Idea to Product Competition

Idea-to-Product (I2P) is a global competition designed to educate, develop, and inspire the next generation of technology entrepreneurs. The competition is particularly interested in matching university developed technologies with potential markets. The competition originated at the University of Texas at Austin in 2001 and has since expanded into Europe and Asia. For more information about the global competition, click here.

Idea-to-Product, I2P, and the logo are trademarks of the University of Texas at Austin


Students will derive numerous benefits from participating in the I2P competition. In addition to the potential cash prizes, teams will receive valuable feedback from the judging panel that will be comprised of entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, technologists, engineers, and intellectual property attorneys. This feedback will prove useful in helping teams take the next steps with their ideas. Additionally, the competition will provide a rare networking opportunity that will allow teams to connect with people and resources that can help them make their ideas a reality and further their career aspirations. Moreover, the learning experience in itself will be invaluable.

Gifts and Prizes

The first five (5) teams to submit their entries will receive a free gift for each team member. Each team whose entry is selected to be forwarded to the regional I2P competition for consideration will receive an additional free gift for each team member. The teams that represent Missouri S&T in the regional competition will compete for prize money at the regional level. They’ll also make valuable connections to people and resources that can help them turn their ideas into reality.


  • Teams must consist of undergraduate and/or graduate students from Missouri S&T
  • Team members must be registered students at some time during the competition year
  • Team members may come from any area of study
  • Teams can have between one (1) and five (5) members
  • Teams may be intercollegiate and multidisciplinary

Competition Rules

Entries in the Idea-to-Product competition should be unique, innovative, and feasible to implement. They must also address an identified market need. The product, service, or business idea must have an underlying technology component. Team entries may be based on either a team’s own technology-based idea or a university developed technology. To explore available university technologies, click here.

To enter the competition, teams must submit a type-written summary of their idea that is no more than two (2) pages in length, single spaced, 11 point, Arial font plus a cover sheet (3 pages total). The summary should explain what the idea is, what it does, why the target market will want it, and how the team will secure the intellectual property. To help protect the intellectual property, teams MUST NOT explain how the idea works. To download a summary template, click here.

The type-written summary must include a cover sheet that details the team name, team members and their respective college and degree programs, graduate or undergraduate status, and full contact information (address, telephone number, and e-mail address) for each team member. The summary must address the following specific questions:

  • What is the envisioned product/service and what does it do (emphasize benefits)?
  • What is the underlying technology of the product or service?
  • How is the envisioned product/service and the underlying technology unique and/or innovative?
  • How would you define the best initial set of customers (i.e., who will buy it first)?
  • Who are the first customers that you have targeted for the product/service and what are they like?
  • What real and pressing customer need(s) does the product/service address better than any other option? Why will customers buy your option rather than another option?
  • Describe how do you create value for your customers?
  • What is the market and its size?
  • How do you anticipate developing intellectual property (IP) protection for your technology?

For the purpose of this competition, “technology” is defined as follows:

An article, process, method of use, composition of matter or combination thereof comprising electrical, mechanical, chemical, or biological characteristics which exploit enduring principles of the natural world, discovered through the reasoned investigation or study of observable facts, in a novel and non-obvious manner that advances the state of the art in its application for useful human objectives.

Staff at the Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development will be happy to provide guidance to teams to help them prepare their summaries. For assistance please contact Malcolm Townes ( at extension 7616. To see an example summary, click here. To download a summary template, click here.

Competition Timeline

Teams must submit their summary entries in electronic format (PDF document) via e-mail to Malcolm Townes at no later than 11:59 pm on Friday, January 21, 2011. The regional competition will be hosted by Saint Louis University on March 4-5, 2011. To download a presentation template, click here.