first step of registration in order to access the remaining registration forms. You are under no obligation to compete by just submitting an Inventor Profile.
Inventor Notebooks. The organizers strongly encourage students to keep an inventor's notebook. To this end, one notebook will be provided to each team that has completed their Inventor Profile. Notebooks can be picked up at the front desk of Clough 205 upon completion of the Inventor Profile. Suggested instructions for keeping an inventor notebook can be found here.
Prototype Awards. Prototype Awards of up to $500 each will be given to select students to assist with prototype construction. In order to be considered for an award, students must provide both an itemized budget and a statement (500 words max.) answering the question: "How will a Prototype Award help me or my team win the InVenture Prize?"
All application materials must be submitted through the online form here by November 10, 2019 for Round 1 of the Prototype Awards or online form here by December 8, 2019 for Round 2 of the Prototype Awards. Here is an example of a quality application.
Applicants must complete the "Invention Details" section of registration prior to the deadline in order to be considered for a Prototype Award. Awards will be made on a rolling basis, but all will be announced by December 13, 2019. Awards can only be used to buy materials and supplies for prototype construction. Students participating in project courses where funds are provided by Georgia Tech are not eligible for this award. Be sure to include the names and emails of all team members when submitting an application. Constructing a prototype is not necessary to win the InVenture Prize, but it may be helpful. Judges will not be informed of Prototype Award winners.
Invention Requirements. Inventions must be original student inventions. Co-invention with non-students or any others must be fully disclosed during registration to determine if the contribution of others was substantial. Output and products from student course projects, campus research, and co-op are eligible with full disclosure about the resources and people involved. Software is eligible. Prototypes (a physical demonstration of an invention) are very helpful but not required. See the Intellectual Property section for more details. All registrants are bound by the Georgia Tech Honor Code to fully disclose the information requested.
Judging. Preliminary round judges and the three-judge panel in the final round will have expertise in engineering, science, computing, and business. The criteria used by these expert judges in their evaluation are:
- Innovation. Is the idea novel? How does it compare to other ideas that address the same problem?
- Marketability. Is there a demand for the invention? Will people buy it?
- Market Size. How big is the market for the invention?
- Inventor Passion. How driven is the inventor or team by the idea?
- Probability of Becoming a Successful Business. Would someone invest in helping make the invention a reality?
The judges in the final round may also consider more holistic criteria to determine which inventions merit investment by the InVenture Prize.
Preliminary Round. The preliminary round is open only to competition participants, judges, and the Georgia Tech community. In this round, inventors will pitch their ideas in an open gallery setting. Judges will score each invention on the five specific criteria above and will also provide a holistic appraisal of the idea. This scoring gives all the inventors feedback on their invention and presentation and will determine which inventions will advance to the semifinal round.
Semifinal Round. Approximately 25 semifinalists will be selected from the preliminary round. The semifinal round will be a quick pitch competition. Each student or student team will go on stage before a panel of judges and be given three minutes to pitch their invention, followed by ten minutes for questions and comments from the judges. Judges will then select six inventions to advance to the final round.
Final Round. Open to both the public and the Georgia Tech community, the final round will be televised live on Georgia Public Broadcasting and streaming online through the GPB website. In this round, the inventors of the final six inventions will each give a three minute presentation of their invention to a panel of expert judges before a live audience, followed by three minutes of Q&A. Afterward, judges will meet in private to evaluate the inventors on the five criteria. A score will be assigned to each category for each invention, and the total scores will then determine the winning invention and the runner-up.
Prizes. Decided by the three-judge panel during the final round, the first-place winner or winning team will receive $20,000 and automatic acceptance into the next cohort of CREATE-X's Startup Launch program, which includes a $4,000 non-dilutive grant, $30,000 in-kind services, including legal assistance, accounting services, access to the CREATE-X collaborative workspaces, 1:1 faculty-led coaching, access to a network of field specific mentors and experts, and an opportunity to receive additional funding ($20K-$100K) at the end of the program. The remaining finalists will be fast-tracked into CREATE-X's Startup Launch, where they will be guaranteed an interview for consideration into the program. The second-place team will receive $10,000. The 1st and 2nd Place winners will receive a free U.S. patent filing by Georgia Tech's Office of Technology Licensing, valued at approximately $20,000. The People's Choice Award winner, as determined by online and text voting by fans during the live final round, will receive $5,000. Please note that if a team is awarded any of the above prizes, Georgia Tech will distribute the prize funds to the named startup or equally among all registered team members.