top of page
Young Tech Challenge
Sphero booth


We are working on 2017's event! Here is what happened in 2016! 

November 20, 2016, 9am-4pm


Our Tech Challenge is new this year and sponsored by Spin Master! 

We are bringing together imagination, play and tech for this new event. This is an opportunity for creators aged 8-22 to show off a playful tech product. Open to kids and young adults ages 8-22 to present their tech idea to top play industry experts (see below judges and mentors), have a chance to win amazing prizes (product and cash prizes!) and get inside tips from the pros.


This is an unique and fantastic opportunity for university students and others looking to get into the toy and game industry to make valuable contacts. 

There is no fee to participate. Participants and their immediate families are invited to be our guests with complimentary admission to ChiTAG!


Take apart remote controls and turn it into a game of laser tag or....


Submissions can be built on any platform available; mobile, console, and PC will surely be popular, but entrants can also build with Lego, robotics, or any tech. Use your imagination, a creative and technically challenging product will gain more votes than one that has been done before and is not so difficult to make. Your project does not need to be complete, but it needs to demonstrate your idea as fully as possible. 


Judges will vote a winner for each of the three age groups:

  • 8-13 years

  • 14-18 years

  • 19-22 years


Criteria for judging is based on:

  • Originality

  • Technical difficulty

  • Presentation

  • Creativity


1st Place: 8-13 Years Category

$350 Cash Check

Spy Gear Spy Go Action Camera by Spin Master

TechTrep Academy Course Of Your Choice

Runner Up: 8-13 Years Category

$150 Cash Check

Zoomer Hedgies by Spin Master

1st Place: 14-18 Years Category

$350 Cash Check

Meccasaur by Spin Master

Runner Up: 14-18 Years Category

$150 Cash Check

Air Hogs Helix Race Drone by Spin Master

1st Place: 18-22 Years Category

$350 Cash Check

HedBanz Electronic by Spin Master

Runner Up: 18-22 Years Category

$150 Cash Check

Micronoid by Spin Master


Participant Medal

Young Tech Challenge workshops are ideal for a classroom activity, school-wide competition, after-school program, summer challenge, scout merit badge-earning activity, even for library programming.

Once the inventions are complete, don't stop there! The Young Tech Challenge can provide a means of taking the inventions to even greater heights, with professional critiques from our industry experts and the opportunity to show their work off to the public, toy industry, and members of the press.

Deadline extended - Register by November 18th! 

Young Tech Challenge 

Presenting Sponsor 

Supporting Sponsors & Partners


1st Place Junior (8-13)

Jeffrey Huang - WiCar

Runner Up Junior (8-13)

Kaitlyn Monzon - Sushi Cats 2

1st Place Middle (14-18)

Ishan Patel, Nathan Pruyne - Number 1 Hits

Runner Up Middle (14-18)

Aniruddha Bohra, Omkar Shitole - Polluink

1st Place Senior (18-21)

Glenn Careau, Julian Rojas, Raphael Alvarado - Fizz

Runner Up Senior (18-22)

Aliza Miller - Run

2016 Judges for YTC

Wes Burke

CEO, Co-Founder

CG Cookie, Inc.

Robin Raskin

Founder and President
Living in Digital Times

Ken Perera

Account Executive

Devbridge Group

Richard Melohn

Director of Design-Games

Spin Master

Anna van Slee

Director of New Brands

Sideshow Collectibles

John W Ostler

From the Future | Co-Founder

Eight Bit Studios

Justin Mohlman

Game Development

Artist & Instructor

Kris McDonald


Bill Guschwan

Lecturer, Indie Game Design Capstone

Columbia College Chicago

Paige Busse

Project Manager at Eight Bit Studios

Co-Owner at Penguin Foot Pottery

Akshar Patel

Career Development Coach

Illinois Tech Career Services

Dustin Hansen

Game Industry Pioneer

Author of Game On! 

How to register

Participating in the Young Tech Challenge is free. Follow these 3 steps! 

  1. Read the Rules & Requirements so you'll know what is expected of you and how to prepare for the fair.

  2. Register on Eventbrite using the button below. Register by November 6th! 

The Young Tech Challenge is an all day event on Sunday. You must be available at Navy Pier between 9am and 10am to set up, and stay until 4pm after the winners have been announced. 

The Big Day! 

9am to 10am - Set-up

10am to 2pm - Judging Occurs

4:00pm - Awards, ChiTAG Fair Stage 

The winners will be selected by play industry professionals. Besides great prizes to be won, and fun giveaways, top toy and game industry representatives will be on hand to provide advice, recognition and encouragement. This is an unique opportunity for college students interested in the toy and game industry to make valuable contacts. 

Please keep in mind that not winning the Young Tech Challenge does not necessarily mean that your invention is of no interest to the toy and game industry. Toy and game company representatives will be looking at invention entries throughout the day to give feedback on the originality, creativity and appeal of the invention, as well as the presentation of the marketing message. In our 10 years of experience with the Young Inventor Challenge (the sister event to this event), we can tell you that some toy and game companies have found non-winning entries of great interest and our young inventors  have been interviewed about their inventions by media outlets across the USA such as The Steve Harvey Show, Conan O'Brien, ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS and more! 

bottom of page