Inviting UCLA Students to Solve Real-World Problems
Through Technology


October 2020

We believe the strongest solutions to complex problems come from a diversity of thought, experiences and backgrounds. This initiative brings together UCLA students from all disciplines and backgrounds to collaborate on driving a positive change in society.


Innovation Challenge Prompts



Use technology (digital or otherwise) to create a solution that will significantly improve accessibility, affordability, health outcomes or care delivery in U.S. healthcare. 


Reduce or offset the carbon footprint, at scale, emitted from industry operations, commercial buildings, homes and multi-family dwellings, electricity production and/or transportation through an innovative solution that integrates technology and/or data.

*Subject to change




This initiative provides ample opportunities for students to learn from industry leaders at major technology companies, meet and collaborate with like-minded students across campus and receive guidance from subject matter experts to propel their venture to the next level.

Fall Quarter

  • Workshop and Event Series: Learn the best practices related to innovation management.
  • Virtual Networking: Inspire and facilitate team formation.

Winter Quarter

  • Registration Deadline: Submit written plan online.
  • Qualifying Review: Judges review plans and select top teams in each track to continue to the final round.
  • Mentorship: We connect the top teams advancing to the final round with SME principals for guidance in refining their proposed innovations.

Spring Quarter

  • Final Round: Top teams pitch their business plans to a panel of expert judges.
  • Closing Event: Winning team from each track pitches their venture and share their leadership learnings with a greater audience at an event hosted by the Easton Center.

Innovation Challenge Events

  • Building a Financial Model
    November 16, 2020

    How much money do you really need? Learn how to build a bottom-up cash flow model.

  • Apple in Enterprise and Design Lab
    October 21, 2020

    Discussion around how large enterprise organizations are building and innovating with Apple technology, as a preface to discuss the methodology for app design and rapid prototyping in the Apple Design Lab. This would provide a high-level design framework for teams as they begin to ideate app-based solutions for their chosen area.

  • Innovation Challenge Virtual Office Hour
    October 23, 2020  |  11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    Questions about the Innovation Challenge? Connect to this weekly zoom session to talk to Jaymie Park, Innovation Challenge Program Manager.


Team Testimonials

  • "Participating in the Innovation Challenge was exactly what our team needed to take our idea to the next level - the feedback from the judges not only helped us fortify our strengths, but also pointed out the critical weaknesses that we needed to address. Since the core of our team is rooted in the David Geffen School of Medicine, this competition has opened up our idea to the expertise and perspectives of the broader intellectual community at UCLA. The connections we have made, as well as the publicity and attention our idea has since garnered, have given us tremendous momentum."

    CranioView (1st place winner, 2020 Innovation Challenge – Healthcare)

  • "The Innovation Challenge is the reason we exist today as a new startup. And it took cross-campus collaboration to make this happen! We are a fully remote team who came together after our CTO, a PhD candidate at the Samueli School of Engineering, posted an abstract about this novel, early- cancer screening technology. That one abstract and this Innovation Challenge opportunity catapulted us to push this unique technology out of academia into commercialization where its real world value can be realized. We've had incredible mentors along the way from Anderson and the Sameuli School of Engineering. Business acumen meets Engineering talent -- that's how UCLA can encourage more cross-campus collaboration, regardless of where you live in the world!"

    eXoutcancer (2nd place winner, 2020 Innovation Challenge – Healthcare)

  • "Our team had identified a critical need in the healthcare system. The Easton Innovation Challenge helped push us to not only come up with a potential concept to address this problem, but also assess the overall context of its impact and develop a roll-out strategy to make it a real world solution."

    SigmaSense (3rd place winner, 2020 Innovation Challenge – Healthcare)




$100k total in cash prizes awarded:

$50k for Sustainability track and $50k for Healthcare.

Express Interest

Join Us On Slack






Supporting Organizations





For questions, please contact Jaymie Park, Innovation Challenge Program Manager at OR pop in to a virtual office hour held most Fridays from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.