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Young Inventor Challenge®
Rules & Regulations

By submitting an entry to the Young Inventor Challenge® (YIC),

participants and their parents/guardians/teachers agree to abide by the following rules and regulations and follow the entry criteria listed below. 




  • YIC participants must be ages 6 – 18 years old and enrolled in some form of elementary or secondary education (public, private, charter, or home school) by the time submissions close

  • Participants can invent and enter the challenge individually or with a team of up to two participants that meet the age requirements - maximum of two participants per team, no exceptions

  • All entries must be the original idea, development, and work product of the participant/team, and must not have previously been made available to the public as a commercial product

  • Use of outside services for prototype production assistance (ie: 3D printing, playing card printing, etc) is permitted, but students must disclose anything that is not their personal work in their entry


Judging & Awards


  • ​All judging decisions are final

  • Judges of the YIC are all professionals in product development, innovation, invention, marketing, etc. and their feedback is meant to teach and inspire participants, and encourage them to further develop their ideas

  • All projects must be judged virtually

  • Winners are announced at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair in November - attendance is not required to win 

  • Teams will be judged the same way as individuals

  • All participants will receive their scores and written feedback from the judges at the conclusion of the YIC event 


Invention & Prototype Requirements


  • Entries must consist of only one prototype/invention per participant/team

  • All entries must consist of a working prototype of the toy or game invention

  • Show Management reserves the right to disqualify any prototype deemed threatening, or otherwise inappropriate in its judgment, and to prohibit challenge participation of the owners of said prototype



  • ​All YIC participants and their parents/guardians/teachers/families are expected to conduct themselves responsibly and with respect for others throughout the competition

  • Show Management reserves the right to disqualify any participant whose conduct or the conduct of their parent/guardian/teacher is deemed disruptive, insensitive, inappropriate, or threatening

Young Inventor Challenge®

Entry Criteria 

Pitch Video Requirements

  • Your pitch video should be UP TO 3 minutes long

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

  • Parents or friends MAY prompt students with questions on the video, but students alone must do the actual "pitch" and presentation

  • Videos should be your original work and do not need production or special effects. These videos are so judges can preview and understand your concept, so please be sure to include information about how you came up with the idea, show us your prototype, explain the rules, and most importantly show us how to play! ​

  • Your video must be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, or other online storage space. It is VERY IMPORTANT to set your video privacy settings to “Public” or “Unlisted” so that it can be viewed by the judges. 

  • Explore the Student Resources (coming soon!) and Design Guide (coming soon!) for pitch video examples and more information on submitting your toy or game invention 


Presentation Preparation

​It is important to remember the 4 Ps of preparation which judges will use to score submissions:

  • Poise - appearance, composure, and confidence

  • Pitch - overall delivery; voice, enunciation, gestures, and presentation logic

  • Persuasiveness - overall effectiveness, impression, attitude, and sincerity

  • Product - uniqueness, inventiveness, creativity, and originality 

Award Categories


One junior and one senior project submission will be selected for each of the 6 categories. Awards are listed in no particular order. 


  • Best Pitch - project is reviewed on overall impression of the presentation delivery

  • Most Innovative - project is reviewed on out-of-the-box idea and/or unique perspective 

  • Most Engaging - project is reviewed on interactivity, opportunity for repeat play, offers challenge and flexibility, and "hooks" players into continued engagement  

  • Most Original - project is reviewed on originality and novelty and includes familiarity or is easy to understand by the player 

  • Most Marketable - project is reviewed on the toy or game's ability to spark curiosity or form immediate interest 

  • Best Potential - project has potential in one or more award areas and was highly rated amongst the judges for future recognition 

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