CU Sustainable Solutions Challenge 2023
The CU President’s Office invites students to present their ideas for sustainable innovations and solutions in competition for a cash prize. The CU President’s Sustainable Solutions Challenge (PSSC) is a competition series that seeks to encourage student-led innovation in sustainability at UCCS or throughout the entire CU System.
For the competition, students (as individuals or teams) are invited to develop short-pitch presentations that propose sustainability solutions that provide long-term financial, social, and environmental benefits at UCCS or throughout the CU System. Qualifying teams will present their ideas to a panel of judges and will be evaluated on how well they understand the problem, develop a sustainable solution, and discuss the impact and feasibility of the idea. Students will have 7 minutes to give their presentation and 3 minutes for a Q&A session.
- 1st Place will receive $1,000
- 2nd Place will receive $750
- 3rd Place will receive $500
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.
Proposal | Criteria + Evaluation
Problem/Solution - What is the problem that the innovation is intending to solve, is the solution an appropriate fit for the problem?
- Impact - How well does the team describe the "sustainability" aspects of the Innovation in environmental, social, and/or economic terms?
- Feasibility - Consider the team's justification of their Innovation in terms of:
- The resources required to implement the innovation, including time
- Estimated cost
- Innovation - How does the project address sustainability in a novel manner, how is it new?
- Presentation Quality
Final Proposal Submission Requirements
Final proposals for the competition will be due on November 27 by 5 p.m. for all teams on all campuses. Final Proposals will be evaluated by a proposal review committee, and up to the 10 best proposals from UCCS will be carried forward to compete in the Campus Pitch Night. See below for submission requirements. Proposal Submissions after the deadline will not be considered for entry.
Final Proposal Submission Requirements
Project submissions should be in the form of a two-page (maximum) written summary with a pitch deck and must address the following:
- Team name, team point of contact and group members' names
- What is the sustainability innovation(s) proposed? How does it address sustainability in a novel way or in a way that has not been attempted on campus in the past?
- What resource area does your innovation address, or what problem does it attempt to solve? (Energy, food transportation, water, social justice, etc…)
- What are the expected/intended benefits of the innovation?
- What stakeholder groups will benefit from your innovation? (On or off campus)
- Evaluation of proposals will favor teams that cite relevant sustainability frameworks (i.e UN Sustainable Development Goals, Carbon Disclosure Project, Project Drawdown, etc…)
- What resources will be required for your innovation to be implemented and operate? What is the estimated cost of the innovation?
Thank you for joining us to celebrate the innovative solutions our UCCS students pitch to solve sustainability, climate, resource, and justice related issues!
Deadlines + Dates
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.
Thu, November 2nd| 2:30-4:30pm | UC - Big Cat Coffee | Informational Tabling Session
In a three-hour, drop-in 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.
Friday, November 10th | Proposal Workshop | Office of Sustainability, 12 Cragmor Village Road | 1:00pm-4:00pm
Final proposals for the competition will be due on Monday, November 27th 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 Finalists Notified
The 20 best proposals will be notified by email to compete in the Campus Pitch Night on Friday, December 1st
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 $1,000. The top two proposals will be invited to compete for the Grand Prize on April 21, at CU Boulder.
Fri, December 1st | UCCS Pitch Night | University Center 122 | 6:00pm-9:00pm
Sustainability Summit Celebration @ CU Boulder
Our 2023 Campus Judges
Our 2023 Winners
Our 2022 Winners, Judges, and BI Teams Class:
(Pictured Left to Right:) Judges - Lisa Potoka Jones, Assistant Deans of Students, and Kayla Williams, Graduate Student and Green Action Fund Project Coordinator; Audience's Choice Winner - Ellie Carroll (not pictured: Hunter Colangelo); 1st Place - Amanda Ericson and Joey Hassett; 2nd Place - Ikenna Ozor (not pictured: Katie Morton and Caitlin Edelmuth); BI Teams Class: Peyton Walters, Cooper Jaap, Ethan Richards, and Nathan Love