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2013 Innovation Competition Important Details, Dates, & Guidelines


The 2013 Innovation Competition is rapidly approaching!  Don’t miss out on your chance to with $5,000 to put toward your ideas!

We will be holding an information session on September 24th where we formally introduced the competition, reviewe contest details, and cover several frameworks for business concept generation.  If you are unable to join us, you can VIEW THE PRESENTATION HERE for ideas or inspiration.

If you have not already, please register to receive important email updates about the competition here. Also, visit our website for the most up-to-date information.


Details and Prizes

  • Participants must develop and submit a business concept for market a tangible, manufacturable product. (we are not looking for software, services, apps, etc.)
  • Winning concept will receive $5000 to put toward development of their product. They will also receive access to the CIbM manufacturing lab, prototyping resources from the CIbM and university partners, and business startup assistance.
  • VT KnowledgeWorks will throw in a package of start-up services for the contest winner – the FirstOffice package in their JumpStart Community.

The FirstOffice package provides office space and numerous other resources including: local and regional start-up press releases, commercial insurance offerings overview, human resources issues and answers, financial and administrative set-up, banking services primer, Public relations tips, internet impact tips.


Important Dates, Deadlines, and Information:

Oct 25, 2013 –  Each team must submit a 200 word abstract and 1,200 word business concept.

Oct 31, 2013 – Following submission review, five finalist teams will be selected to present at the 2013 CIbM Innovation Workshop on November 7th for a chance at final prize.

Nov 7, 2013 – Finalist teams will each deliver a 10 minute presentation to an audience of local industry-members, investors, faculty, and students at the 2013 Innovation Workshop at the Inn at Virginia Tech. Presentations will be judged by panel of local investors, industry-members, university faculty, and workshop attendees.

Following presentations and judging, the winning team will be announced and $5,000 in development funds, resources, and First Office awarded.


Submission Guidelines:

Each team must submit a 200 word abstract summarizing the business concept and intended use of awarded funds.  The abstract should show the strengths of the proposed innovation. In a separate document, each team must develop a maximum 1,200 word business concept.

To encourage creativity, there are no specific submission constraints besides the 200 and 1,200 word text constraints. We want each team to frame their product in the best light, whatever they decide that may be!  Remember, we will be looking for STRENGTH within the proposals… “be creative but be careful”.  You can see several frameworks for generating business concepts in our Information Session Presentation.

  • Hardcopy submissions, paper, posters, etc. may be submitted to 250 Durham until 5:00 PM October 25, 2013

REMEMBER:  There is NO set submission format!! If you prefer to convey your ideas in a poster, diagram, etc  you may do this, BUT the submission may have no greater than 1,200 words.

  • Electronic Submissions should be sent to Will Vatis ( by 11:59 PM October 25, 2013 to be considered eligible.

Some things you may wish to include:

  • Team members and their roles
  • Explanation of the need/problem you are trying to solve
  • Description of your invention, how it works, and why it is a good idea
  • Current state of the art (what already exists like your product, if anything?)
  • Patentability/copyright/trademark potential of your invention
  • Current status of research/experimentation/funding
  • General plan to create marketable product and what resources you think you will need
  • Business plan: startup costs, manufacturing costs, sale price, profitability plan, manufacturing, distribution, etc.


Contact Us: at with any questions, comments, or concerns... we will be posting a FAQ document to our website: