Details and deadlines

The challenge is a multi-phase contest.  As your idea advances, you receive more help making it a reality.


Your first submission deadline is November 15, 2015, 11:59 PM CST.

Further details

The last challenge was all about ideas -- and you had plenty of them.  This time we want more ideas, and we're willing to help out those that are the best.  The app challenge will take place over three quarters, ending with a final live judging during Innovation Week and the New Venture Challenge.

Who can enter?

UChicago and Chicago Medicine students, faculty, and staff (with the exception of full- and part-time employees of IT Services, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship, and UChicagoTech).

What's the schedule?

1. Fall quarter: you're working on a great pitch.

You've got until the deadline to submit a great idea for a mobile app or website.  We'll be holding orientation sessions and workshops throughout the quarter to answer your questions.  Attend one or more, and you're going to have a great entry.  

2. Winter quarter: If your idea is chosen  to advance to the second round, you'll be prototyping it with our help.

If your idea is chosen, you'll then enter the second round, where you make your idea more concrete.  You may have noticed that we didn't use the words "coding" or "programming."  At this phase, we're interested in designing the right thing, and we can do that with simple tools and actual humans.  When we say "prototyping" we mean:

  • Taking your idea and roughing it out with pen and paper!
  • Finding example users, and seeing if they "get" how your app is supposed to work.
  • Working on it again and again (still on paper) and getting more feedback until it makes sense.

3. Spring quarter: If your prototype is chosen to advance to the third round, you'll have two programmers and eight weeks to make the app happen.

Finalists will be provided with programming talent.  You'll have eight weeks to make your idea a reality.  Granted, it may not look glamorous.  But if it works and if it delivers on your valuable idea, you may win $10,000!  Final live judging happens during Innovation Week and the New Venture Challenge.

Who owns what in the process?

If a UChicago App Challenge submission makes it to Phase 3 of the Challenge, and software is coded by IT Services as part of Phase 3, then, per the guidelines, that code will be owned by the University.  If the entrants want to use this code following the UChicago App Challenge, then the code can be transferred under different scenarios, including:

(a)    if the code is only to be used as part of an ongoing University project for an app that will be offered from the University’s iTunes account, it will simply be transferred internally (if there will be subsequent external distribution of the code contact UChicagoTech).

(b)   if the app will be owned by you, per the guidelines, and is not part of a larger University project involving other University-owned intellectual property, then the code will be licensed to you without charge.

(c)    if the app is part of a larger University project involving other University-owned intellectual property, for example a patent or other software, then ownership of the code may be licensed to you under terms consistent with the licensing of the other intellectual property.

For further details, contact UChicagoTech.

What details should I know about the grand prize?

It does not bind you to an ongoing relationship with the University.  It will be given to the person listed as the team lead.

If my idea makes it to subsequent rounds, do I need to be physically present?

No. However, if you're not on campus, you will not be able to use the workshops or programmer resources for your idea.

How big can my team be?

Up to four people.  Every person on your team must meet the entry requirements.

Can I submit more than one entry?

Yes.  Submit as many ideas as you'd like!  Please note, only one entry per participant will be allowed to advance.

Can I be on more than one team?

You can be on multiple teams during the initial idea submission in Phase 1. However, if more than one of your team entries make it to Phase 2, you'll need to choose one team to affiliate yourself with.

Can I enter and win both the New Venture Challenge and UChicago App Challenge?

Yes.  Wouldn't that be awesome?

If I'm developing a tool already, with my own resources and programmers, can I enter the UChicago App Challenge?

Yes, under certain conditions.  

  1. Your app must not be published in an app store until after the NVC.
  2. You will still need to submit an entry for the UChicago App Challenge.  Under the question "Do you already have resources for your idea?" choose "I'm already working on this app...."  We'll follow up with you afterwards with more instructions.