Calling all innovators. Apply now to Invent@SU. Build something great this summer.

We are super excited to join our colleagues at the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ESC) and the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) School of Design to invite students from all academic disciplines to apply to this summer’s Invent@SU program.  It’s no secret that the best ideas on campus come out of this program that helps develop undergraduate students into inventors and entrepreneurs as they design, prototype and pitch original devices.

The program is open to all Syracuse University undergraduate students who have not previously entered their invention idea in another business plan or entrepreneurship competition.  Apply here.

For summer 2021, the program will run from Monday, July 5 to Friday, August 13 on the Syracuse University campus.  Students will learn about design, product development and intellectual property, then conceive an original invention, prototype the invention and refine it in response to weekly feedback from guest evaluators.

In addition to 4 teams being awarded cash prizes, students will receive:

  • A $1,500 stipend
  • A $1,000 budget per team for prototyping materials
  • Guidance from engineering and design faculty, consultants and evaluators
  • Access to laser cutters, 3D printers, a machine shop, and professional machinists
  • Daily lunch, coffee, and snacks

Please note that participants will need to arrange their own housing.

During Week 6 of the program, teams will present virtually before a final judging panel of accomplished Syracuse University alumni and entrepreneurs.

All prizes will be equally split among team members.  They include:

  • First place – $7500
  • Second place – $4500
  • Third Place – $3000
  • Honorable mention – $1500

During Week 5, guest evaluators will also award prizes to teams in specific categories during initial judging.

Many student teams go on after Invent@SU to work with the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars at SU Libraries to turn their invention into a venture.  Some have gone on to legally incorporate and file non-provisional patents.  Most actively compete in campus business plan competitions and raised additional funds, refining their product roadmap and business model, based on the important work they created at Invent@SU.

Some accomplishments of past Invent@SU teams include:

  • 2021 ACC InVenture Prize campus winner (SugEx)
  • 2020 Impact Prize, iPrize and Spirit of Entrepreneurship Winners (PAANI)
  • 2019 EMPowered to Serve $50,000 First Place Award (SugEx)
  • 2019 Panasci Business Plan Competition Winners (MedUX)
  • 2019 Syracuse ACC InVenture Prize (MedUX)
  • 2018 New York State Department of Health Aging Innovation Challenge (Pneu-Strength)
  • 2018 Impact Prize Winners (MedUX, Prioritage)
  • 2018 SU ACC InVenture Prize Winners (In-Spire)
  • 2018 RvD iPrize Winners (In-Spire, Fibrefree)
  • 2018 Panasci Business Plan Competition Winners (In-Spire)
  • 2018 New York Business Plan Competition Winners (In-Spire, Fibrefree)
  • 2017 International James Dyson Finalists (Fibrefree)
  • 2017 Impact Prize Winners (In-Spire, Fibrefree)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

You can apply right here –

Do I need to have an idea before applying?

No – the Invent@SU faculty can work with you and your teammates on developing ideas for usable and feasible inventions.

Can I continue work on an invention that I have already came up with, a project created for another competition or a project from a class?

No. Invent@SU is an invention accelerator for original ideas that have not been previously pitched, entered into an entrepreneurship competition or developed for a class.

Are there resources on campus that can help me after I finish Invent@SU?

Yes – the LaunchPad at Bird Library has worked with several Invent@SU teams on business plans and entrepreneurship competitions and has helped some teams turn their ideas into actual businesses.

Is food provided?

Yes. Lunch and snacks are provided each day. If you have specific dietary needs, just let Invent@SU know.

When will I receive my stipend?

Stipends are sent out shortly after the program ends.

Do I have to pay taxes on a stipend?

Stipends are considered income by the IRS.

Do I have to sign a photo/video release to participate in Invent@SU?

Yes. All Invent@SU participants have to sign a standard Syracuse University photo/ video release. We will be taking photos and videos of your team as you develop your project and will help you put together a one-minute video pitch.

Can I have another job or miss some days?

No. Six weeks goes quickly so you need to attend every day.