How it works (and why you don't have to be a programmer to win)

See the presentation: download the PPTX or Pdf.  Right click on the link and choose "save file as".


The app challenge is a multi-phase contest.  As your idea advances, you receive more help making it a reality.

The last challenge was all about ideas -- and you had plenty of them.  This time we want more ideas, and we're willing to help out those that are the best.  The app challenge will take place over three quarters, ending with Innovation Week and the New Venture Challenge on May 30, 2013.


Students, faculty, and staff -- with a few exceptions.

Here's how we've structured the app challenge:

1. Fall quarter: you're working on a great pitch.

You've got until December 7 to submit a great idea for an app.  We've made it simple. This time you don't need to submit a video, unless you want to enter the People's Choice competition.  We'll be holding orientation sessions and workshops through out the quarter to answer your questions.  Attend one or more, and you're going to have a great entry.  

2. Winter quarter: If your idea is chosen, you'll be prototyping it with our help.

If your idea is chosen, you'll then enter the second round, where you make your idea more concrete.  You may have noticed that we didn't use the words "coding" or "programming."  At this phase, we're interested in designing the right thing, and we can do that with simple tools and actual humans.  When we say "prototyping" we mean:

  • Taking your idea and roughing it out with pen and paper!
  • Finding example users, and seeing if they "get" how your app is supposed to work.
  • Working on it again and again (still on paper) and getting more feedback until it makes sense.

Prototypes will be due March 10, 2013.

Please note: even if your idea isn't chosen, you're welcome to audit our workshops.  

3. Spring quarter: If your prototype is chosen, you'll have a programmer and 7 weeks to make the app happen.

Finalists will be provided with a programmer.  You'll have 7 weeks to make your app a reality.  Granted, it may not look glamorous.  But if it works and if it delivers on your valuable idea, you may win $10,000!  Final judging happens at the New Venture Challenge on May 30, 2013.