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Global Student Innovation Challenge
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Global Student Innovation Challenge

Powered by PDMA

The deadline to submit has passed. Thank you to those who participated this year.

Who

  • Students currently enrolled on a full-time basis in an academic program at either the undergraduate or graduate level

What

  • A submission of an original concept for a product, service, software, or a combination of the three, detailing the unique value proposition, evidence of demand, and mockup or embodiment of the concept.

Where and When

  • Online portal submissions by July 31, 2020
  • Presentation by finalist teams as part of PDMA 2020 Annual Conference September 17, 2020

Why

  • Leverage students’ passions to learn product development methodologies and frameworks through developing product solutions to real world problems
  • 1-year student membership to PDMA
  • Cash prizes for first, second and third place teams
  • Presentation at the PDMA Competitive Edge Conference for first, second and third place teams
  • Broad visibility by participation in press releases, social media and articles on the PDMA.org website.

Mission

PDMA is the leading association championing best practices in new product management and development. As such, we seek to ensure these methodologies are taught, learned, and practiced at the collegiate level so that graduates are effective contributors to product work teams upon entry in the workforce. Conversely, well-trained students provide a significant opportunity for organizations to inject the latest product development strategies into their workforce and improve their innovation culture.

The richest academic environments are ones where the students can put theories and concepts into practice, and where students interact with practitioners from industry. The goal of the PDMA Student Innovation Challenge is to provide a platform, purpose and incentives to drive engagement and grow relationships between students, academia, and industry professionals.

PDMA is using this university level competition to:

  • Leverage students’ passions to learn product development methodologies and frameworks through developing product solutions to real world problems
  • Promote best practices in product innovation
  • Partner with professors and industry professionals in the development of the next generation of highly skilled innovators and product leaders

The PDMA Student Innovation Challenge is unique in that it encourages and supports students developing novel, real-world offerings, that include products, software or services.

Our goal is to build a community of innovators. We recognize Students, Professors, Mentors, and Companies as unique contributors to the program and attempt to create a symbiotic relationship so each can benefit from participation.

Competition Details

Calendar icon    Key Dates

  • July 31, 2020 – Deadline submissions due
  • Aug 25, 2020 – Finalist (top 3 teams) selected
  • Sept 10, 2020 – Finalists submit their updated documents
  • Sept 17, 2020 – Presentation at the PDMA 2020 Annual Conference

Checklist icon    Eligibility

Teams

  • Submissions may come from teams currently enrolled on a full-time basis in an academic program at either the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • Students are also encouraged to reach out to students at different schools within a university, e.g. business school and engineering school and to form cross functional teams.
  • Student teams may have a sponsoring professor.
  • Professors can be sponsors for multiple student teams.
  • Submissions can be a part of coursework, to the extent allowed by the institution, or may be the products of extracurricular work.

Projects and Intellectual Property

  • Projects must be owned by the students, not corporations or third parties.
  • Teams are solely responsible for managing their Intellectual property rights and protecting their IP before disclosure.
  • The rules of academic integrity apply, and students must assure that they submit only original work-product of their own creation. Plagiarism will lead to automatic disqualification.
  • PDMA reserves the right to disqualify any entry that does not meet the rules, or spirit of the competition.

Information icon    Competition Description

Student teams who develop an original concept for a product, service, software, or a combination of the three, will develop a submission detailing the unique value proposition, evidence of demand, and mockup or embodiment of product. Designs for products, services or software of any type are welcome. Students are welcome to expand on the academic work for their theses or capstone projects as the basis of their entry.

Finalist teams may be paired with industry mentors through PDMA. Finalist teams are encouraged to present their concepts, prototypes and mockups at PDMA’s Annual Competitive Edge Conference. The presentation portion provides students the opportunity to showcase their product development skills in front of product directors, product managers, and product designers.

VIEW THE JUDGING SUMMARY


Awards icon    Incentives and Awards

  • Each team member will receive a 1-year student membership to PDMA.
  • Three winning teams (Finalists) will be selected by a judging panel, and awarded cash prizes to honor their achievements.
    • $2,500 first place
    • $1,500 second place
    • $1,000 third place
  • The Finalists are invited to participate in the PDMA Competitive Edge Conference.
    • The presentation portion provides students the exposure to showcase their product development and presentation skills in front of product professionals.
    • Students are encouraged to take time to interact with conference attendees and make connections with practitioners.
    • Awards will be determined during the PDMA Competitive Edge Annual Conference.
  • Award winners that participate in press releases, social media and articles on the PDMA.org website will enjoy broad visibility of their achievements.


FAQs

For additional questions not answered below, please contact us at PDMAChallenge@pdma.org.

Q: How long should a project submission be?

A: Being concise is a virtue. Think about shark tank. Present your main ideas in a convincing and brief manner. Having to digest many pages in order to find the nuggets in a proposal will result in a less good rating compared to proposals, which are clear and concise. Be sure to address all components of judging criteria (RWW+overall quality)


Q: What is the preferred format for proposals?

A: This is up to the teams to decide. You can use a presentation, text document, a short movie, or other suitable formats. Find a format, which conveys the content of your proposal best. However, observe that access to your proposal should be feasible for evaluators.

Past submissions to local chapter competitions have found that entries that include visual presentations – pictures or video – are particularly helpful for the judges to better understand your product.


Q: Why is PDMA running this event?

A: Fostering product development methodologies and advocating for innovation with the next generation is part of our mission. Promoting programs that combine theories and practice into the learning environment supports this mission.


Q: What is required to submit?

A: Student teams will share an original concept for a product, service, software or combination of the three. Present the unique value proposition, evidence of demand and a mockup or embodiment of a product. Often these ideas or concepts are stared as part of a theses or capstone project, but do not have to be that.


Q: What is in it for the student team?

A: There are a number of benefits for participating in the challenge.

  • Every team member will receive a one-year student membership to the Product Development & Management Association (PDMA)
  • Cash prizes to the three wining (finalist) teams
    • $2,500 first place
    • $1,500 second place
    • $1,000 third place
  • Invitation to participate in the international PDMA Competitive Edge Conference, the industry leading event for product development and product management
  • Exposure to leading product directors, product managers, product designers and innovators
  • Opportunity to network as part of the conference
  • Inclusion in press releases, social media and articles at the PDMA website

Q: How do I know if I’m eligible

A: There are some basic requirements to enter.

  • Team members must be currently enrolled full-time at an academic program either in an undergraduate or graduate level
  • Cross-functional teams or cross-university teams are encouraged
  • Student teams may have a sponsoring professor
  • Submissions may be part of coursework or products of extracurricular work
  • Students may participate in only one submission to this Global Student Innovation Challenge per year

Q: Is there a fee to enter my team’s submission?

A: No


Q: When is the proposal due?

A: Submissions are due July 31, 2020


Q: How will our submission be judged?

A: Finalists will be selected utilizing a rubric with a series of categories. You can view the full rubric here.

  • Is it real? Are both the product and market real?
  • Can we win? Is the product competitive and will the company be competitive?
  • Is it worth doing? Will the product be profitable (at acceptable risk) and does launching the product make strategic sense?
  • Quality of presentation – quality of materials and presentation

The positions for 1st, 2nd and 3rd, will be selected via voting at the PDMA 2020 Annual Conference.


Q: What is our thought around if one team member has graduated and is now in the private sector? Does that disqualify the team?

A: Team members should have been enrolled in an eligible college undergraduate or graduate program during the 2019-2020 school year. In addition, all submissions must be owned by the students and not corporations or third parties.


Q: Can student teams have competed in another pitch or local PDMA event for this?

A: Yes


Q: Who are the judges?

A: During the preliminary round, the judges will be a committee made up of members of both industry and academia. The final round judging, will be completed through voting by the attendees at the PDMA 2020 Annual Conference.


Q: Are undergraduate and graduate teams competing against one another?

A: All team submissions will be judged together, there are not separate categories.


Q: Will the event organizers be able to protect the teams IP after submission?

A: Submission to the competition should be considered like submission to a conference. Intellectual property that needs to be protected should be protected prior to submission.


Q: What is the cash prize for the competition?

A: The cash prize amounts will be awarded as follows: $2500 first place, $1500 second place, $1000 third place.


Q: Is there a set range for number of participants on a single team?

A: There is not a limit to the number of team members that may participate on a project. Typical team size is 2-6 members


Q: If my team wins and we cannot attend the conference in person, can my team present virtually?

A: Yes, finalist teams will have the opportunity to present their proposal remotely to the conference.


Q: If selected as a finalist, is there a preferred format for the presentation to the Annual Conference?

A: We will provide a template to address the criteria for the finalists to present.


Q: What is the "cash prize"?

A: We use the term “cash prize” to talk about the prize money awarded to the wining team(s).


Q: Do all participants who enter get their teams mentioned on the PDMA website?

A: All participants are recognized on the PDMA website. Finalist teams and the winning team information will also be shared via social media, press release and other marketing tools.


Q: When the site states teams are responsible for their IP, what does that mean?

A: Part of the effort to elevate student innovation ideas, PDMA plans to share team information online and at the event for the team(s) selected. As such, we disclose this at the onset so teams consider how to ensure their IP needs are addressed.

In the past, we have seen teams share their ideas and limit some disclosures in the public sphere to protect their ideas.


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