2017 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge

The Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (EIC) is an exciting extracurricular competition that gives students the opportunity to come up with innovative solutions to big environmental problems the world faces today. 

Pitch Workshop for Top Teams | March 8, Wednesday, 5:30-8 p.m., Douglas Forum, 4th Floor Bank of America Executive Education Center
Attendance is mandatory for all teams in the Seattle area going to the finals on March 30.

1-Page Business Summary Due | Sunday, March 26, 11:59 p.m.
Summaries sent to every judge before the day of the Challenge so they can decide which demos to visit.

Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge | Thursday, March 30, 2017
Teams set up prototypes/demos in the morning and pitch to a room full of judges early afternoon. 
Reception and awards follow.                                                                                                                                                                                               


What is needed to enter the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge?

Prototype funding application (deadline – Dec 19, 2016)

All Entrants
Register your team (opens Jan 30, 2017)
5-7 page Business Summary (due Feb 20, 2017)

Top Teams chosen to come to the final event
1-page business summary (due March 26, 2017)
Pitch (at the EIC, March 30, 2017)
Demo or prototype (at the EIC, March 30, 2017)

Your submission into the competition is distributed to a large group of community professionals who act as judges.

We strongly encourage any team with concerns regarding intellectual property such as patent or copyright potential to either contact their University’s intellectual property office (for University-developed discoveries) or competent legal counsel (for non-University related discoveries) before submitting their proposal into the competition.

The University of Washington, the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, the Foster School of Business, and the organizers of the competition are not responsible for any proprietary information and/or intellectual property included in a submitted business summary.

Ultimately, protection of sensitive materials is the sole responsibility of the individual or team participating in the competition.

Teams entering must have at least one full-time or part-time student on the team who is enrolled in a degree seeking program at an accredited college or university in the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. If you graduated the summer quarter prior to the year of the competition or later, you are considered a current student in the competition.

The competition entry must be developed during the student’s tenure at the college or university. Students working with outside entrepreneurs must create their own original business plan and have responsibility for their own portion of the business.

All submissions to the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge must live up to the higher ideals of the University of Washington. The team’s idea must be appropriate for a university-sponsored event. The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship reserves the right to disqualify any entry that is its judgment violates the letter or the spirit of the competition or exceeds the bounds of social convention.

If the team or company entering the competition is revenue positive, actual annual revenue cannot exceed $500k. (Please note this is different than the company’s projected revenue. This rule does not apply to projected revenue.)

Eligible students can form a team with non-students, but for the sake of this competition, non-students will be considered as advisors.
Students must have an ownership stake in the business or the potential for equity or employment.

Only student team members are eligible to earn prize money. No payments will be made to non-students.

Note: The Director of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship reserves the right to make the final determination of the eligibility of submitted business ventures.

Judging Criteria

What is the size of the problem (number of people, gallons saved, dollars spent, etc.)?
How difficult a problem is this to solve? What are the sources of the difficulty?
What attempts have already been made to solve this problem?

Is this solution original or a novel application of an existing product?
Does the description articulate how the solution will solve the problem?
What will the team's demo consist of (prototype, simulation, proof of concept, poster, video)?

Has the team provided background information on each member?
Does this team, as whole, have the relevant skills to solve this problem?
If this team is weak in either necessary skills or experience, do they list advisors or experts from
the community who can help them?

Does the solution work?  How does it work?
Does the team have test results or some form of validation?
Does this solution seem to be efficient, practical?
Has the team provided some idea of what it would cost to make this for the market?

Has the team described who this solution is intended for? Defined the customer?
Does the summary identify the competition, as well as the scope of the opportunity?
Does this solution fit the problem?
Does this solution demonstrate an appropriate balance between the cost of the solution and its impact   on the problem?

Could this solution have a substantial impact in the market? The world? In peoples' lives?

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