Are you a current Tufts or SMFA undergraduate, graduate, or gap year student who wants to develop innovative ideas to solve real problems?
Interested in doing it through innovation and entrepreneurship? If so, the Ideas Competition is for you.
The Ideas Competition
Launched in 2014, the Ideas Competition is a pitch contest for entrepreneurial Tufts students to choose a problem worth solving, come up with a great solution, and deliver a 5-minute venture pitch for a chance to win up to $1,000 per team in cash prizes.
Many Ideas Competition winners go on to apply for the $100k New Ventures Competition, the University’s’ flagship entrepreneurship competition in the spring. Some go on to build new ventures over the summer and beyond.
No experience necessary. Get help with your application through 1×1 coaching and virtual educational workshops.
Virtual Infosession: September 28, 2022
Applications open: October 15, 2022
Applications close: October 31, 2022
Full hybrid live pitch event: November 17, 2022 @7pm*
* We will be running this event in full hybrid mode. Finalists will present in-person by default, but will be able to pitch virtually if necessary. Audience members can register for a limited number of in-person seats, or they may join remotely over Zoom.
Eligibility, Applications, and How To Prepare
Who Should Apply?
Students who want to develop an idea to solve a real problem, and to learn how to take your idea from concept to a live pitch should apply.
No experience necessary. We have resources to help you learn to define a problem worth solving, ideate a solution that is unique and better than the alternatives, outline a plan to get people to use this solution, and pitch it to an audience.
People of color, women, and people within the LGBTQ+ community are encouraged to apply.
Students may join as an individual or as a team.
Each application must have at least one core team member who is a current or gap year student (undergraduate or graduate) at Tufts University across ALL 11 schools and colleges.
Students or teams who have already won a prize at a previous Ideas Competition or Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition may not apply again with the same idea.
Preparing For The Competition
We have many resources to help you prepare.
- Join an Ideation workshop or Ideas Clinic to make progress on problem selection with the help of seasoned innovators and entrepreneurs.
- Book a 1×1 office hours meeting with a coach to get feedback.
- Watch recorded educational workshops or browse our online Entrepreneurship Learning Center.
- 1st Place — $1,000 (Sponsored by Sam Kessel, E15)
- 2nd Place — $500
- 3rd Place — $250
Most Promising Undergraduate Team:
Judging and Winner Selection
- Problem: Does the team understand the problem and target customer?
- Solution: Does the proposed solution solve the problem in a unique manner compared to the alternative?
- Adoption: Does the team present a credible plan for distribution and widespread adoption of their solution?
- Impact: How big is the problem? How is the world a better place if the team solves this problem?
- Applicant: Did the applicant / team convince the judges they are the right people to solve this problem?
- Presentation: Was the team effective in presenting their venture?
- Wildcard: Did anything about the team particularly impress you?