Challenges and competitions are a vital part of GEW and innovation in general. They offer participants the chance to test themselves and their ideas against equally motivated entrepreneurs, and also present opportunities for collaboration with students and faculty from other colleges or disciplines. Members of the community judge many of the competitions, and some competitions offer monetary rewards.

A number of Penn State colleges and organizations sponsor these events, which are located throughout the campus. They’re a great way to refine an idea, practice presentation skills, and push the limits of your entrepreneurial spirit.

Some of the competitions that GEW helps to promote include:


HackPSU, a 24-hour hackathon, takes place in the Smeal Business Building twice a year in the fall and spring semesters. Join us as 500+ Penn State students collaborate and compete for incredible awards.

Inc. U Competition

The Penn State Inc.U Competition, managed by PennTAP, has evolved to become a program funded by a five-year grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (USEDA) in partnership with Invent Penn State and their entrepreneurial assistance centers. Part of the USEDA grant funds “The Investment,” a student competition where student startups go head-to-head to win significant investment dollars for their companies.

mHealth Challenge

The mHealth Challenge is an engaged scholarship event where undergraduate students across three colleges collaborate on developing a low-fidelity prototype of a mobile health application designed to address a societal health need associated with a specific targeted audience.

Nittany AI Challenge

The Nittany AI Challenge offers teams of Penn State students, faculty, and staff the chance to compete for grants totaling $50,000. Teams are asked to leverage artificial intelligence to create solutions that solve real-world problems, improve the student experience at Penn State, and/or generate innovative startup ideas. The 2019 Challenge kicks off in October 2018 and culminates in September 2019.