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Invent Oregon Competition Process

Preliminary School Competition

Each partner school hosts a preliminary competition to identify two semifinalist teams to participate in Invent Oregon semifinals. For 2024, we expect to have 21 participating schools, which will result in up to 40 semifinal teams.

Semifinal Competition

Each of the semifinalist teams will receive a $500 prototyping grant to advance the development of their prototype prior to the semifinal competition.

Semifinalist teams will be required to participate in an InventOR Bootcamp in May 2024. Semifinalist teams will compete on the final day of the Bootcamp to determine the advancing finalists. The top scoring team from each school and the remaining top 3 overall teams will advance to InventOR finals.


Final Competition

Each of the finalist teams will receive a $2,000 prototyping grant to continue to advance the development of their prototype. Finalists will compete for $30,000 in prizes at the Invent Oregon Collegiate Challenge final competition June 2024
Prizes will be awarded to the top four teams along with awards for best community college team, a visionary award, and people's choice awards. Exact prize amounts will be announced in June, 2024.

Types of submissions accepted - What is innovation?


Team Requirements

Eligible Students


Diverse Teams

Awards & Prizes

Intellectual Property (IP) Disclosure

Signature Required


Invent Oregon defines inventions as a new or innovative product, process, or service.


Submissions must be a physical invention. For example, we do not accept lifestyle apps and standalone software that does not have a physical component. We do, however, accept and encourage the use of technology as part of a physical invention. 


Invent Oregon does not restrict the competition to any industry. We accept submissions in any sector or industry. 


All teams must demonstrate significant progress between the preliminary competition, semifinals, and finals (if the teams advance). Invent Oregon reserves the right to remove a non-progressing team from the competition and/or program participation.


InventOR encourages but does not require, that submission focus on green or sustainable inventions. 

Invent Oregon accepts submissions that are still in the idea phase.


However, each team is judged on how much progress your team has made toward developing your prototype. While you can apply to Invent Oregon with an idea (and this is encouraged!) you must be willing to work hard to execute and build your invention. Teams that do not demonstrate progress may be disqualified.


A submission may be pre-revenue or producing revenue. Student companies that generated more than $100,000 in any single year are not eligible.


A team is ineligible if it has received outside institutional funding (venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, corporate funds, etc.). Teams may accept non-institutional funding (contest prizes, grants, loans, etc.) of up to $250,000 prior to or during this contest, so long as no equity ownership is associated with the funding

There is not minimum or maximum number of teams required for participation. Single member teams are accepted.

At least one team member must be an eligible student directly affiliated with a partner Oregon college or university as described below. Faculty members cannot participate as team members. We recommend that teams consist of one technical and one business lead.

Eligible students are defined as:

  • Community college, undergraduate, and graduate students who have completed at least 12 credit hours during the most recent academic year at any Oregon college or university.

  • Alumni who have graduated within the last 12 months from any Oregon college or university.

  • High school students who are enrolled in a university, college, or community college may be eligible to join a team if they have completed at least 12 credit hours. 

No team or individual may participate in the InventOregon program with the same concept or prototype more than once if that team or individual was awarded a prize at the final competition in any previous year. Note: this refers to prize money and does not include prototyping grants.

We require that at least two team members from each team participate in the InventOR Bootcamp (tentatively scheduled for May 2024) and attend competition finals (June 2024) 

Teams who do not adhere to the participation requirement will be disqualified. Invent Oregon reserves the right to require all grant funds disbursed to teams be returned if a team fails to meet participation requirements.

Invent Oregon recognizes the value and importance of diversity in entrepreneurship.


Teams with diverse backgrounds tend to perform better —according to McKinsey, teams that are racially and ethnically diverse perform 33 percent more profitably than less diverse teams. We encourage inclusive teams with members who identify as racial and/or ethnic minorities, women, and/or other underrepresented groups. 

Award money may be payable to the student or the venture.


Members of the winning teams must sign a Prize Agreement. If the team is offered and accepts additional funding, teams will be required to execute additional documentation.

Teams will be required to execute an IP Disclosure with submission.


Teams must disclose if they have patented their technology prior to the competition. Invent Oregon and Portland State University waive all claims to intellectual property for any submissions to the Invent Oregon Collegiate Challenge. Teams should consult with their school for specific details and school rules regarding intellectual property developed by students and/or faculty. 


All teams must submit a signed Eligibility Statement that certifies adherence to the competition rules upon entry.


Invent Oregon reserves the right to disqualify a team at any time for any reason at its discretion.


Failure to disclose or follow rules and guidelines are grounds for disqualification not only for teams, but for schools participation in following years.


All funds must be used for expenses related to technical and commercial development of the project such as prototyping, materials, supplies, or other activities that assist in moving the team’s goals forward.

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