Announcing the UofSC COVID-19 Challenge: Online Student Ideas Competition
UofSC is hosting a student ideas competition to empower YOU to develop innovative solutions – and take action – on the COVID-19 crisis.
The McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise at the University of South Carolina is seeking students’ ideas that address the most pressing technical, social, and financial issues caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Our goal is to facilitate mitigation of the pandemic’s effects through the innovation of University of South Carolina students. The ideas proposed are limited only to students’ imaginations. The impact can be at the University, local, statewide, national, or international level.
Up to $9,000 prize money (up to $1,000 per winning individual or team) will be awarded for the ideas that have the most potential for impact. Ideas will be developed online in StartupWind, using an idea concept card, a business model canvas, and a budget.
Idea canvases will be judged by seasoned entrepreneurs and investors based on (1) how compelling the idea is; (2) the return on investment or impact per dollar; and (3) how realistic the solution is to implement.
This competition is open to UofSC students, including all campuses and the Palmetto College. Individuals and teams of any size may submit idea canvases. Please read the eligibility, entry, judging and additional terms prior to submitting your idea canvas.
This competition is co-sponsored by The McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise, Faber Entrepreneurship Center and South Carolina Research Authority
Entries are due Sunday, April 19 at 11 p.m. Winners will be announced by April 30, 2020.
Visit our webpage to get started on your application.
For more information, contact Katherine Swartz Hilton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803.777.1717.
- All currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate University of South Carolina students in good academic and judicial standing on all UofSC campuses are eligible.
- The competition is open to individuals and teams of any size.
- The deadline for entry is Sunday, April 19, 11 p.m.
- Entries will be made through the StartupWind platform in a private and secure cohort.
- To enter, visit our webpage and create an account.
- An entry includes four required parts: Team member(s’) contact and academic information, an idea concept card, business model canvas and budget. A template will be provided for the budget.
- Multiple entries per individual or team are allowed.
- There is no entry fee.
- Terms are posted in the competition.
- Entries will be judged by a panel of experts including seasoned entrepreneurs and McNair Institute staff.
- Idea canvases will be judged based on (1) how compelling the idea is; (2) the return on investment or impact per dollar; and (3) how realistic the solution is to implement.
- Winners will be announced by April 30.
- Ideas submitted will only be visible to judges, McNair Institute staff, and StartupWind staff during the entry and selection phases of the competition.
- Winners agree to allow the McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise and the University of South Carolina to publicize winners’ ideas, photographs, and project results beginning with the announcement of winners.
- All winners must abide by all federal, state, local, and University of South Carolina mandates. See our coronavirus webpage for updates from the University of South Carolina.
- Each individual or team entrant is eligible for only one prize.
- Amount of each prize to be determined by McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise at the University of South Carolina will be based on several factors including estimate of total funds needed to successfully complete the project, feasibility, scalability, return on investment, type of mitigation to be made, and amount allocated toward personal expenditures. Size of team is not a factor in determining amount of prize money awarded.
- Payment of prize money will be issued in the form of a check or direct deposit after a W-9 is received. Payment will be made as quickly as possible, but due to limitations placed on staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not possible to predict when payment will be issued.
- Prizes of $600.00 or more are taxable, and it is the winner’s responsibility to pay taxes on winnings received. An IRS Form 1099 will be sent to each winner as applicable.
- If a winning team has formed a legally recognized business, payment of prize money will be made to the business. The IRS Form 1099 will be sent to the business for payment of taxes as applicable. If the winning team has not formed a business, the team leader designated in the competition entry information will be sent the prize money and IRS Form 1099 as applicable.
- Winners will be required to provide an interim or final report to the McNair Institute by November 30, 2020, including action taken, impact made, use of funds, testimonials from winners and those impacted by project, and photographs of the project. A report template will be provided.