Young Inventor Challenge Entry Criteria

Pitch Video Requirements

  • Your pitch video must be between 2 and 4 minutes long.  

  • Your video MUST be filmed horizontally (in landscape mode)

  • Parents or friends may prompt students with questions on the video.

  • Upload your video to YouTube, Vimeo or other online storage space. Add the link for your video into the registration form when you are ready! It is VERY IMPORTANT to set your video privacy settings to “Public” or “Unlisted” so that it can be viewed by our Mentors. 

  • See the Student Resources tab on our website for pitch video examples and more information and about making a GREAT PITCH videos!


Display Board

On the day of competition, your display board must contain the following:​
 

  • Student Name

  • Project Name

  • Student Age and Grade

  • Student City and State

  • Brainstorming/Development: summarize the process you went through to develop your game/toy.

  • Game Testing: Who did you play your game with? What was their feedback? Did you make changes/adjustments based on this?

  • Rules or Instructions for your toy or game.

  • Marketing Message: to persuade your target audience about why they should buy your toy/game. You may want to create a slogan or consider listing the benefits and unique features of your invention.

Don't forget:
 

  • Your prototype

  • Your logbook (see our Design Guide for more information) so we can see notes on how your ideas developed!

 

***NOTE: Poster displays and any accompanying written materials must be in English, though bilingual translations are welcome and encouraged.



Judging & Awarding of Prizes

The goal of this event is to inspire creativity and innovation and to provide mentorship to students in this process! It is a competition, but our hope is that the focus will be on the design process and the experience, not the outcome. Our Mentors are all professionals in product development, innovation, invention, marketing, and most importantly, toys and games!  Their feedback is meant to teach and inspire our contestants, and hopefully encourage them to further develop their ideas and come up with new ones!

All entrants will receive their scores and written feedback from our Mentors via email within 2 weeks of the event.

 

One Junior and one Senior Winner will be selected in each of the prize categories, with the exception of the Grand Prize. There will be one Grand Prize winner selected. See the home page for category listing. 
 

All entries will have two opportunities to be judged:
 

  1. Before the event. All entrants will enter and upload project information to the registration portal.  A brief description of your project, photos and a Pitch Video are REQUIRED. These items will be reviewed by our Mentors.  

    ***NOTE this also allows you to enter the contest if you will not be present in Chicago for the actual event.  Your project will be reviewed and judged like all the others.  However, if you are not present, you are NOT eligible to win the “Most Outstanding Presentation” award.
     

  2. During the event. All students will participate in a round of judging circles. These are small groups which will include Mentors and peers. Students will pitch their toy/game ideas to the group, and have time for peer/Mentor feedback and review. Each student/team will be given time for pitching and Q&A after which Mentors will score and make notes on the project, and then move onto the next student presentation.  

     ***NOTE this is a time for students to present their project to Mentors. In fairness to all contestants, parents are not allowed to participate in any way, and are asked to wait in a separate area during the presentations.
     

A combination of the pre-event scores, event scores and Sponsor input will determine overall scoring and winners. Students will receive their scores and mentor comments at the conclusion of the event. 

 

 

Judging Criteria


Mentors will be looking at the following criteria and asking themselves these questions as they view your PITCH VIDEO and SUBMISSION DETAILS before the event:
 

  • Was your video within the time limits?

  • Does it have a strong and creative opening statement to pull the viewer in, and a strong ending, leaving the viewer with a memorable line/finish

  • Are you enthusiastic?  Do you hold eye contact with the camera? Did you memorize your pitch or are you using notecards? Do you use good inflection and volume?

  • Are your thoughts well organized?

  • Did you explain your design process?

  • Is your idea unique? Does it provide a new play experience? Is it original? Highly imaginative? Is it highly impractical, or even impossible, but well thought out? Is it fun?

  • Is the purpose easily communicated? Are the rules easily communicated? Is it practical (could it actually be manufactured, and at a good price)? Do players want to play it again? Is it safe? Will it be something that would appeal to a lot of people, or just a few?

  • Is your invention educational in some way? Does it make the players think in a new way? Does it give them feedback? Does it challenge them to do, think or feel something? Is it collaborative?

  • Does your invention inspire outdoor or active play?

  • Did you show your prototype and explain clearly how the game/toy will work?

  • If you are part of a team did both team members participate in a meaningful way?

 

Mentors will be looking at the following criteria and asking themselves these questions on the

DAY OF THE EVENT:
 

  • Posterboard: Is it engaging with a thoughtful aesthetic? Is the design process well communicated? Do you have outstanding and captivating marketing materials? Does it contain all of the required elements? Is it well organized?

  • Prototype: Does it have an original design? Does it demonstrate how the product will look and work? Does it actually work?

  • Pitch Delivery: Are you enthusiastic?  Do you hold eye contact? Did you memorize your pitch or are you using notecards? Do you use good inflection and volume? Are your thoughts well organized? Can you confidently answer the Mentors’ questions?

  • Is this invention a toy, game or activity?

  • Is your idea unique? Does it provide a new play experience? Is it original? Highly imaginative? Is it highly impractical, or even impossible, but well thought out? Is it fun?

  • Is the purpose easily communicated? Are the rules easily communicated? Is it practical (could it actually be manufactured, and at a good price)? Do players want to play it again? Is it safe? Will it be something that would appeal to a lot of people, or just a few?

  • Is your invention educational in some way? Does it make the players think in a new way? Does it give them feedback? Does it challenge them to do, think or feel something? Is it collaborative?

  • Does your invention inspire outdoor or active play?

 


 

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