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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.

Schedule at a Glance

Tuesday, March 2 | 7pm ET

Developing Your Pitch: Business and Elevator



Join experts from SEED SPOT, an incubator that supports diver, impact-driven entrepreneurs for tips and a step-by-step overview of how to construct strong business and elevator pitches.  This episode is a must-see for all FIRST Innovation Challenge teams wanted to perfect their business pitches for judging.

Tuesday, March 9 | 7pm ET

The Role of Intellectual Property in Innovation


What is the place of intellectual property in the innovation ecosystem?  Hear Qualcomm and the United States Patent and Trademark Office have a conversation about how large companies think about IP, hear from a FIRST student on their experience, and learn how patents are accessible for everyone.

Tuesday, March 16 | 7pm ET

Systems Design: Innovating for the Future



Join FIRST Innovation Challenge sponsor John Deere for a robust discussion on using efficiency as a systems design approach with virtual design, verification, and dealing with failures to solve real world issues. Their state of the art X9 combine will serve as the example.

Coming in March & Early April

  • Product Development Life Cycle with John Deere
  • Patent Education with the USPTO
  • Internal Innovation with BAE
  • Innovating with new Technology with Abbott

Send me Tune-in Reminders

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Inside Innovation: Tips from BAE Systems

  • Video 1: Tips on adaptability and preparedness from Justin Amevor, a Software Engineer at BAE Systems

Key Dates

  • February 4, 2021: The submission portal opens.
  • March 4, 2021: Deadline for teams to indicate their participation by submitting their Innovation Challenge solutions (see challenge manual for guidance).
  • 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 FIRST Global Innovation Awards remote event.

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