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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 innovations before a group of experienced and successful entrepreneurs, financiers, and business professionals.

innovate ung pitch logo

Pitch Competition

  • March 16, 2021
  • 6:00 p.m.
  • This event will be virtual. More details to come

How to Apply?

Fill out the innovateUNG Application Form.

Prize Structure

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

Participant/Team Qualifications

  • Current UNG undergraduate degree seeking students
  • Graduates within one year of graduation are also eligible as long as the idea for the innovation was initially conceived while enrolled as an UNG undergraduate student
  • Participants may be an individual or team of no more than four members
  • Teams can enter only one innovation in the competition
  • All team members must meet these eligibility requirements

What Qualifies as an Invention & Judging Criteria


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


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 innovations which will be judged by experts. The students introduce their innovations 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's 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

The idea driving the competition is to recognize and celebrate the creativity and innovativeness of UNG undergraduate students. If you believe that your innovation may be patentable, please consult an attorney prior to the event. 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 innovations 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.
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

Kate Maine, Ed.D. 
Vice President of University Relations and Chief of Staff
University of North Georgia

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do anything I wish with the cash prize?

Yes, but we strongly encourage you to invest it in your invention!

Can I enter with multiple inventions

No. Only one invention per student is allowed, regardless of team or individual status.

Do I have to have a working prototype to compete?

No, you do not have to have a working prototype or a prototype at all. Obviously it helps the judges and the organizers if you can demonstrate a prototype, but you can always explain your concept to the judges without a fully functioning prototype.

Our invention was developed as part of a project class. How does this affect our ability to enter?

This should not affect your ability to enter. Please indicate which class your idea resulted from during registration and the name of the course professor. The innovateUNG organizers may verify the disposition of the submitted intellectual property with the University of North Georgia Research Corporation.

Should I keep an inventor's notebook?

Yes. The organizers strongly encourage students to keep an inventor's notebook. To this end, one notebook will be provided to each student whose team has completed their Inventor Profile.

An inventor's notebook is a written record of your invention and your progress in developing it. There are many websites offering guides to the proper keeping of an inventor’s notebook. When using your notebook, keep in mind these five simple attributes:

  • Notebooks must be permanently bound with consecutively numbered pages.
  • Use legible and permanent (inked) entries.
  • Use initialed (or signed) and dated entries.
  • Signatures should be witnessed for significant entries.
  • Witnesses need to understand the technology but would not be named as co-inventors.

A patent can be litigated at any time during its life. Twenty to twenty-five years can elapse from the date of the initial concept to the expiration of an issued patent. It is therefore important to maintain your notebooks accordingly.

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