Learn to design, prototype and pitch at Invent@SU. Applications now open.

Invent@SU t-shirt

Applications are now open for Summer 2020 Invent@SU, an innovative program that transforms undergraduate students into inventors as they design, prototype and pitch original devices. The immersive invention accelerator will be held on campus from May 11-June 19, and accepted students will participate in a weekend workshop April 18-19. This year’s program will be led by Dr. Louise Manfredi, a talented VPA faculty member with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Leeds. Dr. Manfredi is skilled in SolidWorks (certified), research methodology, and mentoring. She is passionate about bringing the industrial design and mechanical engineering disciplines closer together. Under her direction, students will learn about design, ideation and intellectual property, then conceive an original invention, prototype the invention and refine it in response to weekly feedback from diverse audiences of guest evaluators.  

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

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

  • A $1,500 stipend
  • A $1,000 budget per team for project materials
  • Guidance from expert consultants and evaluators
  • Access to laser cutters, 3D printers, a machine shop, and professional machinists
  • Assistance with a provisional patent application
  • Daily lunch, coffee, and snacks

Here is a list of just some FAQs.  All FAQs are on line at:  https://invent.syr.edu/about/

Who can apply?
All matriculating SU undergraduate students in good standing may participate in the program. This includes incoming freshman and current seniors who will graduate just before Invent@SU begins this summer.

How do I apply?  Selection for the program is competitive. We plan to select approximately thirty students who will participate as ten teams of three. During open application periods, you can find the application form at invent.syr.edu/apply. Depending on the applicant pool we may interview some or all applicants.

What kind of invention might I work on?  Check out past inventions in the Inventions section of this website and on inventionfactory.org.

How do I find a team and develop an idea?  You will begin developing ideas for your project (and be matched with your partners) during the weekend of April 18 – 19. A critical focus of the selection process is determining that your invention addresses a real need — a consumer need, a societal need, or both. Another important criterion will be feasibility and the expertise/skills necessary to complete a working prototype of the invention within the 6-week program.  Your invention must have commercial potential (“need”). Your invention must be something tangible – something you can build. You will spend much of your time making, testing and refining a prototype of your invention — and demonstrating it to others. Your invention may involve software, but it cannot consist entirely of software (e.g., a smartphone app).

Is this an entrepreneurship program?  No. There will be no writing of business plans, considerations of marketing or seeking venture capital. This is a program in inventing. However, Invent@SU is part of an entrepreneurial ecosystem on the SU campus. Teams often connect with resources like the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at SU Libraries.

What are the deliverables at the end of the program?  Participants will develop a physical prototype and present your invention to a jury that will include designers, architects, engineers, patent lawyers, consumers, venture capitalists, and others.

What do I get if I win? The jury will select the first, second and third prize winning “best inventions.” $6,000 for first prize. $3,000 for second prize. $1500 for third place.  Prizes are split by the three team members.

Is this program open to students from all academic disciplines?  Yes! The program is open to all current Syracuse University undergraduate students from all academic programs across campus.

Additional questions?
Email us at inventaccel@syr.edu.