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Student Challenge

An opportunity for diverse student teams to address a community economic development issue. The George Kozmetsky Memorial Student Challenge, hosted by the IC² Institute, allows teams of 4-5 UT Austin students to compete for prizes and recognition. The challenge relates to the topic of vitalizing small communities.

This fall the top ten student teams will present on Saturday, November 7, demonstrating the ability to apply research, creativity, and strategic thinking to a modern problem.

$15,000 in cash prizes will be awarded.

We seek to utilize the creativity and brain-power of our incredibly diverse and talented student population. While providing an opportunity for UT Austin students to stretch their minds to address a situation not previously encountered in their studies, we will also benefit from fresh perspectives, thoughtful questioning of assumptions, and the hard work of dedicated student teams.

Fall 2020 Student Challenge Timeline Highlights:

  • August/September: Teams self-form. IC² can help match students to teams.
  • Friday, September 18: Team applications are due.
  • Wednesday, September 23:  IC² provides a list of the Texas communities that could be the focus of teams’ research. 
  • Monday, September 28: Team-community assignments are announced.
  • Friday, October 23:  Teams are emailed one-page briefings related to an economic development issue for their communities. 
  • Monday, November 2: Teams submit PowerPoint files with their responses to the community issue.
  • Wednesday, November 4:  IC² determines and announces the top 10 teams who will compete in the Student Challenge finals and deliver their presentations to a panel of judges.
  • Saturday, November 7:  The top 10 teams compete, delivering presentations via Zoom, and the judging panel selects the top 3 teams for cash awards (totaling $15,000).
  • Participating students should carefully review the detailed timeline.

Team criteria:

  • 4-5 students.
  • At least 2 undergraduate students.
  • At least 2 students who have completed at least 30 hours of UT Austin undergraduate coursework or who are current graduate students.
  • Team members are from at least 2 different colleges/schools.
  • Teams assembled with official applications submitted by Friday, September 18.  Up to 20 teams will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • IC² can help match students to teams.

Detailed Information for Students, including link to application, teammate matching help, FAQs, and key dates.

Read about the results of the spring 2020 George Kozmetsky Memorial Student Challenge by following this link!