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innovateUNG

The innovateUNG Pitch Challenge is an annual event that highlights the innovativeness and entrepreneurial spirit of the students of the University of North Georgia. Teams of UNG full-time degree-seeking undergraduate students will present their unique business inventions before a group of experienced and successful entrepreneurs, financiers, and business professionals.

Important Dates

October 4 - Registration Opens
December 28 - Registration Closes
January 9 - Preliminary Round (Top 10 selected)
January 23 - Semi-Final Round (Top 5 selected)
February 20 - Final Competition (Winners selected)

Prize Structure

  • First Place - $2,000
  • Second Place - $1,000
  • People’s Choice - $500
  • Additional items - Pitch/Startup Training, Mentoring, Idea/Product Feedback, Professional Connections

Participant/Team Qualifications

  • Participants may be an individual or team
  • Current UNG undergraduate degree seeking students
  • Graduates within one year of graduation are also eligible as long as the idea for the invention was initially conceived while enrolled as an UNG undergraduate student
  • Students can enter only one invention in the competition
  • All team members must meet these eligibility requirements

What Qualifies as an Invention & Judging Criteria

Innovativeness

Is the idea novel? How does it compare to other ideas that address the same problem?

Marketability

Is there a demand for the invention? Will people buy it?

Market Size

How big is the market for the invention?

Inventor Passion

How driven is the inventor or team by the idea?

Probability of Becoming a Successful Business

Would someone invest in helping make the invention a reality?

Students can work independently or in teams to develop and present inventions which will be judged by experts. The students introduce their inventions in the preliminary round and the expert judges determine the five finalists who will advance to the final round.

Final round team awards of cash, grants, scholarships or in-kind services such as legal assistance for patent filings or other professional services will be presented to the top two competitors and one “People Choice” award winner based on voting by observers in-person and online. The top team will also be granted the opportunity to potentially represent UNG at the Georgia InVenture Prize competition in the spring. 

Intellectual Property

Undergraduate students participating in the innovateUNG Pitch Challenge are not required to assign their intellectual property rights to the university, as long as, you are not performing research under a sponsored program or are not using significant resources of the university (as defined by UNG policies). If you have any questions, please contact innovateung@ung.edu

The idea driving the competition is to recognize and celebrate the creativity and inventiveness of the UNG undergraduate students. UNG’s intent is not to protect the rights of all parties including the student, faculty and others before, during or after this competition. Therefore, we maintain certain criteria for participants and their inventions to be included in the innovateUNG Pitch Challenge.

In addition, if the winner(s) of the innovateUNG Pitch Challenge are to represent UNG at the Georgia InVenture Prize competition, intellectual property rules and regulations as determined by the Georgia InVenture Prize competition must be met. 

Honor Code

By registering and/or competing in the innovateUNG Pitch Challenge any applicant and participant is bound by the UNG Honor Code and other rules and regulations of the competition. The Organizing Committee maintains the right to terminate eligibility of any applicant or participant if the intent and spirit of the competition is violated in any manner. The decision of the committee is final.

Organizing Committee

Ruben Boling, DBA
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Associate Professor
Mike Cottrell College of Business
University of North Georgia

Mariangela Vecchiarini-Piazza, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor
Mike Cottrell College of Business
University of North Georgia

Jon Mehlferber, MFA, Ph.D.
Professor
College of Arts & Letters
Department of Visual Arts
University of North Georgia

Andy Novobilski, Ph.D.
Associate Provost for Research & Engagement
Chief Research Officer
University of North Georgia

Jenna Colvin
General Counsel
University of North Georgia

Kate Maine, APR 
Chief of Staff
University of North Georgia

The Organizing Committee serves to provide guidance to the innovateUNG coordinator and to help select and guide student teams for the innovateUNG finals and the application to the Georgia Inventure Prize.

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