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Illinois Tech Innovation Challenge

Do you have a smart solution to a real-world consumer or business need? The Illinois Tech Innovation Challenge invites you to solve a real problem by creating a physical thing, application, or an application to control a physical thing.

Your creativity and inventiveness can pay off! Win up to $2,500 + free mHUB rent!

ACTIVE DATES (CDT): Mon, 20 Aug. 2018 10:00 - Sunday, 30 September 2018 11:59 p.m.


The Contest is a four-stage competition designed to

(1) encourage and inspire students to think about creating physical things, applications and applications that control physical things by encouraging them to seek to solve a real-world consumer and/or business need or problem that they have identified,

(2) to demonstrate their creativity and inventiveness at solving this problem,

(3) to provide an opportunity to earn a monetary prize and, for the noted limited time, free rent at a maker’s co-working space in recognition of their accomplishment.

Register to participate in this contest


​As more specifically detailed in the Official Rules, individuals from each of the three categories listed below are eligible to participant in the Contest. Participants will only compete against others in their particular category.

  1. Currently enrolled Illinois Tech students
  2. Currently enrolled students in a 4-year college, including community college or university with a physical presence in the greater Chicagoland area*
  3. Currently enrolled high school students attending any high school in the greater Chicagoland area

*The Chicago area is defined as the following counties in Illinois: Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage, and Will; and in Indiana, Lake County.


  1. Contestants can be individual qualifying students or a team of qualifying students. In addition , each of the members of a team may be enrolled at one or more educational institutions, and maximum team size is limited to four (4) members.  All contestants must attend an educational institution with some physical presence in Chicagoland area.
  2. Innovations created can be physical things, applications and applications that control physical things. Innovations can also be a combination of ideas. Examples: A thing that talks to a Smartphone via Bluetooth; an application that controls a physical thing.
  3. As detailed in the Official Rules, by submitting an entry, individuals understand and agree that their name, likeness and other information about them and their submission will be used to generate publicity and for promotional purposes, and the relevant provisions of the Officials Rules regarding such matters should be considered before submitting an entry.
  4. To register to participate in this Contest, an official entry form, which is available at must be submitted after 10:00 a.m. on August 20, 2018 but before 11:59 p.m. on September 30, 2018 (local Chicago times). The deadlines for the three other stages of the Contest and the requirements of each stage are set forth in the Official Rules.
  5. For the Final Stage of judging, at least one person, as an individual entrant or as part of a finalist team, must be willing to pitch to a panel of judges at a presentation held on or about November 17, 2018.

Register to participate in this contest


Cash Prizes and Free Rent at the mHub Co-Working Space, the City’s foremost maker's hub! 

1st Place Prize: $2,500 and 8 weeks free rent (a $600 value) at mHub Co-Working Space
2nd Place Prize: $1000 and 8 weeks free rent (a $600 value) at mHub Co-Working Space
3rd Place Prize: $500 and 8 weeks free rent (a $600 Value) at mHub Co-Working Space

Semifinalists currently in high school (10 total) will receive a $25,000 scholarship* to attend Illinois Tech!

*(Scholarship awarded only if the winner is currently enrolled in high school. Winner must be admitted to and enroll at Illinois Tech.)

Deadline to Enter: September 30, 2018

Check the Official Rules for all the details!

Register to participate in this contest

A Special Thanks to Our Illinois Tech Innovation Challenge Sponsors!

Lead Sponsor: Fogelson Family Foundation

Fogelson Family Foundation

Other Sponsors

mHub Coleman Foundation

2017 Participant Experience