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Foothill Innovation Challenge

Accept The 2024 Foothill Innovation Challenge and Make A Difference!

Innovative Ideas With Social Impact

This spring the 2024 Foothill Innovation Challenge invites students to bring their ingenuity, entrepreneurial mindset, passion and innovative thinking to identify problems that face communities in need, and to develop sustainable business ideas that will solve those problems and positively impact the community. 

Focus on Renewable Energy This Year

Every year, our challenge emphasizes a specific social issue for students to center their innovative projects on. This year, we're concentrating on tackling Climate Change through Clean Technology & Renewable Energy. We encourage you to create solutions in this field for the Challenge. However, if there's another social issue you're passionate about, don't hesitate! The Challenge is open to all creative ideas, no matter their focus.

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Components of The Challenge

The Foothill Innovation Challenge will consist of six workshops and two rounds of competition, all designed to help you learn how to grow your idea. All students and ideas are welcome.

6 Workshops

Participation in the workshops is not mandatoryto compete in the competition rounds, but is highly encouraged!

To add your name to our information distribution list, please complete the Foothill Innovation Challenge interest form.

Questions? Please email Laurence Lew at

INSPIRE: Wednesday, April 24, 3-4:30 p.m. in Hearthside Lounge (2313)

Be inspired to join the challenge! You’ll hear student success stories from past years and receive detailed instructions about the event series and the competition.

IDEA TEAM FORMING: Wednesday, May 1, 3-4:30 p.m. in Hearthside Lounge (2313)

Join us for a dynamic team-making workshop designed to help you find an ideal team or build your own team from scratch. You’ll learn how to leverage the diverse skills and perspectives of your team members to produce unique and effective solutions to complex challenges.

DESIGN: Wednesday, May 8, 3-4:30 p.m. in Hearthside Lounge (2313)

Speaker: Ravi Pamnani (Intact Therapeutics, CEO & Co-Founder; Stanford, Instructor, BioDesign) 

Attend a workshop on Design Thinking, a leading methodology for solving problems, and designing sustainable business solutions, through creativity and a human-centered approach.

BUILD: Wednesday, May 15, 3-4:30 p.m., Hearthside Lounge (2313)

Speaker: Adrish Sannyasi (Rhino Health, Head of Customer Solutions Engineering, AI Healthcare Solutions)

Learn how to build cool, useful, and create prototypes using cardboard. In this hands-on interactive session, you learn the tips and tricks to building and working with cardboard. Save those Amazon boxes.

PITCH: Thursday, May 16, 3-4:30 p.m. in Room 3015

Speaker: Brian Sparkes (Bay Angels, Head of Communications)

Get exposed to the art of the “Elevator Pitch”, and learn the fundamental components of how to communicate your idea to an audience in a persuasive and concise manner

PREPARE: Wednesday, May 22, 3-4:30 p.m. in  Hearthside Lounge (2313)

With Laurence Lew: (Foothill College, Business Dept. Faculty Chair)

Improve your presentation skills, making it easier to pitch your ideas for challenges. This practice can help communicate your ideas effectively to judges. By attending the practice session, you'll be better prepared to showcase the value of your innovations and convince others to get on board.

Save the Competition Dates!

Present your innovative ideas, both for-profit and nonprofit, that address social issues. 

Sunday, May 12 • 11:59 p.m. • Register Online

REGISTRATION ROUND: Sign up to participate in The Challenge. Share your idea in a few sentences, outlining its main features and potential impact. All student teams that sign up can participate in The Challenge!

Sign up by the Early Bird Date of Friday, May 3, 11:59 p.m. to get special access to mentors and extra support. Further details can be found on The Foothill Innovation Challenge Canvas Shell.

Thursday, May 30 • Noon–5 p.m. • Dining Hall

CHALLENGE ROUND: Share your ideas in a poster board session. From there, six teams will be selected to present their ideas live "Shark Tank style" in front of a panel of distinguished judges.

Foothill Innovation Challenge Awards

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Winners will receive cash prizes to fund your projects or continuing education!

  • First Place $1500
  • Second Place $700
  • Third Place $300

All participants will receive digital badges of participation for your digital portfolios.

Who Can Participate?

Students from all majors are encouraged to participate. All you need is passion to improve your community, a desire to solve problems, and interest in learning how to develop business ideas. Training will be offered to interested students on how to approach the Challenge, and will expose students to the needed skills to succeed!

What Support Will I Get?

A series of workshops will be offered during the Spring quarter to expose you to the requisite skills to develop ideas from conceptual sparks in your brain into real solutions that make a difference!

Learn how to design your solution, how to build a proof-of-concept of your solution, and how to pitch your solution in these workshops conducted by industry leaders! Check out the details in the workshop schedule below.

Why Should I Join?

Students who participate in The Foothill Innovation Challenge will learn important skills, such as how to develop a business concept, how to communicate to an audience, as well as how to think critically and innovatively. 

Most importantly, students will work collaboratively towards making a positive difference in your community!

How Do I Get Started?

If you are interested in joining the competition, please fill out a brief Foothill Innovation Challenge interest form and you will receive further information about what to do next.

Testimonials from Past Participants

Meet LiaCompeting in BIC was incredibly beneficial for an aspiring entrepreneur; it allowed me to dive deeper into a topic I was passionate about, build out a business plan and get real-time feedback and validation, and learn from like-minded peers, investors, and other industry experts.

Lia Fernandez—Foothill College, 2nd Year, 1st Place Winner 2022 Business Innovation Challenge

Read all Testimonials

We invite you to accept the Challenge! You'll be glad you did!

Join The Community

Use these links to join the Business Innovation Challenge community!

Canvas Shell

The Foothill Innovation Challenge Canvas Shell is the primary collaboration space for our innovators. Join this space to participate in The Foothill Innovation Challenge.

Discord Server

Join our Business & Entrepreneurship Club BEC Discord to connect with other student innovators to form teams, get ideas, and have discussions to improve your innovations.

Interest form

Complete the Foothill Innovation Challenge interest form to get on our mailing list and get informed about all events and activities.


Follow us on our BEC Instagram for real-time updates on our events and access to fun and educational content.

Join the Challenge Rounds

Thursday, May 30 • Noon-5 p.m. • Dining Hall

The competitive portion of the Business Innovation Challenge will consist of two rounds on May 30.



Teams will share their ideas in a poster board session.


In a Shark Tank style session, six selected top teams from Round 1 will present their ideas live in front of a panel of distinguished judges.

Sponsored by the Business & Entrepreneurship Club, the Business & Social Sciences Division, and Workforce Development.

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Please Contact Me!

Laurence Lew, Business Department Chair


Room 3018 Main Campus