IDEAS Pitch Competition

IDEAS Pitch Competition - Fall 2018

Houston Community College's 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 Schools and Colleges.

All IDEAS welcome!

The IDEAS Pitch Competition for Fall 2018 is a platform for any Houston-area student to share their creative ideas and social innovations.

  • First Prize: $1500
  • Second Prize: $700
  • Third Prize: $500
  • 2 honorable mentions: $150

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 August 27th, 2018. Competition to be closed October 5th, 2018 at 5 p.m.

Competition Finalist Presentation and Awards Ceremony will be held at George R. Brown Convention Center during the Houston Maker Faire on October 13th, 2018 (Finalist will be  announced by Email for the invite-only program)

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

The HCC IDEAS Pitch Competition is designed to explore innovative approaches to answering pressing sustainability and societal needs.

The competition is open to High school students, and college students around the Greater Houston Area. All qualifying student projects to be presented and awarded at HCC District Administration Building.

All IDEAS are 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.

Training Sessions

1. Inventathon@HCC - Sept 22-23, 2018 - Stafford Campus (9am to 8pm, both days)

Learn more & register: - use this event to build your projects! This is a 2-day weekend student hackathon where you will be introduced to a problem, given quick skills sessions, connected to mentors and peers, and projector presentions within 20 hours!

2. Comcast TeckPak - October 6, 2018 - West Loop Campus (11am to 4pm)

Learn more and register: - the event for school students across the Houston area, come to learn about tech careers and make new friends, bring your parents as well! 

3. Opportunity Workshops @ HCC Libraries 

- Practical Entrepreneurship Workshops: Am I an Entrepreneur? - Sept. 7 - Learn more:
- Wordpress 101 - Sept. 13 -

- Girls in STEM - October 12 -

4. SBA SCORE Business Workshops 

- Sharpen Your Marketing Message (Business Marketing) - Free for HCC students & Veterans  - Sept. 12 - HCC Missouri City Campus - Click here to register 

5. HCC Coding & Robotics Workshops

- HCC CodeFest - learn to build a website by code! - Sept 29 - HCC West Loop Campus - Learn more:
- Black Girls Code - Open to girls ages 7 to 17 at HCC Eastside Campus -  Sept 15th -  Learn more:

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 of the Idea (Feasibility/Thoughtfulness)
  • The originality of Idea (Ownership/IP by student(s))

Student requirements

1. Write an essay about the concept or idea


When you are looking to launch a new product or service in to the market, you need to sure that it solves a problem and preferably several problems. 


What are the key features of your solution? What makes your product unique and what are the distinguishing characteristics that make your product or service appealing to potential buyers?


This refers to the key activities that you measure. Examples are things like new customer leads, number of new users, potential size of market, level of market penetration, market share, revenue per customers, etc. They refer to the kinds of data that investors and owners of the business would be interested in.

  • COST STRUCTURE (Optional)

List out the costs of running your business and this can include customer acquisition costs, operational costs, distribution costs, back-end costs like hosting, etc.


This is a clear and concise message that states why someone would care about what you are doing.


What is your clear and competitive advantage? What is it about your product or service that can’t be copied?


How are customers going to buy or engage with your product?


Who wants to buy your product? What do they look like? Where do they live? What needs must they have?


How are you going to generate revenue? What is the lifetime value of your customer? What margins do you need to be profitable?

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 Office of Student Innovation at 713.718.5269 or email:

IDEAS Competition events schedule, rules, awards, and this page was updated on 8/23/2018.

Check out the Past competitions and winners:

Check out the pictures from Inventathon@HCC: