students in the lab



The Sustainable Food and Agriculture innovation Prize 2020

Promoting a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation among all CAS students

We are inviting all CAS students to participate in the first annual Sustainable Food and Agriculture Innovation Prize! 
Register as an individual or as a team today and develop a proposal for a new product that contributes to to supporting sustainable agriculture and/or food, is original, and is economically feasible and has commercial potential!
Proposals  submitted by August 1, 2020.

Prizes awarded in Fall 2020


First place individual/team - $1,000
Second Place individual/team - $500
Third place (2 prizes) individual/team - $250


Eligible students:

  • All undergraduate and graduate students in CAS, including minors
  • Students must be enrolled fall term, 2020
  • Students may work in teams or individually
  • Professors may serve in a minor supporting role only


Competition focused: Develop a technology/item/product with commercial potential. Theme: sustainable food and agriculture. May address any or all aspects of sustainability such as environmental, social, economic, and sustainable nutrition.

Competition Logistics:

  • All teams must register with 1) title, 2) name(s) of team member(s) 3) students’ majors (June 12, 2020)
    • Required submissions
      • Product proposal (pdf, 12 pages)
      • video demonstrating use of product/technology/concept. (format TBD)
    • 3 judges will evaluate each entry that will be scored on a basis of 100 points distributed based on the following 4 criteria
      • Description of problem the entry is addressing. How does it contribute to supporting sustainable agriculture and/or food? (30 points)
      • Description of technology/item/product (30 points)
      • Economic feasibility and likelihood of commercialization (30 points)
      • Originality (10 points)
  • Phase 2: Top five-ten teams participate in on-campus competition.
    • Requires Competition components
      • A two page summary, detailing their value proposition, a definition of their target market and the potential size of the opportunity in this competitive landscape.
      • 3 min team presentation
    • 5 Judges will evaluate each team and will provide a score of 200 points based on the following 5 criteria
      • Value Proposition clearly stated (40 points)
      • Defined Target Market  (30 points)
      • Size of Opportunity in competitive landscape  (30 points)
      • Quality of oral presentation (100 points)


  1. $1,000
  2. $500
  3. 2 x $250

Prizes are sponsored by I&E Fellows Roundtable funds


  • Registration: prior to August 1
  • Phase 1. Fall term, 2020.
  • Phase 2: Early Winter term 2021

Judges: Volunteers from CAS units. 

Organizers: Christina DeWitt, Christina Walsh, Lisbeth Goddik

Development of web page that can take registrations, e-mail to send to all students, etc.: Option 1: Heidi and her team, Plan b: FST Debby Yacas develops.

Communication with CAS Leadership: Walsh informs Penny.

Note: Patent rights will be handled according to University patent policies.



Judging Criteria

Thank you for volunteering to judge the Next Great Startup College Competitions! Your professional expertise is invaluable to provide feedback to students as they plan and present their new startup ideas.

Student-led teams will present their ideas in two parts:



  1. A two-page summary, detailing their value proposition, their work to validate those propositions, a definition of their target market and the potential size of the opportunity in this competitive landscape. You were emailed this in advance of the pitching event to review ahead of time.
  2. A three-minute pitch, in which they present their concept, followed by a three-to-five minute Q&A session.

Students were instructed to include specific elements in their summary and pitches. We provided rubrics for evaluation for you. After hearing the pitch and reading the briefing, you will mark whether each student team included the elements as instructed, and then provide a holistic assessment of the overall quality of the presentation, based on your best judgment.

Only ONE of the competitors pitching at the [College] final can win the title of the Next Great Startup.

Thank you again, and please remember to have fun!