2018 New England Food System Innovation Challenge
College Track
November 9-11, 2018
Saint Joseph’s College, Standish, ME


 College Challenge: How might we create products, services, apps or organizations that supports the expansion of production, distribution, processing and consumption of local, sustainably produced food and seafood.

Consider products or services that address one or more of the following:
* Helping food producers become resilient in light of climate change.
* Applying big data to small-scale production.
* Utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT) to bring efficiency to small producers and harvesters.
* Providing equal access and ability to purchase healthy food to all.
* Reducing or re-purposing food waste.
* Making the food supply chain transparent to all.
* Reducing or conserving inputs – like water – in the production of healthy, sustainably produced food.
* Using drones to improve the efficiency of small, diversified farms.
* Integrating aquaponics, hydroponics or land based aquaculture into the food system.
The food system is vast and complex system and this is by no means a complete list. We are looking for innovative and sustainable idea stage enterprise that could become startup ventures.

Important Dates for College Teams
* Monday, April 16th: College Team Registration Opens. Team contact is required for your submission. You may submit additional team member names at any time. REGISTER HERE
* Monday, October 19th, at midnight (or when the 8 team limit has been reached): College Team Registration Closes
* Friday-Sunday, November 9 – 11: College Challenge Weekend at Saint Joseph’s College

Eligibility – College Team
All entries must:

  • Be a new (pre-launch idea stage) initiative.
  • Present an innovative solution to the many challenges facing the New England Regional Food System.
  • Demonstrate a sustainable idea stage business model – profit or non – profit (both financial and ecological) offering a fair return to the farmer or fisherman with fair pay to the employees at a fair price to the buyer, while minimizing their carbon footprint.
  • College teams must have a minimum of 2 members and maximum of 5 members and members enrolled in a degree program.
  • Teams must be in attendance at the Challenge Weekend November 9-11 at Saint Joseph’s College.
  • Participants must register by October 19, 2018. We strongly suggest teams register ASAP as the registration will be cut off as soon as 8 qualified teams are selected.

Challenge Weekend Agenda and Logistics
The Challenge will run from Friday, November 9, 2018 at 5:00PM to Sunday, November 11, 2018 at 4PM. Meals will be provided to teams on Friday through Sunday.  Several resource people will be available on Saturday to advise teams and there will be two short workshops on the Business Model Canvas and Creating a Pitch. Teams will have access to wireless Internet and a printer. Teams should bring their own laptops. Dress is casual.

  • Housing
    The Host Committee has arranged for a limited amount of overnight accommodations at no cost for teams traveling a long distance. Contact us at Challenge@theSLab.org if your team will require overnight accommodations.
  • Meals
    Meals will be provided Friday evening through lunch on Sunday.
  • Technical Advisors, Resource People & Mentors
    The Challenge will have several advisors available to teams during the day on Saturday. Advisors are professionals working in the field of food & agriculture, legal, finance, sustainability, food retailing and business systems. They will be available to meet with teams, advise, react and comment on team proposals.

Judging Criteria – College Track
Judges will use several criteria in evaluating submissions. The criteria have been carefully designed to be consistent with the nature of this Challenge: that is one that seeks initial concepts or proposals, not fully developed business plans. The five criteria are:

  • Clarity of the Value Proposition – 20%
  • Originality, Uniqueness or Appropriateness of the Proposed Innovation – 20%
  • Impact Potential – Local or Regional (replicable or scalable) – 20%
  • Sustainability – Financially & Ecologically -20%
  • Quality of Final Presentation – The Pitch – 20%

Cash Awards – College Track
Judges will select 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.
First Place Award – TBA
Second Place Award – TBA
Third Place Award – TBA

Judges – College Track
There will be five Judges. Teams will make their Pitches to the Judges on Sunday afternoon with winners announced at 3:30. Judges to date:

Mike Sobol, Lead Judge, Co-founder, Venture Hall, Portland, ME;

Terms & Conditions – College Track
In order to enter and compete in the Maine Food System Innovation Challenge, participants must agree to the following:

    • College Teams pay a registration fee of $150/per team.
    • Participate in the Challenge Weekend at Saint Joseph’s College, November 10 -12.
    • Agree to allow all submission materials to appear on the Challenge website.
    • Certify that you own, or have the owner’s permission to use/present; all intellectual property utilized in your entry materials, including any technology.
    • Agree to allow participant names, description of your entry, photos of your team and video footage of your presentation from the Challenge Weekend to be used on the Challenge website and in future publicity, including social media.

Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MaineInnovationChallenge for regular basis for updates and news about the Challenge.