Innovation Competition

About the Innovation Competition

Since its inception in 2009, the HUWIB Innovation Competition has been working to promote the enterprising vision of college students around the world. The competition provides a network of resources including mentorship, funding, and peer connection to launch the next great idea. We have a special focus on empowering women, as all entering teams must be 50% female.

The competition occurs as part of HUWIB’s Intercollegiate Business Convention (IBC), the largest undergraduate women’s conference in the world. Competition finalists have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of qualified judges at IBC. Winners not only receive a monetary prize but also a network of mentors to help develop their ideas beyond the competition.

Competition Overview

Applications for the competition will be released May 2014 and accepted until September 5, 2014. Up to six semifinalists will be selected based on their companies’ potential impact, innovation, and overall submission quality. The finalists will pitch their companies at the competition’s Finale Event on at the Hynes Convention Center on October 18, 2014 as part of HUWIB’s Intercollegiate Business Convention (IBC), a globally recognized conference that attracts over 1,200 attendees from 100+ universities.

At the Finale event, finalists will present a 10-minute business pitch, followed by 5-10 minutes of Q&A with judges. Judges will then deliberate and announce a competition winner. Winners receive a monetary prize, which in the past has included amounts of up to $10,000. They will also develop a network of peers and mentors who will guide them in developing their ideas beyond the competition.


Experienced entrepreneurs will provide finalists with in-person and web-based mentorship prior to the Finale Event. Winner and runner-up will continue to receive guidance through the start-up and execution stages of their ventures.


Fill out a preliminary interest form here. Submissions are non-binding and will help us keep you updated.

Application Process

The online submission consists of three parts:

     1) Official Registration Form
     2) Business plan in the form of a PowerPoint (10 minutes max)
     3) Animated graphic or a video describing the venture (2 minutes max)

Teams must submit an online submission to between May 1, 2014 and September 5, 2014 (11:59 PM EST) to be considered.

Application Documents

Please refer to the documents below when completing an application:

     Information Packet

     Official Registration Form

Team Requirements

  • Participants must be between 18-24 years of age
  • Teams must consist of 2-6 members ( At least 50% female )
  • At least one member of the team must be a full-time undergraduate student
  • All teams must register for and plan on attending the Intercollegiate Business Convention on October 18th, 2014 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.
  • Finalists will be provided free tickets to IBC but HUWIB will not cover any transportation costs.
  • Teams that are unable to attend will be disqualified.
  • Participants need not have implemented their proposal; however, if they have begun implementation, it must be under one year since inception to remain qualified.
  • Each individual can only register as part of one team.
  • Not sure?

    Fill out a preliminary interest form here. Submissions are non-binding and will help us keep you updated.

    Competition Timeline

    May 23 - Sept 5, 2014 Application is live. Email with a completed Official Registration Form, a business plan in the form of a PowerPoint Presentation, and a video overview of the team's venture
    Sept 5, 2014 Application closes. Deadline at 11:59 PM (EST) for all applicants
    Sept 6-19, 2014 Online voting opens
    Sept 19, 2014 Online voting closes at 11:59 PM (EST)
    Sept 27, 2014 Six semi-finalists selected and notified of status
    Oct 4, 2014 Semi-finalists pitch their idea in front of a deliberation committee*
    Oct 5, 2014 Three finalists selected and notified of status
    Oct 5-18, 2014 Finalists work with mentors to further develop idea and presentation prior to the Finale Event*
    Oct 18 2014 Finalists pitch in front of judge panel at Finale Event during IBC. Winner will be announced at the end of the conference.

    * International applicants will be able to participate via Skype


    The first place winner of the 2014 Innovation Competition will receive funding, which in the past has included amounts of up to $10,000, to help implement their business plan, as well as recognition in front of 1,200 IBC participants. The winner and finalists receive exposure and opportunities to network with corporate leaders, IBC speakers, investors, entrepreneurs, and other students at IBC.

    Kate Reynolds McLeod

    Kate Reynolds McLeod

    Kate Reynolds McLeod is the Vice President of Discovery at the product launch platform, The Grommet. With an eye for the next big trend, Kate is able to lead the discovery and curation of The Grommet’s 20+ categories of products. She’s been with the company since its early days, beginning as a Discovery Ideas scout four years ago. Previously, Kate has worked in business development, corporate communications and media relations in Boston, Menlo Park and New York City. She graduated from Cornell University in 1994.

    Jennifer Lum

    Jennifer Lum

    Jennifer Lum is a Cofounder and Chief Strategy Officer of Adelphic. Prior to Adelphic, Jennifer helped build Apple iAd, Quattro Wireless and m-Qube where she worked with the world’s best brands and built industry-leading mobile marketing and advertising platforms. Jennifer is an investor at Apricot Capital and is an entrepreneur in residence at MIT. She also mentors startups at TechStars and 500 Startups. Jennifer has been recognized in Business Insider's "Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising”,'s "Women to Watch" and Boston Business Journal's "Top 40 Under 40”.