IDEAS Pitch Competition Awards

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To RSVP for Mini Tech Faire, please look under "Schedule of Events" tab below

First Place Winner

  • $1500 Cash Prize, 6-month membership to a commercial makerspace, 3-month membership to co-working space in town

Second Place Winner

  • $750 Cash Prize, 3-month membership to a commercial makerspace, 2-month membership to co-working space in town

Third Place Winner

  • $250 Cash Prize & 1-month membership to a commercial makerspace, 1-month membership to co-working space in town

All presenting at GRB (Finals) submissions will receive

  • Assistance in the Development of a Business Plan (Provided by Houston Community College)
  • Access to Idea Validation Lab Training (Provided by Good Works Houston)
  • One on One VC Guidance and Consultation (Provided by TiE Houston, Greater Houston Partnership, Schlumberger, Good Works Houston and Silver Fox Advisors)
  • Invitation to Tour of the new Station Houston co-working space in downtown
  • Special access to up to $10,000 of Seed funding from Bayou Microfund


  • Publicized on HCC and Innovation Spark Web Properties
  • small promotional items from Schlumberger and Centerpoint
  • Special Invitation to tour Schlumberger-Sugar Land Campus 

Looking for inspiration? Check out this website to see what the community of Makers are doing!

Interested in Volunteering, Mentoring, or Judging the competition?  Please email:

More about the competition

General information

Houston Community College and Innovation Spark’s co-sponsored IDEAS Pitch Competition is designed to explore innovative approaches to answering pressing sustainability and societal needs. The competition is open to currently enrolled students in any greater Houston area High School, College, and/or University. All qualifying student projects to be presented and awarded at the Houston Mini Maker Faire at George R. Brown Convention Center. This year, the Mini Tech Faire events will take place at HCC West Loop Campus (Southwest), Felix Fraga Campus (Southeast) and Alief-Hayes campus locations (Northwest). Students are encouraged to attend the Mini Tech Faire events to learn more about the competition and apply in person (or online) and selected finalist will be invited to present at Houston Mini Maker Faire at George R. Brown Convention Center. All IDEAS welcome!

Schedule of events (Mini Tech Faire events)

IDEAS 2016 Competition opens September 1 and closes November 8th 2016 11:59pm.   (Note: The close date of October 15th, has been moved to Nov. 8th)

Mini Tech Faire Events at:

Note: Events are open to the public, student are encouraged to attend Mini Tech Faire events and apply in person for the competition.  Students can also apply online before Nov. 8th.

Mini Tech Faire are community events where local makers, HCC COEs and faculty, high school and college students gather to foster entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology. If you’re a do-er with big ideas, whether crafter, artist, inventor, maker or entrepreneur, attend Mini Tech Faire and Houston Mini Maker Faire for this empowering access to people who can help you achieve your ambitions.   These events are completely free to the public.  Registration encouraged!

Finals Public Presentations:

Note: Student competing in the IDEAS competition must be invited by Program Director to present.  Free pass to Houston Maker Faire will be provided to students only, accompanying parents or friends must purchase tickets. 

  • Finals Showcase at Houston Maker Faire @ GRB Nov 12. (10am to 6pm)
  • Awards ceremony at Houston Maker Faire @ GRB Nov. 13th (10am to 5pm) 


Judging Criteria

The criteria is based on solving societal need that has high impact (affects many), sustainable (Eco friendly/Green), creates value or fills a gap, and can (or has) be prototyped, tested, or validated.

Ideas will be judged on the following primary criteria:

  • Social Impact (Number of people impacted or lives affected)
  • Economic Impact (value creation)
  • Environmental Impact (Sustainability/Green Footprint)
  • Completeness of the Idea (Feasibility/Thoughtfulness)

Student requirements

1. Write an essay about the concept or idea

  • Provide details on Social, Economic and Environmental Impact (what problem are you solving?)
  • Provide estimates on Cost (to develop the Idea or test it or market it)

2. Provide a Visual Concept of the idea, if applicable

  • 3d Printed Sample or design
  • Photo/Drawing/Other

3. Develop a short video pitch (Optional - but recommended)

  • Post it on YouTube as a public video or an unlisted video
  • Prepare a poster board for Show and Tell (Mini Tech Faire) events

Note: A Poster Board (required only for students invited to present at Houston Maker Faire)

  • Problem: What problem does your idea solve?
  • Unique Value: What value will your idea add to your users or customers, how is it unique and how does it solve a specific problem that they have?
  • Early Adopter: Who do you anticipate will use your product or service first? How do you plan to target them?
  • Team: Why would your team be the right one to carry the product or service to the marketplace?
  • Competitors: Are there any competitors in your space? If so how is your product different?
  • Timeline/Strategic Goals: If your team were to win the competition, what would your timeline and goals be for the next 6 months?


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Sponsored by the Office of Entrepreneurial Initiatives, 3100 Main, Suite 12E16 Houston, TX 77002

For more information, call Ravi Brahmbhatt at 713.718.5269 or email:

IDEAS Competition events schedule, rules, awards, and this page was updated on 10/6/2016.

Click here to see Past competition winners