Blog: FAQ about the Jones Idea Challenge

All about the Jones Idea Challenge Program Corporate Reverse Pitch

a college of four teams of students presenting during the 2020 Jones Idea Challenge Final
March 9, 2020

What is the program is about? 

The Jones Idea Challenge Reverse Corporate Pitch Competition (Jones Idea Challenge for short) is a competition for undergraduate students with entrepreneurial drive. The program challenges participants to solve real company problems, work with a team business coach, and compete for cash prizes. In the end, the Jones Idea Challenge produces innovative student solutions for real business problems. 

What is the overall process?

Each year companies pitch a problem matched to the annual theme to the teams of students. Students then select a problem to solve and work closely with a business coach to create an innovative solution. After about a month, teams pitch back their solutions and company judges award prizes. 

Who participates in the challenge? 

The Jones Idea Challenge requires many people and organizations to be successful. Companies pitch their themed problem, and teams of students find an ‘intra-preneurial’ solution for a problem. Local professionals serve as team coaches, which work closely to advise a team on their solution idea. Company representatives are available to answer questions and provide additional information to a team. Company judges score teams based on their pitched solutions.  

Who were the sponsors for the Jones Idea Challenge? 

The Jones Idea Challenge is funded by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation, which also supports other IEC programs, including the Harriet Stephenson Business Plan Competition and the Jones Progress Awards.  

How does the Jones Idea Challenge benefit students and companies? 

The Jones Idea Challenge brings together like-minded entrepreneurial students to solve real-world problems for real companies. Students benefit from learning to work in a team and pitching to companies. They also can network and form relationships with business professionals. Companies get the opportunity to give back to the community. By working with entrepreneurial driven students, companies gain insight into how the next generation of students think and can form relationships with potential future business leaders   

What was the theme for the 2020 Jones Idea Challenge? 

The 2020 Jones Idea Challenge theme was 'Tech for Social Impact.' An example of a pitch for the 2020 theme could be: 'We need app users to upload photos of accessible routes to our AI database. We want to target friends and family of wheelchair users. What is the best way to reach this population? How should we focus our outreach?' 

What was the 2020 Jones Idea Challenge winner’s solution? 

Sharon Ideguchi and Veronica Garcia (Team Sheronica) won first prize for their solution to Giving Tech Labs’ reverse corporate pitch problem. Giving Tech Labs presented the problem that survivors don’t have convenient access to a platform that provides them with resources to seek the help or assistance they need. Team Sheronica proposed that Giving Tech Labs create a simple resource site in which users fill out a simple survey that provides personalized resources. The technology can be access through a QR code, website, or text message.

Which companies participated in the 2020 Jones Idea Challenge?

Five companies, including Giving Tech Labs, Oleo, Keiretsu Forum NW, Delta Dental of Washington, and Green Grub Box, pitched their real-world societal problems along the 2020 theme of ‘Tech for Social Impact.’

What students and teams participated in the 2020 Jones Idea Challenge? 

Team Bon BonsBenjamin Carlson 

Team Future FoundersTanir GuzayThariq Satrio, and Xiaolin Huang  

Team Good Green BoysJin Lee GunvalsonMartin Wilson, and Stanley Huang  

Team AlphaVy La 

Team KA LadiesAmber Larsh and Kelsey Crowder  

Team SheronicaSharon Ideguch and Veronica Garcia  

Team Widget WomenEmmelene Guzon, Francesca Loo, and Natalie Trinh 

Team Christopher GibbonsChristopher Gibbons 

Team Double TroubleAlejandro Ramirez and Jaidev Vella  

Team KKDSKatrina Kearsley and Dhruv Sarda 

Team NameAndrew Park and Kaan Kramer  

Team RyshunRyshun Sampson  

Team IronmanEmilio Monroy  

Team 99Ngan Duong and Thao Nguyen 

Team Boat BoysBobby Murray and Derek Heath 

To learn more about the 2020 Jones Idea Challenge Finals read our blog post recapping the event. 

To learn more about Sharon Ideguchi and Veronica Garcia’s experience winning first place at the 2020 Jones Idea Challenge Finals read our blog post interviewing Sharon and Veronica.