Unleashing students
to change the world!

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There are historically two fundamental ways to think: inside the box and outside the box. At the Conrad Challenge we encourage students to enjoy the freedom of thinking like there simply is no box. To Get Your Genius On, there should be no box.

The Conrad Challenge is an annual, multi-phase innovation and entrepreneurship competition that encourages young adults to participate in designing the future. Each year, teams of 2-5 students, ages 13-18, from around the world create products and/or services to address some of the most pressing global and local challenges. They become entrepreneurial problem-solvers, addressing challenging social, scientific and societal issues through utilizing their creativity and critical-thinking skills. 

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Form your team & REGISTER!



Teams may consist of students from the same or different schools, as well as the same or different countries. We encourage collaboration without borders.

Participants work together to identify challenges and develop solutions to some of the world’s most complex problems in one of the following categories: Aerospace & Aviation, Cyber-Technology & Security, Energy & Environment, Health & Nutrition and Transforming Education Through Technology.

Items to complete:

  • Team creation (2-5 participants ages 13-18, with a coach age 18 or older)

  • Selection of a Challenge Category

  • Register online - Coming Aug 23, 2019


Students who have competed in the past may compete again, as long as they still meet the age and other entrance criteria. Teams from previous years may submit past innovations only if significant advances or changes have been made since their most recent participation. 

Teams may submit in multiple categories if desired. There will be a discounted fee in the Business Plan round if team's advance in numerous categories. 



Challenge categories




Deadline Nov. 1, 2019 (11:59 p.m. EST)

In Round One, students research global and local issues in their chosen category. Teams then collaborate a product or service to address this challenge. Registered teams and coaches are offered access to the Conrad Design Method® No Box Toolbox community, where they gain access to brainstorming processes, instructional videos to aid in their product development, access to subject matter experts, as well as THE USE OF NASA TECHNOLOGY.

Once a team has developed a solution, we ask them to imagine being in an elevator with a venture capitalist to create their 1 minute investor pitch. Remember, elevator rides are short!

To complete this round, teams must effectively explain the real-world solution by completing the Conrad Challenge Investor Pitch Form which details their idea, while also explaining and defending its viability as an innovative solution that is unique to anything else on the market. The key here is clarity in a short and concise manner.

Items to complete in this round:

  • Develop solution/product idea

  • Investor Pitch

    • What challenge is your innovation designed to solve?

    • Detail key features of your innovation

    • How is your innovation different from other products/services?

  • Submit completed Investor Pitch Form

Entries are reviewed by the Conrad Team upon submission. Teams will be notified via email if they have advanced to the next round of the Challenge, Round Two: The Business Plan. The sooner you submit the more time you have in Round Two.


Challenge resources


Round 2: THe business plan


Teams may start this round after they receive confirmation email advancing them from Round 1.

Deadline Jan. 3, 2020 (11:59 p.m. EST)
Competition fee is $399 per team

In this round, teams develop a full business plan outlining their idea and its future. Now it's time for teams to create the strategy for how their business will take the initial innovative idea to a viable product.

Items to complete in this round:

  • Complete payment of entry fee of $399 by Dec. 6, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST

    • Discounted rates may apply for qualified title one schools or schools with multiple team participation.

    • Teams submitting in more than one category will receive a discounted rate of $150 on the second entry.

  • Full Business Plan PDF which includes:

    • This document represents all aspects of the business planning process including marketing, finance, intellectual property management, human resources management, and operations management.

    • Graphic conceptualization or full prototype creation

    • 3-minute sales pitch video on product/solution

Submissions are reviewed by an esteemed group of industry experts in each category. Each entry is reviewed and scored by 3-5 experts and is based on an established judging rubric that is detailed in the student handbook. 

All teams who complete the requirements of the Business Plan round will be named Conrad Innovators! 


The top 5 teams in each category advance to the Finals and invited to compete at the Conrad Innovation Summit! These teams will be announced Friday, February 21, 2020.





April 21-24, 2020 

The competition culminates in the Innovation Summit, a 4-day out-of-this-world experience at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Finalist teams are invited to the space coast to meet and present their innovations before an esteemed panel of expert judges. Teams are scored and provided on-the-spot feedback from the judging panel. Teams receive awards, patent support, business services to support the continued growth of their concepts, internship opportunities and numerous university scholarships.

Every year, students tell us they are amazed at meeting like-minded students from across the globe. It might be a four-day event, but the memories made will last a lifetime.

Items to complete in this round:

  • Summit Registration

  • 6-minute investor pitch presentation

  • Patent Application

  • Finalist teams are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses.







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Special thanks to all of our amazing sponsors, champion partners and media partners. The Conrad Challenge wouldn’t be possible without you!