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Business Innovation Challenge

Experience The Business Innovation Challenge!

Innovative Ideas With Social Impact

This spring the 2021 Business Innovation Challenge invited 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. 

Those students who took on the challenge have developed virtual presentations for our Foothill community to view.

1st Round: View & Vote for Your Favorite Six

Monday & Tuesday, May 24, 8 a.m.–May 25, 5 p.m.

The challenge is on! View impactful ideas and vote for your favorites to advance to the final round of presentations on Friday, May 28.

This is an asynchronous event over the span of two days. View presentations at any time during this two-day period and vote for the six top ideas that most resonate with you!

View & Vote in Round 1

2nd Round: Watch the Final Six

May 28, 2–4:30 p.m.

In this round, six student finalist teams will present their most innovative ideas for social impact LIVE  before a panel of five expert judges.

Check back for Zoom access.


Event Schedule

2:00 - 2:15 Welcome & Opening Remarks
2:15 - 2:25 Key Note Speaker - Walter Haas III
2:25 - 3:15 Team Presentations

3:15 - 3:20 Break

3:20 - 3:30 Key Note Speaker - Michelle Cho
3:30 - 4:15 Team Presentations
4:15 - 4:20 Closing Remarks

Winners of the Challenge can choose from internship opportunities in a variety of areas at social enterprise startups including, gladeo, ThinkOneFuture, Clear Lake Research, Market Games, and OmniVis


Compete May 24-25 & May 28, 2021

Be inspired! Join fellow Foothill College students for BIC workshops to get ready to present your innovative idea at the Business Innovation Challenge. This year's virtual format will include two rounds on May 24-25 and May 28, 2021. ​

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Six Components of The Challenge

The Business Innovation Challenge will consist of 4 workshops and 2 rounds of competition, all designed to help you learn how to grow your idea. All students and ideas are welcome.

The Workshops

Participation in the workshops is not mandatory to compete in the competition rounds, but is highly encouraged.

For Zoom access to a workshop, please email Laurence Lew at

Also complete the Business Innovation Challenge interest form.

Planned workshops include:
Workshop 1:

April 21, 3-4 p.m.


Speaker: Isabel Wu & Ryan Sadaat

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.

Workshop 2:

April 29, 3-4:30 p.m.


Speaker: Kas Pereira

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

Workshop 3:

May 6
3-4:30 p.m.


Speaker: Will Cavada

Learn how to build cool, useful, and creative 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.

Workshop 4:

May 12
3-4:30 p.m.


Speaker: Laurence Lew

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

The Competition Rounds

The competitive portion of the Business Innovation Challenge will consist of two rounds:​



May 24-25

Student teams will share their innovative ideas online in an asynchronous format to the general public. The best ideas will be selected to participate in the second round.


May 28, 2-5 p.m.

Selected teams will present live online before a panel of distinguished judges in the style of “Shark Tank

Who Can Participate?

Students from all majors are encouraged to participate.  All you need is an entrepreneurial spirit, a passion for helping 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 Do I Get Out Of It?

Students who participate in the Challenge will learn critical business skills, such as how to develop a business concept, how to communicate to an audience, as well as how to think critically and innovatively.  But more importantly, students will be working collaboratively towards making a positive difference in their community!

How Do I Sign Up?

If you are interested in joining the competition, please fill out a brief "interest form" and you will receive further information from me regarding what to do next.

BIC Interest Form

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

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


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Please Contact Me!

Laurence Lew, Business Department Chair


Room 3018 Main Campus

Research & Service Leadership Symposium

Save the Date • May  20, 2021

See What's Scheduled for the Day!

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