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Select your school below...


Alabama State University


North Carolina A&T State University


Prairie View A&M University

UW Madison

University of Wisconsin - Madison

UW Milwaukee

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

UW Whitewater

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

This Year's Problem Statement

Each year our sponsors provide a problem statement to challenge our student participants to innovate with real-world concepts. Click the button below to rad the problem statement, the criteria on how to answer the question provided in the statement, along with the resources provided by the partner to begin the idea exploration for prospective contestants.



The FOCUSS Idea competition was created to stimulate constructive thought surrounding concepts of innovation and discovery.

The FOCUSS Idea Competition provides students a unique opportunity to share and cultivate solutions to "real world" problem statements presented by sponsoring institutions. Competition is open to all current participating college/university undergraduate students.

For the idea competition, students are given the opportunity to address a problem statement submitted by the sponsoring institution. Finalists are then selected from all of the initial submissions. The initial idea submissions are evaluated by a group of qualified individuals representing both the public and private sectors and 5 finalists will be selected to participate in a live regional competition hosted at their institution.

During the live competition finalists present their "idea" to an audience of peers, faculty, entrepreneurs, and distinguished guests from the sponsoring institution. Each finalist has a designated amount of time (e.g. 4 minutes) to present their Idea to a panel of judges who will then choose the winners.

What To Prepare

Follow the criteria in order to increase your chances for consideration as a finalist.


Check back for dates of information sessions, submission deadlines, regional competitions, and the final competition.


The Rules are provided for reference to ensure participants are qualified and prepared throughout the competition process.


Prizes will be awarded based on the results of judging the presentations at the live competition the finalists will be invited to.