World Challenge kicks off new year

Every day presents a set of problems, some serious, some trivial. No, this is not in reference to homework problems. Rather, the problems that everyone faces in life. Though few may talk about them, they exist and do not appear to have a solution…until now! If you think that you can solve such a problem, then you should enter the Change the World Challenge!

The Change the World Challenge provides a unique opportunity for students of all disciplines to form teams and develop their unique ideas into a viable business concept. Round one merely consists of bringing the idea to the table, stating the problem, and describing the solution to move your plan forward. Top ideas move on to a six-week, hands-on experience in which students perform customer discovery to better understand the problem. At the end of those six-weeks, the top ten teams are awarded $1,000 each and are eligible for the $5,000 “Best of the Best” prize at the end of the year.

Many opportunities exist after the Challenge as well, should a team choose to pursue their concept. With a strengthened business acumen coming from the Challenge, teams will be well-framed to work with one of the nine Entrepreneurs in Residence at the Severino Center to further their ideas. Next steps can be Demo Day, Business Model Competitions, or accelerator interviews.

In the past, students have submitted ideas for anything from mobile applications to medical devices to fire safety systems. The range of possibilities is undefined to allow for free and open creativity. Staying true to the Challenge name, the goal is to bring forward ideas that will have a significant impact on the world.

Registration for this semester’s Challenge closes on September 25th at midnight.

If you miss this year’s deadline but want to compete, have no fear! The Challenge is offered biannually, once each semester. Starting this semester, challengers have the opportunity to complete the program for one credit. In doing so, however, they forfeit the eligibility for the monetary prizes. The route also requires earlier registration which, for this semester, has passed, but look forward to it next semester!

The Change the World Challenge is organized through the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship based out of the Pittsburgh Building. To learn more about the Center and the Challenge, visit