Jones Idea Challenge

Four teams of students presenting during the 2020 Jones Idea Reverse Corporate Pitch Challenge Finals.

Jones Idea Challenge | Reverse Corporate Pitch


Our newest entrepreneurial competition, designed just for undergraduate students: solve a real company problem, work with a team coach, and compete for cash prizes.

  1. Companies pitch a problem on the chosen theme in person on campus.
  2. Teams of 1-3 students select a problem to solve and then work closely with a business coach to create an innovative solution.
  3. Teams will pitch back their solutions.
  4. Company Judges will award first, second, and third place prizes with cash prizes!

FAQ about the Jones Idea Challenge 2020 Jones Idea Challenge Finals Recap Interview with 2020 Jones Idea Challenge Winners

2020 Jones Idea Challenge Recap


  • FIRST PLACE $2500

    Team Sheronica: Sharon Ideguchi and Veronica Garcia
    Coach:Michael Morrow

  • SECOND PLACE: $1500

    Team Ryshun: Ryshun Sampson
    Coach:Alex Andrade-Walz

  • THIRD PLACE: $1000

    Team Double Trouble: Alejandro Ramirez and Jaidev Vella
    Coach: David Prindle



Brien Kennedy, Mark Orzech, Kristian Swank, Jessica Bishop, Kathryn Gardow, Barna Mahapatra, Michael Morrow, Alex Andrade-Walz, Jeff Levy, Samuel Mwangi, David Prindle, Erik Soper, Joe Vogel, Claire Dillow, Angela Kelly, and Stuart Walton.

2020 TEAMS

  • Team Bon Bons: Benjamin Carlson
  • Team Future Founders: Tanir Guzay, Thariq Satrix, and Xiaolin Huang
  • Team Good Green Boys: Jin Lee Gunvalson, Martin Wilson, and Stanley Huang
  • Team Alpha: Vy La
  • Team KA Ladies: Amber Larsh and Kelsey Crowder
  • Team Sheronica: Sharon Ideguchi and Veronica Garcia
  • Widget Women: Emmelene Guzon, Francesca Loo, and Natalie Trinh
  • Team Christopher Gibbons: Christopher Gibbons
  • Double Trouble: Alejandro Ramirez and Jaidev Vella
  • Team KKDS: Katrina Kearsley and Dhruv Sarda
  • Team Name: Andrew Park and Kaan Kramer
  • Team Ryshun: Ryshun Sampson 
  • Team Ironman: Emilio Monroy
  • Team 99: Ngan: Duong and Thao Nguyen
  • Team Boat Boys: Bobby Murray and Derek Heath



  • Jan. 19, 2020  Registration Deadline for Students
  • Jan. 23, 2020  Company Problem Pitch & Team Formation Event (6-8 p.m.)
  • Feb. 28, 20  Student Solution Pitch Event & Prize Awards (4-6 p.m.)


Jan. 23 | Companies pitch a problem to students (6-8 p.m.)

  • Undergraduate students find ‘intra-preneurial’ solutions for problems that require innovative and creative thinking
  • Example: “We need app users to upload photos of accessible routes to our AI database, and think we want to target friends and family of wheelchair users – what is the best way to reach this population and how should we focus our outreach?”

Jan. 23 | Students select a problem and form teams (6-8 p.m.)

  • Teams of 1-3 students
  • Companies may have several teams work on the project, or may not be selected by any teams.

January-February | Students work with a Team Coach to Ideate a Solution

  • Local professionals work closely to advise a team on their solution idea
  • Teams meet with weekly with coaches
  • Company representative is available to answer questions and provide additional information

Feb. 28 | Team pitch back solution ideas to companies (4-6 p.m.)

  • Each company provides one person for the judging panel
  • First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded based on the most impactful and realistic solution



  • Complete the company application form by January 10
  • One dedicated contact person for the project
  • Attend January 23 kickoff event (6-8 p.m.) to present problem: 5 minute presentation (PowerPoint slides recommended) and 5 min Q&A
  • Be available to answer team questions during the program (approximately 30 minutes/week)
  • Serve as a Judge for Feb. 28 team presentations (4-6 p.m.)
  • Free for companies to participate
  • Connect directly with the best and brightest business students for recruiting, etc.


  • Register individually online by January 19
  • Work with a team coach to create an early-stage solution for the company’s problem
  • Work alone or in a group of up to 3 students
  • Create a 10-minute presentation covering your solution idea
  • Attend company pitch event Jan. 23 (6-8 p.m.) and final presentations Feb. 28 (4-6 p.m.) on campus


  • Work with a team of 1-3 students over five weeks (Jan. 24-Feb. 28)
  • Advise them on their plan, suggest resources, and provide guidance (about 1-2 hours/week)
  • Benefit from the support of a ‘Coach Lead’ who is available as a resource to you


Questions?! Email Amelia Marckworth:


Amelia Marckworth

Amelia Marckworth

Interim Director