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SVIC 2017 Finalist Showcase is scheduled for Wednesday, November 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.  Details concerning registration and a full listing of event details will be posted in early September. Bookmark 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 complete the YouNoodle entry form to submit your idea during the open submission period. Follow the step-by-step instructions in the video below if needed. Open submission dates and all other relevant deadlines will be posted here in early fall 2017 semester.


Award Categories

The award categories for the 14th annual Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge in fall 2017 will be posted prior to the start of the fall 2017 semester. Most Innovative Idea, Best Elevator Pitch, and People’s Choice Award along with several Special Category awards will most likely be included.

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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 50 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.

Finalist Showcase Agenda
Student Union Ballroom doors will open at 7:00 a.m. All students must proceed to the registration table before 8:30 a.m. to sign in and have sufficient time to setup and prepare before judges arrive. Power strips will be available under each table for students augmenting their poster displays with electronically driven visual aids. The schedule for the 2017 SVIC Finalist Showcase will be posted during the fall 2017 semester.

Enhancing the Poster Board Display
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.

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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 Sample
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.

Office Hours and Workshops
Students are encouraged to visit the IDEA Lab in the Student Union to speak with an SVIC team member during office hours. Seeking help during office hours and attending recommended workshops will help finalists prepare for the SVIC Finalist Showcase. No need to RSVP. Simply come and learn!

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Judging Criteria

The judging criteria used to evaluate online submissions and finalist entries at the SVIC Finalist Showcase will be posted in fall 2017 for each of the respective Award Categories.

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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.

Review the university's intellectual property policy and 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.

The Silicon Valley U.S. Patent and Trademark Office offers a wealth of educational resources for entrepreneurs and independent inventors. Students may also schedule a twenty minute 1-on-1 in-person meeting with a USPTO patent prosecution specialist to discuss the patent process or seek answers to your questions. Visit the Silicon Valley USPTO website to learn more about the services it offers. 

The Silicon Valley USPTO is a federal facility. Visitors must have a valid form of government-issued identification (driver license or passport) to gain access and may be subject to security screening.  

Silicon Valley USPTO
26 S. Fourth Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Business Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM PT.  Closed on federal holidays.

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