Announcing 2015 Invention and Creativity Competition

January 30, 2015

It is a pleasure to announce the return of the College of Engineering and Computer Science Invention and Creativity Competition, a contest to encourage engineering students to apply their training and skills to create novel, commercializable product ideas. The Invention and Creativity Competition will be held alongside the Raymond von Dran IDEA Awards Competition and the Panasci Business Plan Competition. All of the competitions will have final presentations April 11th, allowing engineering students, management students, and others in the university and business community to connect and collaborate for even bolder product and business ideas in the future. Whereas the RvD IDEA and Panasci awards are based on Venture Competition and Business Plan, respectively, the Invention and Creativity Competition focuses on product development, with up to $15,000 in prize funding available separately to allow student teams to bring their products to life and to market. This contest also represents an opportunity for engineering students from all disciplines to work together, apply the expertise they’ve been developing individually here at Syracuse University, and build something remarkable together.

Competition Overview

The goal of the competition is to encourage the entrepreneurial pursuit of innovative and creative technologies in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, with a focus on product development. Students will have the opportunity to work with local venture capitalists or experienced technology entrepreneurs, and compete for prizes and prototype funding totaling over $15,000. Application due: March 6th, 2015 The competition will be held in collaboration with the Raymond von Dran IDEA Award and the Panasci Business Plan competitions, for which entrants are also eligible. Please visit and apply through

Key Dates

March 6th– Apply online through checking the Invention and Creativity option. You are also eligible to enter an appropriate RvD Award competition. By this date, you are required to list team members and describe your idea in 150 words or less. Student teams must attend at least one entrepreneurship workshop before the Emerging Talks conference on April 11th. Teams will be contacted by email to schedule their workshop. Student teams must produce a poster before the conference. Funding for the poster will be provided by the College of Engineering (to be discussed at the entrepreneurship workshop.) April 11th – Teams will present a poster and oral presentation from 9:00AM-12:00PM. Each team is given 5 minutes to pitch, and a short period for Q&A. A computer and video projector will be provided. Posters will be put up for public viewing and will aid judges in their deliberations. April 19th – Funded teams must provide a written development plan and schedule before funds are released.

Prototype Funding

$15,000 available in $1-3 thousand prizes, awarded to teams to build a prototype over the upcoming year. The release of funds is contingent upon submission of a development plan after the competition and development may proceed independently or as part of senior design projects in the upcoming year. Only properly justified funds up to the award limit will be allocated and only if promised milestones are met. Funding may also be used for conference or competition travel support, related to the product or application.

Participation Rules

  • Competition can be entered as an individual or as a team of students.
  • Teams can have non-engineering student participation but must have at least one member enrolled in engineering and computer science.
  • Teams can include undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctorial fellows, or a combination.

Further Information

Please send any questions you may have to Suresh Santanam at

Award Criteria

Project description
  • Clear, concise and effective overview of the project. Strength of project mission and goals.
  • Description, value provided to user, features and benefits, pricing, current stage of development, intellectual property, market potential or application to engineering problem, feasibility
Team overview Student skill, knowledge, and background. Coverage of product or service development, sales, management, legal needs. Plans for covering gaps. Future vision
  • Description of milestones, product development, sales, promotion, feasibility of revenues or application to identified engineering challenge.
  • Development plan and resources needed
  • Overview of laboratory, materials and space needs
  • Estimated cost for prototype / idea development, funding being requested to develop prototype and support business requirements
Formal presentation
  • Clear, concise and effective overview of the idea. Materials presented in a logical form. Ability to maintain judges’ interest
  • Ability to succinctly respond to judges’ inquires and provide substantive answers
  • Time management and overall professionalism