The Spring 2021 Innovation Challenge is part of the Innovation Challenge series, an ideation competition managed by the
CSUSM Innovation Hub. The goal of this program is to foster real-life solutions to
specific challenges in our communities. During the challenge, students and teams will
use their creativity to develop an innovative product, service, or program and present
their ideas to be judged by a panel of innovative and entrepreneurial experts. The
Spring 2021 Innovation Challenge ideas might include solutions to impacts from new
regulations, changes to culture and social attitudes, and changes to resources and
technology. The challenge is to design a unique solution in the form of a product,
technology, service, or program that meets the identified organizational need. The
Innovation Hub Spring 2021 Innovation Challenge awards a winning student team with
a cash prize. Non-student participation is welcome as part of a CSUSM student founded
There will be two Spring 2021 Innovation Challenge tracks this year. Students may
enter a submissions into either or both tracks.
- The first track will focus on student food insecurity and homelessness, increased
by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than half of CSUSM students will face
food and/or housing insecurity. This is a staggering statistic, and the number is
higher when you take the COVID-19 pandemic into consideration. “Students ... are struggling
with housing insecurity. They’ve lost their places to live because they’ve lost their
jobs. They can no longer afford where they are living and need help to find a place
that is cheaper or just finding someone to live with,” said Bonnie Campbell, the CARE
manager of the Cougar Care Network. With the pandemic, the world has changed, and
how we approach solutions to those issues must change with it. Innovative thinking
to long-term social solutions must be part of the answer. And innovation is what the
CSUSM Innovation Hub Challenge is all about. To ensure that the Innovation Hub Challenge
will be impactful, we will be providing opportunities for presentations by the City
of San Marcos, the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce and multiple nonprofit organizations
that specialize in hunger and homelessness, in addition to campus student resources
like the Cougar Care Network and the Cougar Pantry. In this challenge, students search
for new problems that will alleviate or solve food insecurity or homelessness challenges
that students face.
- The second track is open-topic and can focus on any innovative idea that helps overcome
a current or future challenge that might include impacts from new regulations, changes
to culture and social attitudes or changes to resources and technology. The project
goal is to design a unique solution in the form of a product, technology, service,
or program that meets the identified organizational need.
Spring 2021 Timeline
Challenge Application Opens - February 15, 2021
Application Closes - May 7, 2021
Announce Top 10 - May 14, 2021
Mentoring Sessions - May 17 - 21, 2021
Video Presentation - May 24, 2021
Winner Announced - May 28, 2021
Students may enter a maximum of one submission for each track. For more information about submission guidelines, click here.
To submit your Spring 2021 Innovation Challenge Application click here.
For more information, please contact us at email@example.com.