Fall 2020 Pitch Competition

HCC IDEAS Pitch Competition - Fall 2020


HOUSTON (December 3) - The global pandemic could not stop Houston Community College (HCC) from hosting its bi-annual Student IDEAS Pitch Competition. The IDEAS Pitch Competition is designed for high school and college students to share their creative ideas and social innovations by pitching a product or service to a panel of judges.

The judging criteria for the entries were social impact, economic impact, environmental impact, completeness of the pitch, and originality. One student and two student teams received monetary awards totaling $2,000 for college tuition and school supplies.

The first place winner is Sadiah Muhammad, an HCC Biology student, who was awarded $1,000. Muhammad pitched SPLASH, a crayon company that focuses on creativity, color, and fun. As a teacher, she was consistently frustrated by having to clean up broken crayons and constantly buy new ones. Her crayon invention has housing around it that turns to push the crayon up and has a cap to protect the crayon from breaking. Muhammad’s next step is to finish the product and packaging design, and then start manufacturing. “My favorite part of the competition was the ideas,” said Muhammad. “Students are constantly thinking of ways to improve and change the world! Any object, no matter how old, if it can be improved, then it's worth a shot.”

Second place and $750 award went to a Junior Achievement student team from Dulles High School in Fort Bend ISD. Sophia Zhao, Hannah Chu, Sahaar Khoja, Bonnie Ho, Dheeraj Mulani presented as Dulicious Co. and pitched Hexawrap, a reusable and compostable beeswax wrap that is a sustainable alternative to plastic wrap and plastic bags. Dulicious Co. hopes Hexawrap will mitigate the problem of plastic pollution and bee decline and educate consumers about sustainable living.

Junior Achievement student team of Michelle Wang, Safa Chowdhry, Kristin Xu, Owen Zhang, Jingzhuo Zhang, Eric Peng, Ashita Jain, and Annabelle Lin from Clements High School in FBISD won third place and $250. The team, Simply Co., pitched a clip that allows food to be dispensed in a clean and efficient manner and is made from recycled plastic.

"We congratulate our finalists and winners and, as a next step, will offer them mentoring, guidance, and support to help them make their ideas into small businesses," said Ravi Brahmbhatt, HCC Director of Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

This semester’s judges were Dr. Maya Durnovo, Chief Entrepreneurial Initiatives Officer at Houston Community College; Dr. Angela Wilkins, Executive Director of Ken Kennedy Institute at Rice University; Philip Yates, Board Chairman at Impact Hub Houston; and Dr. Patrick Woock, Director of McNair Center at the University of St. Thomas. Impact HUB Houston was a co-sponsor of the competition. “I was delighted to see all the creative ideas, solutions, and applications developed by our students! These students are our future leaders!” said Dr. Durnovo.

IDEAS@HCC Pitch is one of five entrepreneurial initiatives offered at HCC's Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program that assists students with the resources, knowledge, and skills necessary to test and launch their ideas. The Center leverages college and community resources to help students explore and share ideas, develop networks and community, build an entrepreneurial mindset, and learn digital and making skills.





The IDEAS Pitch competition (Virtual Competition) is designed for students to share their creative ideas and social innovations. Individuals or teams can compete in the competition by delivering a pitch to a team of judges. Students should pitch a product or service that explores innovative approaches to answering pressing sustainability and societal needs.

The competition is open to all Houston area high school, college, and university students.

All IDEAS welcome!

The Shark Tank IDEAS Pitch Competition for Fall 2020 is a platform for any current HCC student to share their creative ideas and social innovations.

  • First Prize: $1000.00
  • Second Prize: $750.00
  • Third Prize: $250.00

Equaling up to $2,000 for cash prizes sponsored by the Office of Entrepreneurial Initiatives

Social Innovation Track:

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 regarding their idea that addresses one of the categories listed below:


  1. Education & Skills
  2. Alleviating Poverty
  3. Economic Advancement
  4. Community Wellbeing
  5. Technology

HCC IDEAS Pitch Competition is accepting student ideas from October 12th, 2020, till November 13th, by 5 PM. (Extended to November 16th by 5 pm)

Competition Finalist Presentation and Awards Ceremony will be held at VIRTUALLY on November 20th, 2020. 

The goal of the Shark Thank IDEAS 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.

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More about the competition

General information

The IDEAS Pitch competition is designed for students to share their creative ideas and social innovations. Individuals or teams can compete in the competition by delivering a pitch to a team of judges. Students should pitch a product or service that explores innovative approaches to answering pressing sustainability and societal needs.

The competition is open to Houston area high school, college, and university students.

All the IDEAS are welcome.


Schedule of Workshops/Training events

On-Demand Training Sessions:

YouTube Playlist URL: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQgRmZVfvesswHFipo2SYxEIAJ1N-QlkS



IDEATION Training by Accenture's Innovation Director, Summer Reeves! 


  • Sources of information and research
  • Process for coming up with great ideas
  • Learn about Design Thinking 

On-Demand: Watch Youtube Video 

About Speaker: Summer Reeves is the Innovation Center Director for Accenture’s Houston Innovation Hub. Her teams work with clients every day to identify their challenges, provide industry thought leadership, and to visualize how cutting-edge technology is being applied, enabling organizations to accelerate their innovation and transformation agendas. Summer has over 13 years of experience in digital product design with a heavy focus on design thinking methods and user experience practices.

PRESENTATION Training by HCC Foundation's Board President, David Regenbaum!


  • What is a Pitch?
  • Tips and Suggestions on Pitching an Idea
  • Example of great pitches

On-Demand:  Watch Youtube Video

About Speaker: David Regenbaum serves as the Entrepreneur in Residence for Houston Community College’s Center for Entrepreneurship and is the Vice President of the Houston Community College Foundation.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Silver Fox Advisors and is the Managing Member of AMI Institute, LLC.   He was previously the CEO and Co-Founder (with his wife) of Association Management, Inc. (AMI), a successful community association management company which he sold in 2014, and prior to that practiced as an attorney in South Africa until his immigration to the USA in 1979.

LEAN STARTUP WEBINAR Training by SCORE Education VP, Jim O'Sullivan!


  • What is Lean Startup?
  • Tips and Suggestions on its use
  • dos and don’ts of its application

On-Demand:  Watch Youtube Video

About Speaker: Jim O'Sullivan, SCORE Mentor; VP Education Jim O’Sullivan is a retired CTO from an Energy Fortune 500 company with a broad range of expertise in technology, strategy, product development, marketing, and mentoring/coaching. He is associated with several incubator and accelerator programs in Houston through mentoring and business plan judging. He holds three engineering degrees and an MBA.

SOFT SKILLS Training by University St. Thomas's McNair Center Presenter, Ashley Martin!

Learn about :

  • Personal areas of Improvement
  • People, Productivity, and Programming
  • Productive Leadership in Action

On-Demand: Watch Youtube Video

About Speaker: Ashley M. Martin is the principal consultant of Leadership Lady, a training and development company focused on helping people & organizations close their leadership and soft skills gaps to improve operational efficiency. Focusing 3 areas for improvement - people, productivity, and programming, Leadership Lady works collaboratively with individuals and teams to save money, reduce turnover, and reach goals.

Prior to training and consulting, Ashley served as an educational leader in public education as a teacher and later an administrator. She has a Master’s in Educational Leadership and authored Focus: Productive Leadership in Action and other books. She has a heart for leaders and the next generation and believes you learn something new every day.



Judging Criteria

The criteria are based on solving the 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/Delivery(Presentation/Team)
  • The originality of Idea (Ownership/IP by the student(s))


Student requirements

1. Provide a Pitch Presentation. 
(Download a sample template)

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

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

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

  • Post it on YouTube as a public video or an unlisted video

*Need help recording your pitch?

(Please note, during COVID-19 campus shutdown, this service from Libraries will not be available)

Visit the HCC One Button Studio at any of the following campus libraries:

  • HCC Spring Branch Campus
  • HCC Central Campus Library
  • HCC Alief Hayes - West Houston Insititute Learning Commons


Please read the instructions carefully and stay within the guidelines.

HCC reserves the right to disqualify any miscategorized or incomplete entries.

NOTE: If you are selected as a winner and awarded cash prizes and/or an internship and/or access to an accelerator program, please be aware that you are responsible for making the necessary arrangements to commence the opportunity in a timely manner. Once you start your opportunity it is understood that you will abide by the terms and conditions of the program as required by your host organization.

Furthermore, by participating in the competition you agree to release and hold HCC, its officers, directors, employees, agents, and contractors harmless from any and all losses, damages, rights, and actions of any kind (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) in connection with or resulting from, participation in the competition including—without limitation—personal injuries, death, property damages and any claims by third parties or otherwise based on publicity rights, defamation, copyright, trademark, invasion of privacy or other violations of law relating to your participation in the competition or its opportunities.

For more information, call the Office of Student Innovation at 713.718.5269 or email: ravi.brahmbhatt@hccs.edu

HCC IDEAS Competition events schedule, rules, awards, and this page was updated on 11/18/2020.

Check out the Past competitions and winners:

Check out the pictures from Inventathon@HCC: