CU Sustainable Solutions Challenge

CU President's Sustainable Solutions Challenge 2020


The CU Office of the President has provided funding to encourage the development of sustainability innovations by CU students for their campuses and communities in spring 2020. The competition will reward students for their sustainability innovations: the Sustainable Solutions Challenge.

“CU is a leader in sustainability, so it's natural to have our best and brightest students compete with their great ideas,” said CU President Mark Kennedy. “I’m confident we’re going to see some impressive and innovative suggestions.”

The President’s Sustainable Solutions Challenge (PSSC) will be a two-part event culminating in the President’s Sustainable Solution grand prize of $2,000, awarded at the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, April 22. The PSSC will award a prize of $1,000 to one team from each campus as the first round of the challenge. The top two teams from each campus will advance to compete for the grand prize. 

For the competition, students (as individuals or teams) are invited to develop multidisciplinary approaches that result in short-pitch presentations that describe proposed sustainability initiatives to address environmental quality, natural resource use, and social justice with economic longevity on a CU campus or through the CU system. Qualifying teams will present their ideas to a panel of judges in both rounds and will be evaluated on anticipated impact, innovation in addressing a sustainability issue and the feasibility of the idea.  Prize funding will be directed toward the individual or teams and not to project implementation.  All proposals will be shared with appropriate campus units for consideration for potential implementation. 

Students can register anytime between January 29th and March 9th.  Each campus will host an information session in February and a proposal workshop in March.  Proposal submissions are due in early April and the top 20 proposals will advance to the campus-level first stage pitch competitions.   For information on the President’s Sustainable Solutions Challenge, visit

Sustainability Challenges of our UCCS Campus Community

  1. Transportation
  2. Resource Conservation
  3. Innovative Land-Use
  4. Sustainability Awareness + Engagement
  5. Food + Agriculture
Proposal | Criteria + Evaluation
Final Proposal Submission Requirements
Proposal | Criteria + Evaluation
Campus Pitch Night Evaluation Categories
Pitch | Criteria + Evaluation
Grand Prize Additional Evaluation Categories

Deadlines + Dates

Deadlines + Dates
  • Informational Session

    All interested teams, including those who have not registered yet, are invited to join. Here you will learn about strategies and resources for success, get more detail on the advancement and selection criteria as well as the purpose of the competition, and have an opportunity to ask questions that you may have about competing in the PSSC.  This is optional for participants.

    Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 2:00-5:00pm | Kraemer Family Library 2nd Floor Apse

  • Interest Form (not required)

    Registration for this event will be open to all CU students. You may register as an established team with an idea or as an individual. To fill out the interest form, you will need to provide a brief description (150 words) of your innovation, the area of impact that your idea is focused on (i.e. food, water, transportation, energy, etc.), and the names and contact information of each team member.

    To qualify for the competition, all team members must hold a valid CU Student ID Card. Your team may also include a mentor or advisor from within or outside the CU community. Find the registration portal at

  • Proposal Workshop

    In a two-hour coaching session, you will have access to professionals to help you develop your main points, justifications, and sharpen the delivery of your idea in front of judges and an audience. This will also be an opportunity for you to network with professionals and potentially connect with a subject matter expert for advice. Neither event is mandatory to attend but both will provide valuable resources to strengthen your run at the prize.

    Thursday, March 12, 2020 | 2:00-5:00pm | University Center 116

  • Proposals Due

    Final proposals for the competition will be due on April 1 for all teams on all campuses. Final Proposals will be evaluated by a proposal review committee, and the 20 best proposals from each campus will be carried forward to compete in the Campus Pitch Night.

  • UCCS Pitch Night

    Each campus will host its own pitch night as a competition among the entrants from that campus. A panel of local judges will assess each pitch based on the criteria outlined below. The winning team or individual will receive an award of $1000. The top two proposals will be invited to compete for the Grand Prize on April 22, Earth Day.

    Tuesday, April 7, 2020 | 4:00-7:00pm | University Center 303

  • Grand Prize Round @ CU Boulder

    The final component of the competition is the Grand Prize Night. This will entail pitches by the top two teams from each campus to a panel of judges. The event will be held as part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on the CU Boulder campus, and simulcast to all campuses from the CU Boulder Glenn Miller Ballroom. The winning team will be announced and receive a $2000 cash prize. Prize funding will be directed toward the individual or teams and not to project implementation.