Email Print Share
Community College Innovation Challenge


Are You Eligible?

  • Each team must have 3 to 5 student members, a faculty member at their college who will function as a mentor to the team, and an industry partner who is not employed by their college.
  • All student team members must be seeking a two-year degree in the U.S., its territories or its possessions at the time of entry (e.g., the fall 2017 semester or the spring 2018 semester).
  • All team members must be at least 18 years of age by Feb. 14, 2018.
  • Student and faculty mentor team members must be U.S. citizens, nationals or permanent residents and will be required to check a box on the entry form verifying this status.
  • Student team members must be in good standing with their academic institution.

Bill Petros Photography

  • For teams chosen as finalists, the mentor and students must be available to attend the Innovation Boot Camp in Alexandria, Va., from June 11-14, 2018. Students and faculty mentors will have all travel, room and board costs associated with attending the Innovation Boot Camp paid on their behalf. Industry partners do not attend the Innovation Boot Camp.
  • Teams may not consist of members from multiple institutions.
  • Student team members are limited to participating in one team project for this challenge.
  • A faculty member may not serve as a mentor for more than one team.
  • Teams may not have submitted their innovation to any other competition.
  • Students who attended a past Innovation Boot Camp as a finalist/winning team may not enter the CCIC again.
  • Faculty mentors who have attended a past Innovation Boot Camp may lead another team in the 2018 CCIC cycle; however, NSF and AACC strongly encourage new faculty participation, if possible.
  • Students who submitted an entry to a past CCIC but did not progress to the final round may submit an entry in the 2018 CCIC.

Other Rules

  • All entries must be received during the competition submission window from Oct. 18, 2017, to Feb. 14, 2018, by 11:59 p.m. EST.
  • Faculty mentors will be required to sign a certificate stating that the entry is original and has been independently developed by the student members of the team.
  • All finalist team members must participate in two webinars and do homework prior to the boot camp. Homework involves conducting a handful customer discovery interviews, preparing a display for Capitol Hill, reviewing materials, and more.
  • A contest entry constitutes an agreement to adhere to the rules and stipulations set forth by the contest sponsors.
  • Any entrant or entry found in violation of any rule will be disqualified.
  • Each team entrant certifies, through submission to the contest, that the entry is their own original, creative work and does not violate or infringe the creative work of others, as protected under U.S. copyright law or patent law.
  • By entering the contest, the entrants agree to hold harmless, NSF and AACC for all legal and administrative claims to include associated expenses that may arise from any claims related to their submission or its use.
  • All judges' decisions are final and may not be appealed.
  • Entrants retain all copyright and equivalent rights but give NSF and AACC nonexclusive rights to use their names, likenesses, quotes, submissions or any part of their submission for educational publicity and/or promotional purposes. This includes, but is not limited to, website display, print materials and exhibits.
  • NSF and AACC will not be responsible for any claims or complaints from third parties about any disputes of ownership regarding the ideas, solutions, images or video.
  • Winners are responsible for all taxes or other fees connected with the prize received and/or travel paid for by the sponsoring organization.
  • Employees, contractors, officers or judges of the sponsoring organizations are not eligible to enter the competition.
  • NSF reserves the right for any reason, including but not limited to an insufficient number of qualified entries, to modify or cancel the competition at any time during the duration of the competition.
  • Should NSF decide to bring winning contestants to the Washington, D.C., area, or to any other location for promotional and other purposes, expenses paid by NSF will be within the limits set forth in law according to federal travel regulations.
  • All contestants agree that they, their heirs and estates shall hold harmless the United States, the employees of the federal government, and all employees of NSF for any and all injuries and/or claims arising from participation in this contest, to include that which may occur while traveling to or participating in contest activities.
  • NSF has the final say on any point not outlined in the entry rules.

Next: Results

Return to top

Community College Innovation Challenge
National Science Foundation
2415 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, Virginia 22314 USA

Follow #CCIChallenge

Who: Teams of 3-5 community college students with an interest in STEM, innovation and entrepreneurism; a faculty mentor and an industry partner.

When: Submit Oct. 18, 2017 - Feb. 14, 2018 by 11:59 p.m. EST.

Required Innovation Boot Camp for finalists and their faculty mentor, Alexandria, Va., June 11-14, 2018.


Why: To foster development of crucial innovation and entrepreneurial skills, gain confidence, network, win prizes and make real-world change.