IDEAS Pitch Competition

IDEAS Pitch Competition - Fall 2017

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.

All IDEAS welcome!

The IDEAS Pitch Competition for Fall 2017 is a platform for any Houston-area student to share their creative ideas and social innovations.

  • First Prize: $1500
  • Second Prize: $750
  • Third Prize: $250
  • 2 Honorable Mentions

The competition is designed to explore innovative approaches to answering pressing societal needs and to spark an atmosphere of social dialogue and community. Students must complete a simple application and (optionally) upload a two-three minute video on YouTube (include a link on application) that addresses one of the categories listed below:


  1. Education & Skills: investing in the sustainable workforce for today and tomorrow.
  2. Alleviating Poverty: issues related to improving income inequity and cost of living.
  3. Economic Advancement: job creation, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.
  4. Community Wellbeing: access to parks, Transportation, health, and nutrition.
  5. Technology: new tools and applications to help resolve a pressing issue.

HCC Pitch Competition opens September 1st. Competition to be closed October 15 at 5 pm.

Competition Finalist Presentation and Awards Ceremony will be held at George R. Brown Convention Center during the Houston Maker Faire, Oct. 21-22. (See more at

The goal of the HCC Pitch Competition is to provide financial and institutional support for students who want to make an impact on the world. HCC is eager to harness the creativity and passion of Houston's student body to catalyze social change.

More about the competition

General information

Houston Community College and Good Works Houston co-sponsored IDEAS Pitch Competition is designed to explore innovative approaches to answering pressing sustainability and societal needs.

The competition is open to HCC students and alumni in any Greater Houston Area. All qualifying student projects to be presented and awarded at HCC District Administration Building.

All IDEAS welcome.

Schedule of Workshops/Training events

Information & Training Sessions are student-driven events where high school, college students, HCC alumni gather to foster entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology.

If you’re a do-er with big ideas, whether crafter, artist, inventor, maker or entrepreneur, attend these educational training workshops! many of the training sessions are offered by community partners who can help move ideas forward with their mentorships. Registration required to attend.

RSVP for Training Sessions below:

Finals Public Presentations:

Note: Student competing in the Fall 2017: IDEAS competition must be invited by Program Director to present at 3100 Main St. Houston Texas 77002 on T.B.A.  Public encouraged to come and listen in.


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)
  • 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?

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
Fill out my online form.

Sponsored by the Office of Entrepreneurial Initiatives, 3100 Main St. 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 9/28/2017.

Check out the Past competitions and winners:

Check out the pictures from Inventathon@HCC: