Creative Opportunities & Competitions

Expand Your Creativity!

This page contains information about competitions that foster entrepreneurial thinking and provide opportunity for Coe students to engage in other competitions similar to our very own Kohawk Startup.
These competitions have been curated from multiple sources on campus. If you have a competition you’d like to have included, please reach out to Marty St. Clair (
If you have questions about any of these competitions, please contact David Tominsky (, Marty St. Clair ( or Barb Tupper ( Or contact the faculty member listed as a resource next to the competition.

Competition List:

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)

ACSA is pleased to announce the 21st Annual Steel Design Student Competition for the 2020-2021 academic year. Administered by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and sponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the program is intended to challenge undergraduate and graduate students, working individually or in teams, to explore a variety of design issues related to the use of steel in design and construction. Steel must be used as the primary structural material and contain at least one space that requires long-span steel structure, with special emphasis placed on innovation in steel design.
Registration deadline occurs in early April each year.

The Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition (CEC)

CEC is a part of the Entrepreneurship Campus and was initiated to empower entrepreneurs all around the world to create innovative answers to global and/or community challenges and to engage in a more peaceful and sustainable world.
You are invited to submit your innovative ideas and projects with a societal impact, which champion and implement one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs and 169 related targets address the most important social, economic, environmental, health and governmental challenges of our time.
Start of competition is in May of each year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Academic Challenge

This is a launch of the agency’s first-ever competition among teams of university and college students to address questions concerning the U.S. banking sector. The topic for this inaugural challenge is “The Effects of Community Banks on Local Economic Development.”
Competition opens in early September each year.

The Herman and Myrtle Goldstein Undergraduate Student Competition

This competition is intended to highlight projects conducted by students from all areas of the textile/apparel supply chain. Projects submitted may include academic research, technology and/or process investigations, and literature reviews.  This competition is designed to enhance the textile education experience for student members of AATCC.  The intent is to encourage independent student projects both within the USA and internationally.
Phase one entries due by January each year.


These competitions fuel innovation for aerospace systems concepts, analogs, and technology prototyping by bridging gaps through university engagement. RASC-AL is open to undergraduate and graduate university-level students studying fields with applications to human space exploration (i.e., aerospace, bio-medical, electrical, and mechanical engineering; and life, physical, and computer sciences). RASC-AL projects allow students to incorporate their coursework into real aerospace design concepts and work together in a team environment. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.
Theme announced July each year; Deadline to submit Notification of Intent (NOI) is October.

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

The SIAM sponsors several different competitions for undergraduate college students:
Deadlines vary so check the website for more details.
  • International Mathematics Competition for University Students - two sessions of five hours each
  • Mathematical Contest in Modeling - teams present solutions to real-world problems
  • Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics - award given for outstanding research in mathematics
  • SIAM Student Paper Prizes - to recognize outstanding scholarship by students in applied mathematics or computing
  • SIAM Student Travel Awards - winners receive an award plus free meeting registration
  • SIMIODE Challenge Using Differential Equations Modeling - three-member teams compete over a weeklong period

Venture for America

Venture for America is a two-year fellowship program for recent grads who want to work at a startup and create jobs in American cities. Fellows learn important startup skills at our monthlong Training Camp, apply for jobs within our company network, and work for two years as full-time, salaried employees in one of 14 cities. When Fellows are ready to start a company—be it two years after college or ten—VFA has the resources (like prize competitions, an accelerator, and seed fund) to help make that dream a reality.
Four separate application deadlines throughout the year. Apply as early as possible; only one application per season is allowed.

The Campus RainWorks Challenge

This is a green infrastructure design competition for American colleges and universities that seeks to engage with the next generation of environmental professionals, foster a dialogue about the need for innovative stormwater management techniques, and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices.
Registration deadline occurs in early December each year.

Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges

The Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges sponsors regional contests in two main categories: Research Paper & Poster Contests; Programming Contests.
Deadlines vary so check the website for more details.

The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA)

GSEA is the premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college or university. Nominees compete against their peers from around the world in a series of local and/or national competitions in hopes to qualify for GSEA Finals. Founded in 1998 by Saint Louis University, GSEA is now an Entrepreneurs’ Organization program. Undergraduate and graduate* college/university students who own and operate a business for at least six months are eligible to compete. Qualifying competitions are held in cities and countries worldwide, with the 2020 Global Finals competition being held in Cape Town, South Africa.
Deadlines vary.


JUMP into STEM is an online competition focused on engaging university and college students in challenges related to building technology.
University and college students must participate in teams of 2 – 4. Team submissions will be evaluated for technical potential, innovation, diversity, and applicability. Team members must either begin their internship application or decline internship consideration when the idea is submitted. During the fall semester, JUMP into STEM will open three challenges for students to compete for awards. Read each current challenge to consider the specific questions and review the response criteria. Student teams select one challenge to respond to. The judging process begins after the JUMP into STEM challenges close, the judging process will begin. Final event is typically held in late January.
Multiple deadlines. First deadline: all challenges/ideas must be submitted and all internship applications must be started by November each year.

2020 Social Changemaker Challenge

Funded by Principal, The Social Changemaker Challenge uses higher education’s human capital to create innovative solutions to complex social problems. It helps students gain experience addressing complex social problems by demonstrating highly sought-after workforce skills like leadership, problem-solving, critical thinking, adaptability, and teamwork. The challenge is open to teams of current college students in business or related majors interested in using emerging business skills to address complex social problems. Teams will work with a local community or campus partner and be supported in taking a systems-level approach to understanding a problem, identifying gaps, and proposing solutions. Teams will then deliver their pitch to a panel of Principal staff members and community judges and be eligible for project implementation prizes of up to $10,000. All events will take place online.Faculty, staff, or student leaders can submit an application on behalf of a team.
Deadline is August 28, 2020

Startup and Pitch Competitions

Looking for more opportunities like Kohawk Startup? These links can help:

William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition

The William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition is a highly challenging, proof-oriented mathematics competition for undergraduate students in North America. Top scoring students on the Putnam exam are named Putnam Fellows. The Putnam Exam is a 6 hour undergraduate exam usually held the first Saturday in December. The test consists of two 3 hour sessions of six problems each with 2 hour lunch break between them. The problems are proof-oriented and written in roughly the same style as high school olympiads are, although they include more advanced mathematics. The top five scorers (or more if there are ties) on the exam are named Putnam Fellows.
Competition takes place the first Saturday of December each year.