What’s it all about?

Cross-college teams identify a big problem and a potential solution, then pitch their idea to a panel of industry judges.

Only caveat is that the solution must leverage information technology as a key component of the business model.

This is an idea pitch and not a business plan competition, so we are looking for teams that are in the early stages of figuring out how to solve a big problem.

Who can participate?


Any undergraduate student currently enrolled and in good standing at Penn State is eligible to participate.

Teams of 2 to 5

Teams must have a minimum of 2 students and a maximum of 5. Teams can be new or existing teams already working on a problem.

From 2 colleges

Teams must have members that represent at least 2 different colleges. Double major? Pick one college to represent.

What’s involved?

Rocket Pitches

Each team will have 3 slides and 3 minutes to pitch their ideas. No Q&A, just your team. The top 6 teams advance to the finals.

Mentor Pairing

Finalists will be paired with successful entrepreneurs who will help teams advance their ideas and prepare for finals.

Final Pitches

Finalists will have 5 minutes to pitch their ideas and answer questions from the judges.

What can I win?

startup-512Win a trip to build your network and advance your idea.

Top 2 teams win a trip to visit a startup or innovation center in San Francisco or D.C.
3rd place wins a cool tech gadget

Top teams are also fast tracked through the application process for the summer program in the Happy Valley LaunchBox accelerator.

Need a team?

teamDon’t have a team? Don’t sweat it.

Check out our Forum to find other team members.

Find A Team

Are you up for the Challenge?

Top 2 teams win a trip to visit a startup or accelerator in San Francisco or D.C. to advance their idea.

3rd place wins a cool tech gadget.

Applications close Sunday, February 21st at midnight.

2016 Challenge applications are open now!

Penn State College of IST