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 cash prizes and recognition. This year the challenge relates to the topic of vitalizing small communities. The top ten student teams will present on Saturday, April 4, demonstrating the ability to apply research, creativity, and strategic thinking to a modern problem. 

Read about the 2020 George Kozmetsky Memorial Student Challenge by following this link

Next year’s Student Challenge Finals event is tentatively planned for March 27, 2021.

2020 Student Challenge Timeline:

  • Teams self-form. IC² can help match students to teams.
  • Each team selects a community in Texas, according to criteria provided.
  • By Feb 21 teams provide basic information on their selected community.
  • In March, teams gather required survey data from their community.
  • On Mar 26 teams are emailed a situation briefing: a scenario related to their community’s economic development.
  • On Mar 28, teams submit PowerPoint presentations with their responses, and the top 10 teams will be selected to deliver their presentations to an experienced panel.
  • The judging panel recognizes high achievement and will select the top three teams for cash awards (totaling $15,000).

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.

Team criteria:

  • 4-5 students
  • At least 2 undergraduate students
  • At least 2 upper-division or graduate students
  • From at least 2 different colleges/schools
  • Teams assembled by Feb 21
  • IC² can help match students to teams.

Community criteria:

  • In Texas
  • Outside of urban corridors (see map)
  • Interested in economic development
  • Team defines geographic boundaries (city/county)
  • Preferred: team member has community connection

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