“I was thoroughly impressed by the inventiveness and creativity demonstrated by the young inventors who participated in Surge. Their inventions give me hope that this new generation will be able to find solutions to complex problems that my generation is still wrestling with.” -Stephanie Couch, Ph.D, Executive Director, Lemelson-MIT, 2018 Judge

Student Designers & Inventors, We want you!


Join some of the brightest students in the nation as they celebrate design thinking, problem solving, and STEM advancement in the city that celebrations innovation. In Shark Tank style, high school seniors are invited to participate in a business pitch competition in partnership with Launch Chattanooga. It all takes place each year in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at the Bond Auditorium on the Chattanooga State Campus.

To apply: Application link will be posted here each year when pitches are accepted. You will be asked to upload a short 3-5 minute pitch to google drive.

The video should contain 4 parts:

  • Introduction of the problem. Use statistics or research to provide authenticity.
  • Your solution to the problem. This is your chance to explain how your product or service solves the problem. You can demonstrate a prototype, explain or expound upon a blueprint or drawing, or even show off a prototype.
  • Financials. This is where you show that you've run the numbers and know how much each product will cost you to make, how much you will sell them for, how much it will cost you every month to run your business, and how many you will need to sell each month/year to break even.
  • Marketing and distribution plan. How will you get the word out that this product exists? What does your supply chain look like... as in when a customer places an order how does your product get built and sent to them?

For help with creating a pitch click here.

For student teams that want more information on how to create a business plan, please contact Launch Chattanooga at https://launchchattanooga.org/ If you would like to use their canvas to prototype your business please download it here.

Application deadline: November 1st

We will evaluate these video entries using the SURGE Rubric and will notify teams on November 15th.

Video exemplar here.

STEM School Chattanooga

Excite Award Winner - 2018