NDSU Innovation Challenge

Welcome to the Innovation Challenge


The NDSU Research and Technology Park hosts the Innovation Challenge each year, an idea competition for students to come with ideas with potential to become a business or are a cause for future research. This year participation has been expanded to include tri-college student participants and has been changed to the fall semester. #FALL19IC allows students to compete for over $21,000 in cash and additional prizes.


Teams will compete in one of three innovation tracks. The Social Impact Track consists of projects related to the overall improvement of community, regional, or world issues. Graduate students interested in competing with an innovation related to their research, thesis, or dissertation may compete in the Graduate Research Track. All other students with innovative products or services unrelated to items listed in the GRT will compete in the Entrepreneurship Track.


#FALL19IC Hype Night takes place Sept 24 from 5:30-8 at The NDSU Alumni Center. DJ AP, Food, and Prizes will kick-off this years’ challenge and serve as an introduction to the competition. There will be opportunities for professional development and networking over the course of the events. Three Boot Camps will provide insight via a series of workshops on Oct 3, Oct 22, and Nov 19 from 5:30-8 at the NDSU Alumni Center led by Scott Meyer- Ozbun Executive Director of Entrepreneurship at NDSU. Online bootcamps will also be available the following days. Registrations are due October 17 to compete. The Project Showcase is a requirement for innovators in the competition and takes place on November 4 at the Memorial Union Great Plains Ballroom from 4-6pm. Participants in the competition will display their innovation for the community and judging will take place. The Creative Destruction Award will be also presented at the end of the evening via the Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise. The top 10 innovations will advance to the Final Pitch/Awards Night on December 3 from 4-6pm at the Memorial Union- Great Plains Ballroom. Awards for winners in each category are $2500, $2000, and $1500 with a peoples’ choice category win of $1000.


The Innovation Challenge is an excellent opportunity for students to find practical applications for their academic knowledge, develop their skills, and add to their resume. Many students will take their ability to present a technical or detail-oriented idea in a way that is simplistic and easy to understand and apply it directly to their careers. The Innovation Challenge provides life skills that instantly make students marketable and give them a way to stand out when applying for jobs.


If you would like more information about Fall 19 Innovation Challenge- #FALL19IC, please contact Barb Villella at 701.499.3604 or barb.villella@ndsurtp.com

About the Innovation Challenge


The Innovation Challenge encourages students to bring their best ideas forward. Knowing that innovations come in all shapes and sizes, we encourage you, as students, to be innovative thinkers, enhance your entrepreneurial awareness, empower you to pursue entrepreneurial careers, expand your access to resources available for innovators and entrepreneurs and help you engage with business leaders in our communities.

Watch this video to learn more about Innovation Challenge Program.

Sign up for the Innovation Challenge


If you have questions about Innovation Challenge contact us today.

NDSU Innovation Challenge Sponsors

The NDSU Innovation Challenge is made possible in part through the generous financial contributions of many companies and individuals. Our sponsors underwrite awards, invest in our technology, and contribute toward the costs of running the student competition.


On behalf of the NDSU Provost’s Office and NDSU Research & Technology Park, we’d like to extend our thanks to our sponsors.

Premier Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors