Business Towerevent details

  1. Submit your innovative idea.

  2. Vote for your favorite ideas.

  3. The best ideas will be invited to come to SJSU campus to showcase their ideas.


Presentation Guidelines

Participants will present their idea by means of a poster board that explains the idea and its value. The poster board should be self-explanatory and should communicate the essence of the idea to the audience and judges.

Participants are encouraged to support their poster board display with:

  • models or prototypes of the product

  • computer displays

  • demonstrations or

  • any form of visual display

    to help the audience and judges fully understand the value and utility of the product, process or service.

Preparing the Poster Board

  • A free-standing poster board (max. dimensions: 36 x 48 inches)

  • We recommend a two-fold poster board, as shown in the picture below (this is the Hunt ExecutivePro Display Board):

    SVIC Guidelines

  • Add your start-up company’s (project’s) name in large font at the top of the board

  • Include a headline that says what the company (project) does.

  • Include photographs, charts, graphics or designs related to the product and display them on the poster board. Blow them up so that they are visible.

  • The poster board should also include the following:

  1. Clear explanation of the product/service concept

  2. Its potential customers/users and expected market size

  3. The benefit/value of the concept to users

  4. The uniqueness of the concept and its competitive edge

  5. The feasibility of the concept

Download a Template of the poster board presentation

The exhibits will be judged for two competition categories:

Faculty Resources

Click here to download the Power point presentation slides of the SVIC to show to your students in class.

Here are some suggestions of ways to involve students:

  1. Integrate student participation in the Silicon Valley Innovation Challenge (SVIC) into your syllabus.

  2. Assign a class project that requires students to develop an innovative business idea that they can present at the SVIC.

  3. Give credit or extra credit for participating in the SVIC

  4. Promote the SVIC to your students, inform them that they could win prizes.

  5. Inform students about the SVCE's Speaker events, where they can learn more about the SVIC.

  6. Include a link to the SVIC website on your faculty website.

  7. Schedule a short presentation to your class by a SVIC volunteer.

  8. your students to this year's SVIC, so they can experience the event for themselves.

Intellectual Property

Protecting Intellectual Property

Even though you are exhibiting an early-stage idea, you want to make sure that you do not present anything in your exhibit that will compromise your right to use or pursue the idea in the future. The issue is obvious if you have a technology idea and you want to be able to pursue a patent. The issue can also arise, though, if you have a product name that you might want to seek to be designated as a trade mark. Also, if you have a business idea that will compete based on some special knowledge or business operation (a trade secret), you do not want to give away your “secret sauce” that differentiates your business. The paragraphs below give you some thoughts on how to stay protected.

If you have a technology or process that might be patentable (or might be copyrighted if it is software)…

You do not want to display enough about your technology or process that it becomes considered to be in the public domain.

Do not include drawings, diagrams, or descriptions that show the unique nature or workings of your product or process. You can say what it does – the benefits it provides, for example – but keep secret how it accomplishes this.

If you have software, do not exhibit any code.

If you have named a product or service with a special name or symbol…

You want to indicate that you intend to use this as a brand. You can follow the brand name with the symbol “™” to indicate it is yours, it is original, and that you intend to do business with this name. Later, if you want to pursue this business, you will need to file to register your brand name with the appropriate jurisdictions: states or the federal government, depending on whether you will be doing business across state lines.

If your have designed your business idea around trade secrets…

You will need to maintain the secrecy of your key ideas that create your differentiation. In your exhibit, do not be specific about things that, if copied by competitors, will cost you your competitive edge.

If you have an idea you intend to pursue that might meet the criteria above, check with the SJSU Office of Graduate Studies and Research to learn about procedures for determining whether SJSU has an ownership interest. The university has the expertise and experience to assist you in assessing commercialization and determining whether you might have issues related to protecting Intellectual Property.