Innovation Competition

The application period for the 2014 HUWIB Innnovation Competition is now closed. Please check back in Summer 2015 for updates.

Results of the 2014 Innovation Competition

HUWIB would like to congratulate our three Finalists on their phenomenal pitches at the 10th Annual Intercollegiate Business Competition! The winners of the competition are listed below:

2014 WinnerSix FoodsAwarded $6,000 in fundingSix Foods is introducing insects to the Western world as a more sustainable food, and envisions an ecosystem where insects can be grown in urban warehouses and be fed on food waste.
1st Runner-up Mitley Awarded $3,000 in funding Mitley provides a reliable peer-to-peer platform for musicians to connect and rent music equipment, empowering aspiring musicians to create their own music.
2nd Runner-upPolityProAwarded $1,000 in funding PolityPro is a crowdfunding and political consulting platform for municipal election candidates, aggregating various official documents required by the state and providing organizational tools used by professional campaign managers.

Thank you for all your submissions. We look forward to reviewing applications in Fall 2015 for our 7th Annual 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.

    Joe Guy

    Joe Guy

    Joe Guy is the Community Marketing Manager of Venture for America. Prior to joining VFA, Joe worked as a digital marketing strategist at BlackRock. During his time at the University of Dayton, Joe started two businesses and served as CEO of Flyer Enterprises, one of the largest and fastest growing student-run companies in America. Joe also founded the Flyer Enterprises Alumni Association and continues to serve as its President. He sits on the national board of Epsilon Nu Tau, the nation’s first entrepreneurship fraternity, and is the youngest member of the University of Dayton’s Business Advisory Council. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Operations Management.

    Mitchell Dong

    Mitchell Dong

    Mitchell Dong is a serial entrepreneur who has started dozens of businesses over the last 50 years. He started selling toads at age five and performed magic tricks for children’s birthdays as a preteen. In college he started an energy and environmental consulting business. For most of his career he was a developer of independent power plants, including solar, hydro and cogeneration facilities in the USA, China and Africa. He also developed ammonia fertilizer plants. As the hedge fund manager, he developed quant models for trading mutual funds, electric power and uranium. Today he is developing algorithmic models for trading bitcoin and working with Chinese developers to invest in real estate in the USA. Having sold several of his companies, he invests the sales proceeds through his family’s investment office.

    Bernd Schoner

    Bernd Schoner

    Bernd Schoner, PhD, worked in the Physics and Media Group and the Things-That-Think research consortium at the MIT Media Laboratory, where he received his PhD. Upon graduating, he cofounded the high-tech startup ThingMagic, which nearly ten years later, was sold to Trimble Navigation, a multibillion-dollar public technology company. Schoner now serves as VP of Business Development at Trimble Navigation. He lives with his wife in New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    Julie Levin

    Julie Levin

    Julie Levin started her career as a temporary secretary with American Surveying Company of Houston. Although she had no background in the surveying industry, her business acumen, drive and motivation quickly propelled her through the ranks to management. Along the way she immersed herself in sales and marketing, systems design and development, on-the-ground project management, and successfully forged relationships with all stakeholders – clients, vendors, staff and partners. She moved to Boston in 1988 to found and manage the newly-formed American Surveying Company of Boston and later founded her own company, ASC National, a WBENC-certified company. In 2008, after the sale of ASC, Julie joined with her colleague Donna Cox to form a consultancy in the survey industry. In addition to the practical, real-life skills that come from starting, operating, and selling her own business, Julie also brings her personal experiences as a business woman, a mother, and a devotee of personal growth to her CWE clients. Julie believes that happily balancing entrepreneurship with family responsibilities and self care are undervalued keys to a successful business, and helps clients with tools and strategies for achieving a full and rich life balance.

    Elaine Chen

    Elaine Chen

    Elaine Chen is a Senior Lecturer at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and the MIT Sloan School of Management. Elaine is a seasoned startup executive and consultant with a background spanning product development and product management. She teaches entrepreneurship, leadership, primary market research and product development to engineering, MBA and eMBA students. She has brought over 20 hardware and software products to market, in industries spanning robotics, haptics, CAD, consumer electronics, web, mobile platforms and more. She is a co-inventor on 17 issued patents to date, and has managed IP portfolio strategies for several companies. Elaine has served at the VP level in engineering and product management at several startups, including Rethink Robotics, Zeo, Zeemote and SensAble Technologies. She is also the founder at ConceptSpring, where she provides engineering and product development services to teams developing disruptive products with hardware and software components. Elaine holds a BS and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.