Compete in the UMass Innovation Challenge

How to Apply

  1. REVIEW: UMass IC Eligibility requirements (see below)
  2. PREPARE: Review the UMass IC Competitions & Format
  3. APPLY: Submit the Intent to Compete form by appropriate deadline

Eligibility Requirements

The Intent to Compete Form will be used to confirm eligibility of the team members, advisor(s) and technology. Innovation Challenge organizers reserve the right to disqualify any team, at any time, for not meeting the below terms and conditions.

Each team must meet and agree to the following eligibility requirements in order to compete in the UMass Innovation Challenge:

  1. Team
    1. At least one team member must be either (1) a full-time or half-time UMass Amherst graduate student or full-time undergraduate student (2) a recent alum (grad or undergrad) who received his/her degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst within the past 3 years.
    2. At least 50% of each team must be comprised of graduate/undergraduate students or alumni of the University of Massachusetts.
    3. The organizers of the competition recommend each team consist of 2 to 6 people. Cross-disciplinary teams are strongly encouraged, as the purpose of this competition is to integrate management, science and engineering disciplines.
    4. The team must have at least one full-time member of the UMass faculty as an advisor.
    5. Team members are restricted to participation in a single team.
  2. Secured Capital Arrangements
    1. Teams or team members that have received any form of venture capital financing for their business plan, or a likeness thereof, are ineligible.
    2. Teams with seed financing from non-venture capital sources totaling less than $250,000 may compete.
    3. At any time during the competition if a team receives a total of $250,000 or more in non-venture capital sources they will be disqualified.
    4. The amount and source of secured capital arrangements must be clearly identified on the "Certificate of Eligibility" submitted with the team's Executive summary and/or Mini Plan as well as with all Final Business Plans.
  3. Qualifying Ideas & Ownership of Concept/Technology
    1. Plans do not necessarily need to be based on a technological invention but may derive a substantial advantage from underlying technology.
    2. All team members must certify that all work submitted in the plan is ORIGINAL to the team, exclusively.
    3. The team leader does not need to be the owner of the idea, concept, or technology, but the owner(s) must authorize use and public disclosure of the technology/idea in the Innovation Challenge.
  4. Contest Prizes
    1. Contestants/teams must be present for judging and ceremony/dinner or risk forfeiting prize.
    2. Judges reserve the right to alter prize amounts (see judging guidelines).
    3. Prize money will be disbursed in accordance with university policies and may be subject to state & federal taxes. No other disbursement arrangements will be made.
    4. Team members must all sign "Prize Agreement Form" prior to Minute Pitch, Executive Summary and Final Business Plan competitions.
    5. Winning teams should acknowledge support from the Innovation Challenge (just as funding agencies require acknowledgement).
    6. Teams must claim their prize funding within 24 months, or it will be forfeited.