Iona Innovation Challenge

Welcome to the Spring 2021 Virtual Iona Innovation Challenge!

The Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is excited to present the 4th annual Iona Innovation Challenge (IIC). This student competition gives Iona students the ability to present a solution that addresses a real-world problem

Over the course of the semester, students will not only be able to work on their ideas by completing two milestones (video pitch, executive summary & pitch slide deck), but will also gain valuable feedback by working with mentors from a variety of fields. Students will have an opportunity to promote their ideas, build meaningful networks and garner interest to secure the resources necessary to implement their ideas. At Iona College, we want to go beyond the entrepreneur itself, we want to make sure that students from all disciplines have a platform to collaboratively explore creative ways to solve the big challenges of today.

Why Participate?

  • Take action: IIC gives you an opportunity to work on and develop an idea and take actions towards implementing it.
  • Learn new skills: IIC provides you with a robust support network to help develop your ideas and provide feedback through online and face-to-face activities (e.g., workshops, networking events, coworking).
  • Collaborate: IIC is an inclusive competition that gives you an opportunity to connect and collaborate with Iona students from a variety of majors and disciplines.
  • Mentorship: IIC gives you access to a network of mentors comprised of Iona alumni, entrepreneurs, and professionals from a variety of fields.
  • Present to Judges: Finalists will be able to present their ideas to a panel of judges.
  • Win BIG! IIC awards a total of $6,000 in prize money to the winning ideas.
  • Have Fun! Take your ideas to the next level. Enjoy the process, meet new people, learn new skills, win big, and have fun moving the world!

How to Participate?

  • Attend our annual ICC Kickoff Event on 2/12, from noon - 1 p.m. with keynote speaker Jimmy DeCicco
  • Visit www.iona.startuptree.co and click ‘Get Started’ to sign up with your Iona email
  • Create a profile and be sure to fill out as much as you can!
  • Create a project page! You can update it at any time.
  • Join the Iona Innovation Challenge Slack channel for regular competition updates
  • Submit your milestones:
    • Milestone 1: Your 1-minute Video Pitch on 3/14 by 11:59 P.M.
    • Final Milestone: Your 1-Page Executive Summary & Pitch Slide Deck on 4/11 by 11:59 P.M.
  • Finalists will be notified by 4/19.
  • Finalists present at the Final Pitch Event during the first week of May (Exact Date is TBD)*
    *To be confirmed

Themes and Prize Money

Iona students enter the competition by submitting one idea. Here are some examples of themes that your idea can fit into: social entrepreneurship, media ventures, social networking, web/app technology, business technology, service innovations, e-commerce ventures, traditional business ventures, etc.

Prize winners will also be entered to win the opportunity to attend a 3-week virtual bootcamp via the European Innovation Academy.

Prize Breakdown

  • 1st place - $3000
  • 2nd place - $1500
  • 3rd place - $750
  • Fan Favorite Contest - $500 – Milestone 1 (1-minute video pitch) with the most likes/engagement on their video (to be uploaded to the Hynes Institute page) is selected as the Fan Favorite.
  • Superlatives Awards - $250 – Based on idea submissions, we will select two ideas that really standout (ex. most socially responsible, most out of this world idea).

Who is Eligible to Participate?

  • All Iona undergraduate and graduate students! A valid @iona.edu email address is required to enter the competition.
  • Students can enter as an individual or as a team with other students.
  • Students can only submit one idea to IIC.

Interested in participating? Email us at hynesinstitute@iona.edu.

Contact Us

Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation


715 North Avenue
Spellman Hall (4-217)
New Rochelle, NY 10801

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