Get Started

Robot JudgeEvent Details

SVIC 2016 Finalist Showcase is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, November 15 in the Student Union Ballroom. Continue to check back to this website or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to receive automatic updates.




Entering an innovative idea or business into the Challenge is easy. Simply create a YouNoodle account and complete the entry form in YouNoodle to submit your idea. YouNoodle will accept entries when the fall semester begins. Deadline to enter is Friday, October 14, 2016.

Award Categories

Best Overall Innovation, First Place Prize, $1,500
Best Overall Innovation, Second Place Prize, $1,000
Best Overall Innovation, Third Place Prize, $500
Best Social Innovation, $1,000
Best Global Innovation, $1,000
Best Elevator Pitch, $500
People’s Choice Award $500
Best Water Conservation Innovation, $500 NEW FOR 2016!

Back to Top

Evaluation Process

The SVIC team reviews all entries. Those scoring 3 out of 5 or higher (see judging criteria) advance to the online judging round. Industry professionals and faculty members are randomly assigned entries to evaluate. The top 60 entries from the online judging round advance to the finalist showcase to compete in person.

Day of the Event

Participants are expected to dress in business  casual attire, create a visually appealing poster board, and prepare a brief 90 second elevator pitch that succinctly communicates the innovation’s key features and benefits to judges.

Enhancing the poster board display with a:

Judges appreciate "seeing" a prototype of your innovation as it is often hard to visualize the product or service simply based on a verbal description. Consider enhancing your poster board display with one of the following:

  1. Model or prototype of the product
  2. Computer display, animation, or short video clip
  3. Live product demonstration
  4. Any visual aid that will help judges understand the value and utility of the product, process, or service

Polish Resume and Interviewing Skills
Participants interested in networking or job opportunities should consider bringing business cards and hardcopies of a well-written one-page resume laser printed on nice paper. Visit the Career Center to polish your resume or brush up on your interviewing skills.

Back to Top

Poster Board Preparation

Download the poster board presentation template (PPT) and use it only as a guide or starting point rather than a template to copy exactly. Visit any office supply or art store to purchase a  free-standing poster board (max. dimensions: 36 x 48  inches) such as  the two-fold Hunt ExecutivePro Display Board shown here:

 Poster Board Presentation Sample
(Photo courtesy of Lisa Hearn)

Make Reading Posters Easy for Judges

The title, subtitles, body text, and graphics must be LARGE enough for audiences to read from 3 feet away. Posters must clearly explain:

  1. The product or service concept as well as its value and benefits.
  2. The potential customers or users and expected market size.
  3. The uniqueness of the concept and its competitive edge.
  4. The feasibility of the concept.

Back to Top

Judging Criteria

Best Overall Innovation
Best Overall Innovation entries are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5 in the following four criteria:

  1. Advantage. A clear advantage over existing products, services, or technology available on the market today.
  2. Benefits. Effectively targets and defines potential customers.
  3. Doable. The idea can be executed or implemented as is.
  4. Breadth of Impact. The potential market is widespread and                                       adaptable to various market segments.

Best Social Innovation

Social innovations address social problems with novel solutions, and society (rather than private individuals) benefits from the impact and value social innovations create. Best of all, social innovations carry a high "feel good" factor which is what our world needs more of! Social innovation entries for SVIC will be evaluated on the overall effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of the idea.

Best Elevator Pitch

Elevator Pitch Competition entries are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 10 in the following four categories:

  1. Clear. Does the pitch clearly articulate the benefits to the intended market? Upon hearing the pitch, do you fully comprehend the merits of the innovation (new or improved process, product, or service). Zero confusion.
  2. Concise. Did the participant articulate the pitch succinctly and completely? The participant was direct (immediately got to the point), avoided filler words ("um" and "uh"), used professional diction.
  3. Convincing. Did the participant effectively promote the merits or value proposition of his or her innovation? Is the pitch powerful enough for you to take action? Are you interested?
  4. Memorable. Did the pitched make a lasting impression? Are you capable of reiterating the key points or value proposition of the innovation to another colleague after a passage of time? 

Back to Top

Intellectual Property Protection

Visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to learn the best method of protecting your intellectual property. Avoid exhibiting content at the SVIC Finalist Showcase that will compromise your right to use  or pursue the idea in the future.

Patentable or Copyright Technology, Process, or Software

Avoid revealing too much about your technology or process such that it becomes considered public domain. Do NOT include drawings, diagrams, or descriptions that show the unique nature or inner workings of your product or process. For instance, share the product benefits but safeguard the methods or mechanics behind delivering the benefits. If you have software, DO NOT exhibit any code.

Special Names or Symbols

Use the “™” symbol to indicate your intention to use any special product names or symbols as a brand. Eventually, you will must register the brand with the appropriate jurisdictions: states or the federal government, depending on whether you will be doing business across state lines.

Trade Secrets

Be discreet about any trade secrets used to design your business idea and create differentiation. Avoid revealing information in your exhibit that can be copied by competitors and cost you your competitive edge.

Check with the SJSU Office of Graduate Studies and Research to determine whether SJSU has an ownership interest in your innovation. The university has the expertise and experience to assist you in assessing commercialization and intellectual property protection.

Back to Top