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Invent a Better Future


FIRST Innovation Challenge Expert Education Series

As part of the FIRST® Innovation Challenge presented by Qualcomm, FIRST is hosting an expert educational series featuring conversations with innovators and essential tips teams can apply to succeed in the challenge. Topics may include:

  • pitch advice
  • business model education
  • intellectual property
  • careers in innovation
  • product development
  • using CAD to show design

The three-month series will be a combination of informative webinars, Q&As and live panel discussions featuring dynamic FIRST alumni and experts from our sponsors, allowing teams to engage with real-world innovators and entrepreneurs.

All sessions are open to FIRST Innovation Challenge teams.


Key Dates

  • April 21, 2021: Deadline for advancing Semi-Finalist teams to submit further requirements.  
  • May 7, 2021: The 20 Finalists from each program for the FIRST Global Innovation Awards are chosen on or around this date. 
  • June 28-30, 2021: The 20 Finalist teams should be available for judging, workshops, and mentoring on these days to participate in the 2021 FIRST Global Innovation Awards powered by Star Wars: Force for Change.

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Additional Resources

SEED SPOT Resources

The following short videos and workbook have been designed to help teams craft a concise, powerful business pitch.  Thanks to the business incubator SEED SPOT, supported by Booz Allen Hamilton for this advice.  Videos will remain accessible to FIRST teams through June 2021.

Archived Episodes

Inside Innovation: Tips from BAE Systems

  • Video 1: Tips on adaptability and preparedness from Justin Amevor, a software engineer.
  • Video 2: Using the "I Wonder" game to overcome roadblocks with Jennifer Ripley, a hardware engineering lead.
  • Video 3: Akshitha Ajayan, a software engineer, stresses the importance of the end user in the innovation journey
  • Video 4: In a discussion on the decision maker, Isaac Rife, program engineering manager, shares tips on the importance of value proposition
  • Video 5: Joseph Cali, FAST Labs technology, shares the importance of embracing different perspectives on the path to innovation.

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