High School Challenge

Welcome to the Innoventure High School Challenge!

The Innoventure High School Challenge is a competitive event open to all high school students throughout New Mexico and the El Paso, Texas, area.

Think like an entrepreneur and design a simple prototype out of an approved list of materials – all in a two-week timeframe that challenges you to put your team’s ideas to the test quickly and create an innovative product.

Registration opens for each round two weeks before it starts. Each round will have its own theme – and you won’t find out the theme until the round starts. The surprise is all part of the challenge!

Winning teams from each round will be invited to the final Innoventure High School Challenge at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces for a special one-day product design challenge that builds on what you’ve learned in the preliminary rounds.

Cash Prizes for Our Winners!

Registration opens Fall 2020!

Participation is free, and most travel costs to the final competition at NMSU will be reimbursed by Arrowhead Center, thanks to generous support from our sponsors.

September 14, 2020 to September 25, 2020

Round 1

November 2, 2020 to November 13, 2020

Round 2

February 8, 2021 to February 19, 2021

Round 3

April 12, 2021 to April 23, 2021

Round 4

How to participate

  • With support from a teacher, parent or other adult serving as your advisor, form a team of 2-5 high school students. We’ll provide a PDF toolkit with milestones to help you think through your product’s design and your business plan. We’ll also provide a list of the materials you can use to build your prototype.
  • Start by registering your team and your advisor by clicking on the links on this page. You’ll receive your toolkit and information on the theme on the first date of each round.
  • To compete in each round, participating teams will submit a link to a video that demonstrates their prototype, explains the value added by the product, identifies their target market and a price for the product, describes distribution modes for product, and outlines how the product will be promoted. Additionally, participants will design a logo for their company.
  • Winners will be determined for each round, and will advance to the final Innoventure High School Challenge day at NMSU on April 3, 2020.
  • Teams that have not already won a round can participate again in a subsequent round. If a team wins a round and advances, they are not eligible to win again in a later round – but they may submit an entry and receive feedback to help them hone their skills for the final round.

Rules to know

    • Videos longer than 5 minutes in length will not be accepted.
    • Each video will be scored based on a rubric.
    • A winner will be determined for each round, and will advance to the final challenge day.
    • Teams that have not already won a round can participate again in a subsequent round. If a team wins a round and advances, they are not eligible to compete in a later round.
    • The winner of each round will advance to the final Innoventure Challenge competition at NMSU, in which they will receive the theme and instructions that morning, work in teams with a mentor to come up with a simple business idea and prototype, and then present their pitch to judges.
    • There’s no entry fee for teams to participate, and Arrowhead Center will help support travel costs for teams that are selected as finalists.

Team registration for round one will Fall 2020.

2018 – 2019 Winners

First Place:
Rad Blue Inc | Portales High School, Portales
Nakia Jackson & Bella Roy

Second Place (tie): 
The Procrastinators | Roswell High School, Roswell
Fatima Olvera, Katelynn Hanson & Eveangelina Herrera

The Bombers | Gadsden High School, Anthony
Nathan Rubalcava, Adam Duenas & Colton Montoya


Unicorn Teens™ App

This year participants in the Innoventure Challenge will have exclusive access to a social networking app designed for entrepreneurs.

Read more below to learn about the app if you want to use it.  

Unicorn Teens™ is a social networking app created to drive startup creation by attracting peer-to-peer growth for high school entrepreneurs. STTE partnered with NMSU Arrowhead Center to offer four mini business high school challenges. Competitions will take place September, November, January, and March. The Unicorn Teens™ app will be used to engage and communicate with competitors. Users will be able to collaborate, create events, post pitch decks, and share progress with fellow entrepreneurs. For more information visit sttefoundation.org/unicornkids/

The Unicorn Teen™ App is not the primary communication tool for the Innoventure program. Our primary communication tool is email. This is an app that is being offered as a resource to students through a partnership with the STTE Foundation.

Innoventure and Arrowhead Center are not responsible for content on the app or any communications between app users.

Unicorn Teens™  is a sponsor of Innoventure High School Challenge.

Questions? Contact us!

Innoventure Challenge