There will be an “APPLY NOW” button on our Stevens Showcase website once the application portal is opened. The 14th Annual USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase will take place November 17, 2021 (online event) and the application deadline is October 1, 2021 (extended to October 7, 2021).

The date of the next USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase will be Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 10AM-12PM Pacific and will be held virtually (online). To attend you must register here in order to receive the Zoom details to join us live at the event.

All current USC undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply for the USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase. Applicants can be of any major, and projects can be of any academic discipline.

You may have project team members who are not current students of USC, but your team leader must be actively enrolled as a USC student for the entire Fall 2021 semester and have an active USC student ID number.

Please note that projects which have previously been accepted to participate in past USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcases are not eligible.

  • From pre-event pitch coaching to presenting your business idea or invention at the actual event, participants selected for the Showcase gain valuable first-hand entrepreneurial experience and many end up developing their ideas further into successful businesses.
  • All participating teams will receive written and verbal feedback from our panel of judges, who are innovation experts at USC and from greater Los Angeles, including USC staff and faculty, and entrepreneurs and investors from the local business community.
  • The top scoring, most innovative teams will win thousands of dollars in cash prizes to support their startups or get their businesses off the ground. Last time at the 2019 USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase, 5 winning teams were awarded $27,500 in USC-sponsored cash awards plus in-kind awards valued at over $30,000 total.

We are looking for projects with unique ideas that showcase the entrepreneurial and innovative talents of the USC student community in ALL disciplines, including the arts, science and technology, medicine, social welfare, etc. We define innovation as the process of translating new ideas into tangible societal impact.

The judging criteria can be summarized as follows:

  • Ideas – Originality and Creativity: Does something like this already exist? Is it a creative solution to a common problem?
  • Feasibility and Strategy: Is the project viable? Is it scalable and sustainable?
  • Market Potential and Impact: What market need does this fulfill and how well do you know your market? Does your solution solve a global problem with a tangible product, service or organizational model?
  • Wow Factor: Are you showing risk taking? Will this excite us? Can I buy stock or get involved?
  • Quality and Presentation: How thoroughly have you put together your application package and are you able to communicate it effectively to potential investors?

You will be asked for the following in your online application:

  1. Completed questionnaire answers (information about you, your team members, description and background info about your project/startup, etc)
  2. Pitch deck about your project/startup (PowerPoint or PDF document)
  3. 5-minute video to verbally pitch and present your project. Please include a YouTube link (unless you are sharing a public video, we strongly recommend marking your video as “unlisted” so that only those with the link can view your video).

All of these items will be reviewed offline by the judges. If you advance to the finals, you will pitch live at the Nov. 17 event.

All applicant teams will be notified if they have advanced to the next stage.

Notification if advance to the Finals: October 25, 2021

If you are selected for the Finals, your application will then advance to the next round of judges and you will be invited to pitch live at the November 17th date.

Teams accepted to compete in the Finals will be invited to a mandatory pitch and presentation training workshop 1-2 weeks prior to the Showcase date. The class will be provided by instructors from the USC Marshall School of Business and USC Entrepreneur Club (E Club). The training session date will be announced via email to accepted teams.

Yes! We have never charged a fee to apply for our competition as the cash prizes are generously sponsored by the USC community. The event is free to attend and open to the public, so we encourage you to invite friends and family.

On November 17, 2021, 10AM Pacific, the pre-determined finalists will pitch live online via Zoom to our judges.

In the last half hour of the event there will be a brief break while we tally up the judges’ scores, followed by the Awards ceremony starting at 2:45PM to announce the winners.

Yes. If you are working alone and have a classmate or friend that can represent your project it is fine. If you are working in a team, not all team members have to be present.

Yes. The USC Stevens Center for Innovation does not want to hinder or limit your innovation process. If both of your projects are selected to be in the Showcase, it is up to you as to how you want to divide your time and present both ideas.

The Showcase is a public forum; therefore, any discussion you have or any information you display will be considered a public disclosure. This means you should consider removing all confidential information out of the presentation if you are seeking patent protection and have not yet filed a patent application.

If you want to protect patent rights while still publishing information about your invention, it is best to focus on a results-oriented description and not a description of how those results are obtained. It is important not to describe how to make or reproduce the invention.

While we are encouraging full and creative presentations, please understand that the public disclosure of your invention or the public display of a product or prototype that embodies your invention may prevent you from patenting the disclosed embodiments of your invention at any time in a foreign country or beyond one year from public disclosure or display in the United States.

We will not ask you to disclose any information about your projects that you are not comfortable with disclosing. There will be a program published for the Showcase for which you are asked to write a synopsis of your presentation. After the Showcase it will be put on the USC Stevens Center for Innovation’s website in digital form. If you do not wish to have your synopsis put on the website, please let us know and we will adjust the information and/or take it down as you request. If you have any questions about this, please contact Peijean Tsai, USC Stevens Marketing Coordinator, at

Yes. There is no requirement to transfer IP, or intellectual property, for this competition. The USC Stevens Center for Innovation does not and will not have ownership of your invention if you apply for and/or participate in the USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase. If you have any questions about your IP, please contact Peijean Tsai, USC Stevens Marketing Coordinator, at