California Institute of Technology
Intellectual Ventures - Caltech


What are the goals of the $50,000 Intellectual Ventures-Caltech Invention Competition?
The $50,000 Intellectual Ventures-Caltech Invention Competition, which seeks to serve as a catalyst for budding inventors, is awarded to inventive undergraduate or graduate students at Caltech. The award publicity can expose winners to science, business, and investment communities, which often results in the further development of their careers through invention. First prize is $25,000.

Who is eligible to apply?
The competition is open to all Caltech undergraduates and graduate students who will be enrolled full-time during the fall semester 2013. Contestants must be present for judging and the awards ceremony to collect their prizes. Students may form teams with other full-time undergraduates or graduate students from Caltech. Small interdisciplinary teams are encouraged. Each team member must provide a description of their contribution.

Who owns my invention?
If the invention is not based on work done with Caltech resources, you own the invention. If the invention is based on research ongoing at Caltech, or otherwise falls under the Patent Policy, Caltech owns the invention. In either case, OTT will submit a "cover sheet" provisional patent application on the submitted materials.

What should my application contain?
Your application should be less than five pages and include the following information:

  • Abstract - One paragraph describing the invention.
  • Field of invention - Description of the general field of use of the invention (also give examples of the invention's application).
  • Background - Describe the state of the art. (Describe what is currently being done and what is not.)
  • Detailed summary of the invention, with drawings if necessary. The summary must be easily understood by the judges.
  • Inventive Features - Describe which aspects of the invention, in particular, are novel.
  • Potential Applications - Describe potential applications of the invention, who would want to use it and why.

When is the deadline to apply?
October 15, 2013

What criteria are used to judge the candidates?
As long as your entry meets all of the requirements it will go into the judging process as an Active Entry. A panel of judges will evaluate the Active Entries.
Decisions of the judges are final.

These criteria will be weighed as follows:

40% Originality, Novelty, and Creativity of Idea
30% Utility and Importance of Idea
10% Completeness and organization of application materials
10% Quality of application materials
10% Quality of oral presentation

The judges will evaluate each of the Active Entries based upon the criteria. Five (5) finalists will give 5 minute presentations on their invention in November, 2013. Finalists must appear for the presentation to be eligible for the grand prize. A winner from the Finalists ("Winner") will be selected.

Contact Mary Beth Campbell at

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Sponsored by:

Intellectual Ventures


   last update: 05/08/2013