Competition Rules & Guidelines

Both competitions are open to all UC Irvine students. Teams must be composed of at least two (2) students, of which at least one (1) must be an ICS student (for the Butterworth Product Development Competition) and one (1) must be an Engineering student (for the Beall Design Competition). For example, a team member from the Merage School of Business could contribute business planning knowledge that would help the team or students from schools of science or engineering could contribute knowledge of a particular application or technology. Students can be graduate or undergraduate, but ALL team members must be registered as matriculated students at UCI for the duration of the academic year of the competition.

To participate in these competitions, your team must fill out the Web-based Intent to Participate form indicating participation interest. Participants can enter either the Butterworth Product Development Competition or the Beall Student Design Competition, and can only win one (1) prize. 

Obtaining Additional Team Members:
Potential participants are encouraged to meet students with similar interests who may be willing to collaborate and form a team at one of the school based workshops, information sessions, Merage School’s New Venture Competition and UCI’s ANTrepreneur Center.

Team Integrity:
Teams are flexible through the final submission of the Final Product & Business Case Due w/video demo. However, any team member that drops between the Product Specification and the Final Product and Business Case will have to submit an email indicating they accept being dropped. 100% of the team must remain intact after submitting the Final Product & Business Case Due w/video demo.

Product Plan/Idea:
Teams must present an original idea or current design problem, and be in a “pre-incubator” form. They must not be backed by incubators, existing companies, venture capitalists, or other investors and cannot be a winning concept (of any prize size) from a previous year of the Beall Butterworth Competition. Teams or team members that have received any form of venture capital financing for their competition entry plan or a likeness thereof may not participate in the competition. Any team receiving angel or venture capital funding while participating in the competition will be disqualified.

Workshops will be offered throughout every phase of the competition. Topics will include:

  • Workshop 1 – November 14th, 2023
  • Workshop 2 – January 16th, 2024
  • Workshop 3 – January 23rd, 2024
  • Workshop 4 – January 30th, 2024
  • Workshop 5 – February 6th, 2024
  • Workshop 6 – February 20th, 2024
  • Workshop 7 – April 9th, 2024
  • Workshop 8 – April 16th, 2024
  • Workshop 9 – April 23rd, 2024
  • Workshop 10 – April 30th, 2024

Documentation, Presentations and Demos:
Documents should be single spaced with a font size between 10 and 12 points. One (1) product specification review will be due mid-way through the program that will offer proof of concept, feasibility and specifications. A demo and presentation are required for the final phase of the competition. Both oral presentation and final demo will be presented before the judges of the competition. Working prototypes are strongly suggested for the final demo.

Final awards will be presented by the Dean of the School and the Judge Chair following the final demo at an Awards Ceremony.

  • Cash awards will be given to the top three (3) teams for each competition in amounts of $10,000, $6,500 and $3,500.
  • The top three (3) teams for each competition will be offered a Meet & Greet with UCI staff to discuss product, patents, copyrights and trademarks and to answer any questions they may have.
  • All teams receiving an award will qualify to participate as a sponsor in a project course in order to help develop their products. Project submissions must occur within the academic year immediately following the competition (certain restrictions apply).
  • First place winners will have the opportunity to meet with local investors.
  • All teams will have access to UCI’s ANTrepreneur Center and preferred application status for UCI Beall Applied Innovation’s Wayfinder program to further develop their concepts/ideas.

Judging Guidelines:
The judges are professionals who come from various backgrounds. Judges are experts in the process of starting a business including business plan developments, or in the technologies the students are developing. The judges consider many different criteria when evaluating concept papers and the business case. Some of the elements that are considered are as follows:

  • Does the technological/design innovation provide a sustainable, competitive advantage?
  • Does a competitive advantage exist over other products in this application?
  • Does the functionality satisfy the application?
  • Is there a significant return on investment to user?
  • Is the product description clear, detailed and descriptive?
  • Is there a market need for this product?
  • Has the user been realistically identified?
  • Are the benefits to the user clear and sufficient to result in purchase?
  • Have specific user interfaces been provided?
  • Is the user interface well described?
  • Are the requirements thorough, realistic and accurate?
  • Is there a block diagram?
  • Have all of the major modules been described in detail?

Documents (subject to change):

References (subject to change):