Unleashing students
to change the world!

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There are historically two fundamental ways to think: inside the box and outside of the box. At the Conrad Challenge we don't believe in this philosophy, we encourage students to enjoy the freedom of thinking like there is no box. Because when it comes to innovation and to Get Your Genius On™, who needs a box? 

The Conrad Challenge is an annual, multi-phase innovation and entrepreneurial competition that encourages young adults to leave their mark on the world. Each year, teams of 2-5 students, ages 13-18, from around the globe create products and/or services that address some of the most pressing global challenges. Students take direct control of their learning – it extends well beyond the bounds of the school day and becomes an all-encompassing, passionate mission. They leave the title of 'student’ and become entrepreneurial problem-solvers, addressing challenging social, scientific and societal issues through creativity and critical-thinking. 

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Challenge categories


Get Started: Form your team!

But, don’t wait… start early!

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

Students (ages 13-18) form teams of 2-5 participants, with a coach (age 18 or older) who supports them along the way. Teams may consist of students from the same or different schools, as well as students from across the world. We encourage collaboration without borders!

Participants work together to choose 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, and Health & Nutrition. Stay tuned for additional categories to be announced this summer!

Items to complete:

  • Team creation

  • Selection of a Challenge Category

  • Review the Student Handbook - Coming soon!

  • Create Company Name and Team Gmail Address

  • Register online! - Coming 8.23.19


Students who have competed in the past may compete again, as long as they still meet the age and other entrance criteria.

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. 



Round 1: The Investor Pitch
Deadline Nov. 1, 2019 (11:59 p.m. EST)

In this initial round, we ask students to research global issues in their chosen category. Teams then collaborate to invent a product or service that helps address this challenge. Registered teams and coaches are offered access to our Conrad Design Method® community, where they gain access to brainstorming processes, instructional videos to aid in their product development, as well as access to subject matter experts if requested.

Once a team has developed a global solution, we ask them to imagine being in an elevator with a venture capitalist to create their 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 Form - Coming soon!

    • What challenge is your innovation designed to solve?

    • Detail key features of your innovation

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

  • 1-minute team pitch video

  • Submit completed Investor Pitch Form

Teams from previous years may submit past innovations only if significant advances or changes have been made since their most recent participation. 

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.


Challenge resources


Round 2: The Business Plan
Upon confirmation - Jan. 3, 2020
Competition fee is $300 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! 

At this point, teams begin receiving consistent communications from the Conrad team, as well as access to subject matter experts and resource materials in the Conrad Design Method® community!

Items to complete in this round:

  • Complete payment of entry fee of $300 by Dec. 6, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST

    • Upon advancement, teams will receive instructions on how to complete payment.

    • 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:

    • Graphic conceptualization or full prototype creation

    • 3-minute sales pitch video on product/solution

  • Submit Business Plan by January 3, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST 

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.



Round 3: The Conrad Innovation Summit
April 2020 

The competition culminates in the Innovation Summit, a 4-day experience at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Finalist teams head to the space coast to meet and present their innovations before an esteemed panel of industry expert judges. Teams are scored and provided on-the-spot feedback from the judging panel. Just like the hit TV show Shark Tank! Winning teams receive awards, seed funding grants, investment opportunities, patent support, business services and scholarships to support the growth of their concepts into real businesses that can make real difference. This unique event gives students direct exposure to industry experts, corporate companies, actual investors, even universities!  

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!