The TechQuest Awards

Eight individual or team projects will qualify as finalists on the basis of five-page written reports which will be confidential.  TechQuest award winners among the finalists will be decided at a closed oral presentation on Friday, April 4, 2014.  The oral presentation will also be confidential.  Ratings will be weighted one-half on the report and one-half on the oral presentation.  Both the written report and presentation may contain intellectual property and other confidential information and will not be disclosed publically to protect this information.  Entrants are encouraged to provide sufficient technical detail so judges can assess the feasibility of the project.  The written reports and the presentations in a closed session will be judged by NJIT faculty members and others who have signed a Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA).

The following criteria based on inventiveness and usefulness will be used to judge the written report and the oral presentation.  Details on the criteria are given on the Evaluation Sheets in the Appendix.

1. Problem and Significance. What is the problem (scope, need, urgency) that is the basis for the innovative idea?

2. Innovation:  What is creative and insightful about the idea?  What is innovative about how it addresses the problem?  How has the idea evolved over time?

3. Feasibility:  What evidence shows the idea is feasible, e.g. experimental data, prototypes, simulations, analogies, literature references?

4. Novelty:  What assessment has been made of active patents and prior art?

5. Market:  What is the target market and how will it be approached?  How is the envisioned product or service different from/better than alternatives?

6. Financial Considerations: What evidence indicates the product is cost competitive?  How can development cost be financed?  What exit strategies are possible?

7. Challenge: What is the greatest challenge in the next phase of the project?  How will this challenge met?

The written report will have one additional judging criterion: the quality, organization and completeness of the report.

Similarly, the oral presentation will have one additional criterion: effectiveness and coherence of the presentation and the team’s commitment to the project.

Market research, including interviews with purchase decision makers and end users, examination of competitive products, etc, will help establish credibility in criteria 5 and 6 above.    A detailed business plan is not expected.

Written Report.

The body of the written report will be no more than five pages in length in 12 point type.  The report will be submitted in electronic form, preferably as a PDF document.  The report should contain references and may include links to material on the internet.   Drawings, diagrams, and photos are encouraged to facilitate understanding of the ideas in the report.

The report will have a cover page, not included in the page count limitation, which will include the project title, and a listing of the name of each team member with contact information (email and phone number), major, graduation year, and contribution to the project.  The name of the NJIT advisor or course instructor should also be included on the cover page.  One team member should be designated as the contact person.   Pages are to be numbered.

An electronic version of the report must be emailed to  no later than midnight, Friday, March 14, 2014. Submission of the report constitutes registration for the individual or team.  A panel of judges will determine the eight finalist teams based on the written reports.

Oral Presentation: 

Each individual or team finalist will make an oral presentation to the judges on Friday, April 4, 2014.  The oral presentation is closed to the public and may contain proprietary information.  .  All members of the team are expected to attend the presentation and be available to answer questions. The presentation will be a maximum of 6 minutes and will be followed with questions by the judges for up to 8 minutes. The question period is an excellent opportunity for team members to demonstrate their collective breadth and depth of knowledge in the technical and marketing aspects of their project.   The question period does not have a separate judging category; the answers to questions will influence judging of the eight other categories.  A computer enabled projector and a table for displaying samples or prototypes will be available.

Poster Presentation:

 Finalists are required and other entrants are encouraged to participate in the poster session on Innovation Day, Friday April 11, 2014.  The poster session is open to the public and many include interviews to be posted on social media.  No confidential information should be included on the poster. To ensure intellectual property in your work is protected, an electronic editable version, e.g. PowerPoint, of your poster must be submitted to by Friday, April 4 for review and notification of approval or need for revisions.