Phase 2 FAQs

We are onto Phase 2 of the Challenge – where interprofessional teams will work to refine their idea and get their proposal ready for submission on Sunday, April 11 at 9pm. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please email the Director of the Makerspace, Justine Bassett at or our Student Engagement Lead, Hannah Welch at

What do we have to submit for Phase 2?

Teams selected for the final round will submit a short application video (between 60 and 90 seconds) in addition to an 8-page written proposal. In this round, teams will expand on the design of their innovations, by talking to users, making prototypes and exploring competing solutions.

These submissions will be reviewed by judges and only 6-8 of the highest quality submissions will be selected to compete for awards of $1-3,000 on April 20 at the Grand Prize Pitch Celebration.

More detail on Phase 2 requirements

When do I have to decide about continuing on to Phase 2?

We need to move quickly to take advantage of every week that we have. Please let us know by 9pm on Friday, Feb. 12, whether you are continuing on to Phase 2 and whether we can add students to your team. If you decide you don’t want to continue, we will form a team to move your idea forward, unless you tell us otherwise.

What’s the Grand Prize Pitch Day and Innovation Celebration?

On April 20, the UNE community will gather for the Grand Prize Pitch & Innovation Celebration to recognize the most outstanding innovations in the 2020-2021 contest. A select group of finalist teams will be invited to participate in the Grand Prize Pitch event for the opportunity to win up to an additional $1-3,000.

There will also be a poster and demo session featuring all of the projects and innovators from the 2020-2021 Big Ideas Contest, as well as a special showcase of student inventions not in the Challenge. This event is usually attended by President James Herbert, Provost Karen Pardue, select Deans, Program Directors, and members of the Board of Trustees, your mentors, UNE students and invited guests from the community. It’s kind of a big deal! You should be there. More details coming soon…

Do we have to have other people on our team?

Technically, no, but we recommend it. First – your proposal will be stronger and evaluated more highly if you have an interdisciplinary team. Second, we have 32 undergraduate students from our Innovations in Technology class available to join teams, and they will be helping as part of their classwork. In other words – you can get help getting the final report written, and have a stronger proposal! It’s a win-win.

I’m concerned about the amount of work this will take!

We know, right? This semester is crazy enough. Here’s the thing – we are here to make you successful. Every project will have a Portfolio Manager assigned. This student is being paid to help you! She will answer your questions, help you organize meetings, get you mentors…The Makerspace staff is also available to support you – with open hours four days a week and time outside of that as necessary.

We want to see your (exciting) ideas developed further – and can’t wait to support you! You were picked for this round because we believe your idea has potential.

Will we work with other faculty or mentors?

We are actively recruiting internal and external mentors to help many of the teams move forward. These mentors are experts in fields related to your idea and we hope you will enjoy the opportunity to learn from people with real-world expertise. Not every team needs or will have a mentor, but we believe it’s an important part of the process and we will work hard to find you the help you need.

How will we decide roles on the team?

We’ve identified different roles that will help divide the work and make for a strong proposal. You will decide what role you like to perform – and we will create a team with people that want to fill in the rest. What are the roles? Tell us you want an interdisciplinary team and we will send you the roles and give you first dibs on the role you want to play.

Like to build prototypes? Do background research? Talk to customers or users? Be on video? There’s a role for that. Let’s make this work for you.

Do you have any feedback on our Phase 1 proposal?

We are happy to give any team feedback on their Phase 1 proposal if they continue in the competition.

Who gets the money if I submitted the original idea?

If the project is one of the three winners, students who participate via their Innovations in Technology class will receive a small ‘consulting’ fee for helping on the project. The remaining funds will go to the person(s) who originated the idea in Phase 1.