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  • Challenge timeline

  • Submission Info

  • Prizes

  • Participants

  • Intellectual property

  • Judging criteria

  • Finalist Information

Submissions are in.

Finalists will be announced late January!

The challenge is organized into two phases that are synchronized with the 2014-2015 academic year.

Phase I:  September-December 2014

Phase I is the open call portion of the challenge. During this time, teams will learn about the topic and create their solution concept. The Challenge organizing team will be available during this time for questions and to provide contacts for mentoring when possible. Solutions may be submitted at any time during this period, but no judging feedback will be available until January.

Judging Period – December, 2014 – January 2015

During this period, our judging panel will select a small number of finalists. Finalists will be announced in mid-January.

Phase II: January 2015 – April 2015

During Phase II, finalists will be asked to further develop their idea and to prepare a presentation to be given at the Awards Ceremony at Stanford University in April of 2015 (exact date TBD). Mentors from corporate partners and industry experts will be available during this period. At the Awards, one team representative will present their idea to the judges who will then pick the First, Second and Third place winners.

Solutions must be submitted through the Skild Competition Management Platform. Submissions will be accepted up until December 9th, 2014 at 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time.
Submit Designs >

Entrants must answer a series of questions about their designs, including:

-          What specific issue is being addressed

-          The origin of the idea

-          Associations with existing research groups

-          A brief description of the design process

-          Estimated cost

-          Estimated business impact

Phase I submissions can include any type of documentation needed to describe your design and how it helps address the challenge. You may also submit an optional 2 minute or shorter video.


Phase I

All Finalists receive a tax-protected $1000 contribution towards their research costs and $1500 in travel expenses to attend the April 2015 Awards ceremony at Stanford University.

Phase II

First place: $10,000 cash award

Second place: $5,000 cash award

Third place: $2,000 cash award


The challenge is open to teams from any accredited college or university in the United States or globally. The team must include at least 1 student enrolled for the 2014-2015 academic year. It is a requirement that presentations by the finalists at the Spring 2015 award event be given by an enrolled student.

It is the intent of the challenge that solutions be generated out of the work of universities and their students. The judges reserve the right to take this into consideration during the evaluation process.



Any intellectual property developed by a team during participation in the Design Challenge will remain the property of the individual design team, or the team members’ universities or employers, as applicable. The Stanford Center on Longevity and Challenge sponsors reserve the right to publicize designs following submission. Teams interested in intellectual property protection should take any steps necessary to protect patentable inventions, copyrighted work or other intellectual property prior to submission. Team involvement with any of the Challenge sponsors is strictly voluntary. Agreements between teams and sponsors are beyond the reach of Stanford Center on Longevity or Stanford University, and should be arranged separately between the teams and sponsors.

The judging criteria will be finalized in cooperation with the judging panel and will be formalized before the window for submission opens in September.  Criteria are expected to include:

• Potential for impact

• Originality

• Probability of Implementation (i.e. – can this design be implemented within existing technology and market constraints?)

• Economic viability



Finals Event: Thursday, April 9th, 8:30am PST – 4:00pm PST at Stanford

Entrepreneurial Workshop: Friday, April 10th, 8:30am PST – 4:00pm PST at Stanford

Materials to prepare:

1. Presentation Deck

In an effort to best prepare you for the Silicon Valley environment, presentations are not to exceed 7 minutes in length. This will be followed by 5 minutes of questions from the judges and audience.

Because this is a competitive situation with $10,000 on the line, we will be VERY strict about the time limit. YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE AFTER 7 MINUTES. We will let you know when the timer starts, so you will have the full 7 minutes to present (i.e. – you won’t lose time to setup).

For the presentation, we encourage you to use a “pitch deck” style format. (Many resources come up under this search term, please seek these out.)

Here are a few good resources:



For tips on presenting (use as a guide, not completely verbatim):


2. Pitch

Although you may not be used to explaining your idea succinctly, it is imperative that you can communicate your design to interested parties (investors, etc) in under 30 seconds, (it is typical that it is done in under 10 seconds). We encourage you to hone your “pitch.” Think “longer than a tweet, but shorter than a blog post.”

For more info on crafting pitches, visit:


3. Single Slide Summary

This will be used as a reference for judges and displayed during other parts of the Finals events. This should include:

• Team name

• Pitch (ideally 140 characters or less),

• University affiliation (or Universities, if more than one)

Due Date: APRIL 6 at 5:00pm PST

Please send your presentation deck and single slide summary both presentation format (powerpoint or keynote) and also save and send as .pdf, (to control for formatting changes across machines). Please send these 4 files to Lauren at lagrieco@stanford.edu


Plan to be at Stanford on Thursday, April 9th for the Finals Day and Friday, April 10th for the Entrepreneurial Workshop from 9a – 4p. At least one member of your team must be present on the 9th. The 10th is optional, but a great resource to help get your designs to the next level and highly recommended.

Save all original receipts for which you would like reimbursement. Receipts should show date and proof of purchase.

Stanford will reimburse the following up to the allowable limit:


• Economy class only for domestic and international flights of eight (8) hours or less.

• Business class is allowable for international flights of eight (8) hours or more.


• Room (including room service meals) and taxes only. Stanford will not reimburse lodging incidentals (laundry, movies, etc.)

• A list of nearby hotels may be found here: http://visit.stanford.edu/plan/lodging.html


• Meals while traveling and during your stay. Please note, some meals will be provided during the Design Challenge Finals events on April 9th and 10th, 2015.

Ground Transportation

• Transportation to and from the airport.


Lodging around Stanford. http://visit.stanford.edu/plan/lodging.html

Maps and Directions: http://visit.stanford.edu/plan/index.html

Airports: http://visit.stanford.edu/plan/airports.html

Please contact Molly Corbett or Rebecca Broome for travel-related queries.


Are there any guidelines for the final presentation?

Yes, see “Presentation” section above

Does the final presentation need another written document to be submitted?

No, only the presentation deck and the single slide summary.

Where exactly will the presentation be held?(Auditorium, Class room?)

Location to be announced. The format will be more auditorium set-up.

What kind of tools we can use for the presentation? (Big screen? TV? Projector?)

There will be a laptop and projectors.

Who are the audience? Are there any people besides judges?

This is an open event, so people from varying backgrounds will be in attendance. We anticipate about 175 people will be attending. Typically, the audience is comprised of students, investors, industry professionals and academics.

What is the time limit for the presentation?

7 minutes for the presentation and 5 minutes of audience/judge questions

What are the judging criteria?

The same criteria will be used for phase 2:

• Potential for impact

• Originality

• Probability of Implementation (i.e. – can this design be implemented within existing technology and market constraints?)

• Cost Effectiveness