2020 Competition Results


2020 East Texas High School Idea Challenger winnersMitchell Campbell, Haden Lafayette, John Kinser, Theoron Stroud and Alejandro Mejias from the UT Tyler University Academy in Tyler.


2020 East Texas High School Idea Challenger runner-upEvan Chen, Emily Kupetz and Ethan Huynh from UT Tyler University Academy in Palestine.


The Fantasy - Pine Tree High School
Chair Police - UT Tyler University Academy - Palestine
Planting Pot - UT Tyler University Academy - Palestine
The Guiders - Chapel Hill High School, Mount Pleasant
OpticTech - Center High School, Center
The Digital Name Plate - Center High School, Center
Palette - UT Tyler University Academy - Tyler
Cookology - Center High School, Center
Chapped Inc. - Center High School, Center
Medicine Dots - UT Tyler University Academy - Tyler
Sophmore Scholars - UT Tyler University Academy - Tyler


2021 Competition Dates

Aug 31, 2020

Elevator Pitch Submission Opens

Oct 2, 2020

Deadline to Submit Elevator Pitch

Oct 16, 2020

Judging of Elevator Pitch Complete

Nov 30, 2020

Deadline to Submit Written Launch Plan

Jan 8, 2021

Launch Plan Competition



The East Texas High School Idea Challenge is the largest innovation competition in East Texas for high school students. The Idea Challenge is designed to encourage, support, and inspire the next generation of inventors and entrepreneurs with the goal of growing East Texas’ knowledge and economy.

All East Texas high schools are invited to submit teams of 2-5 students to participate in the Challenge. The winning team’s school will receive $2,500, with second place taking home $1,000. The monetary award can be invested in the school’s entrepreneurship and innovation programming. Winning students will earn a scholarship to study at The University of Texas at Tyler.

How does it work?

The challenge will be conducted in two competitive rounds.

Round 1 will require all interested teams to submit a YouTube video of their elevator pitch.  Judges will evaluate the entries and select the top pitches.  The selected teams will be invited to prepare a complete launch plan.

Round 2 will consist of a tournament-style competition held on The University of Texas at Tyler campus.  Teams will present their complete launch plan to our panel of judges. Judges will select the winner(s) from this round to receive a monetary award and scholarships.

Who is Eligible?

The challenge is open to all high schools (grades 9-12) in the following counties: Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Houston, Hunt, Jasper, Jefferson, Kaufman, Lamar, Liberty, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Tyler, Upsher, Van Zandt, Wood.

Other Questions?

We answers to several questions asked by our teams on our FAQ page.  If you have any questions that are not addressed, please feel free to contact us.

Brandon Reynolds
Economic Engagement Director

UT Tyler