Information on the timeline and eligibility for the BAA Innovation Challenge.

Innovation Challenge Eligibility & Timelines

Scoring Overview

Round 1 (Eligibility and Idea Abstract)

Entrants apply online by answering a set of questions to confirm eligibility. Entrants are also required to complete a one-page abstract that the BAA Innovation Challenge Committee will use to determine team advancement to Round 2.

All one-page abstracts will be scored as pass/fail based on entrants’ answers to the following questions:

  • What is the idea?
  • What problem will you solve? What is your proposed solution?
  • Who will benefit from your solution?
  • How would you use the prize money and mentorship?
  • What does success look like?

Round 2 (Written Plan)

Applicants who pass Round 1 are asked to submit their full written plan. The review committee will score the written plan as pass/fail based on the following criteria:

  • What is the potential impact of the idea?
  • How creative/innovative is the idea?
  • Is the team capable of implementing the idea? Is the team ready?
  • Are the next steps well defined?
  • What are the expected sources of funding/revenue?
  • What is the likelihood of success?

Suggested length is 10 - 40 pages.

Round 3 (Presentation)

The top teams from Round 2 will be invited to pitch their BAA Innovation Challenge idea to the Judge|Mentor panel. Teams will be evaluated based on the quality of their pitch and the quality of their final written plan.

Terms and Conditions

Right to Disqualify

The BAA Innovation Challenge committee reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any entry it determines to be ineligible or that does not comply with the terms and conditions of the BAA Innovation Challenge.


The 2018 BAA Innovation Challenge committee currently expects to award $10,000 to the first place team and $5,000 to the second place team. Additional awards for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams may be announced, but such decisions will be in the sole discretion of the BAA Innovation Challenge committee.


In addition to the cash prize, the 1st place team will have access to expert advisors from the business community.

Award Distribution

Prizes will be awarded directly to the Alberta School of Business alumnus/a that is designated as the team lead on the application form. Award money must be taken within two months of winning the award.

Award Obligation

Prizes must be spent in direct support of the project and adhere as closely as possible to the final written plan.


By entering the BAA Innovation Challenge, teams acknowledge and agree that they own all of the content included in their submitted plan or otherwise have obtained any required permissions to use such content, and that their submitted plan does not include any content (for example, trademarks, company names, photos, music, works of art, or images) that infringes or violates the rights of any third party.

Entrants should not have an expectation of confidentiality with respect to any data or information submitted, discussed, or presented in connection with the BAA Innovation Challenge. Due to the nature of the competition, judges, reviewers, staff, the audience or others will not be asked or required to agree to a non-disclosure agreement in connection with any plan submitted in connection with the BAA Innovation Challenge.

Entrants authorize the University of Alberta and those acting pursuant to its authority, including the BAA Innovation Challenge committee, to record, broadcast and distribute via any means (print, radio, television, internet, photograph, video, audio, digital, or otherwise) their plan and their participation in the BAA Innovation Challenge, and to use their name, photograph or likeness, as well as their testimonials, quotes, comments, or biography for publicity, promotion, advertising, fundraising, administrative, academic or educational purposes. Any such recordings or broadcasts shall be the property of the University of Alberta.

By entering the BAA Innovation Challenge, entrants agree to release the University of Alberta and those acting pursuant to its authority, including the BAA Innovation Challenge committee, from liability from any and all claims arising out of or relating in any way to their participation in the BAA Innovation Challenge, and agree to fully indemnify the University and those acting pursuant to its authority for such liability incurred as a result of the actions of the entrants.

The personal information requested as part of the BAA Innovation Challenge is collected, used and disclosed under the authority of the Alberta Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) and will be protected in accordance with Part 2 of that Act. It will be collected, used and disclosed for the purpose of administration of the BAA Innovation Challenge. All personal information collected for the purposes of administration of the BAA Innovation Challenge will be retained for two years from the completion of the Challenge. Direct any questions about this collection, use and disclosure to: Manager, Alumni Programs at

Entries are restricted to individuals with an Alberta School of Business BCom, MBA, MFM or PhD degree or teams with a minimum of one Alberta School of Business graduate who will be the team lead. Teams are restricted to no more than four people. Team members do not have to be current residents of Alberta.

Idea submissions are not limited to business or technology. Submissions that relate to non-profit, arts, research and social pursuits are strongly encouraged.

Idea submissions must be at the seed funding stage:

  • Teams that had revenue during the 12 months prior to July 1, 2018 are not eligible.
  • Teams that received institutional (equity) funding for the idea are not eligible.
  • Teams that received seed funding (non-equity funding from friends or family) during the 12 months prior to July 1, 2018 are only eligible if the total amount of funding received is less than $10,000.
  • Any funding already received for the idea must be disclosed on the application form at time of registration.


The application process begins July 1, 2018 and consists of 3 rounds.

July 1Applications Open
Aug 6 Application Deadline
Aug 12Committee reviews Round 1 applications
Aug 12Teams selected for Round 2 announced
Aug 12 -26 Round 2 teams continue to develop their written plans
Aug 26 Round 2 Submission Deadline - Teams submit their written plans
Aug 27 - Sep 2 Committee reviews Round 2 submissions
Sep 2 Teams selected for the finals are announced
Sep 3 - 19 Finalists refine their written plans and practice their presentations
Sep 19 Deadline for Final Presentations - Teams submit slide deck and any changes to their written plan
Sep 22 BAA Innovation Challenge Competition Day / Winner Announced
November Winner may present at the Business Alumni Association Annual Dinner