Innovate GC logo with a red door opening.

Innovate GC Challenge

Feb. 23 – Mar. 2, 2024

A team presents before the panel of judges and others in the audience.

What is Innovate GC?

Are you passionate about solving social justice issues, and do you want to collaborate with other students who share your passion? Come to Innovate GC to learn, build, and share a product that can help alleviate a social justice issue. Innovate GC offers networking opportunities, mentors to help you focus your solution, and cool prizes for the top three teams!

Innovate GC 2024 is a week-long innovation challenge sponsored by Grinnell College’s Wilson Center for Innovation and Leadership. Participating teams of 3-5 students will be tackling one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Coaching opportunities provide feedback and advice from an excellent line-up of experts. Teams will develop a minimum viable product or prototype which addresses the goal and pitch their idea to a panel of judges for a chance to win cash prizes.


The 2024 themes are revealed on February 19, a few days before Innovate GC kicks off! Two of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals will be chosen by event organizers for this year’s Innovate GC themes, and products must address one of the chosen goals to be considered for Innovate GC’s top prizes. This year’s themes are #5 Gender Equality and #11 Sustainable Cities. Check out the targets and links on the goal pages to help generate product ideas.

Four students in matching white shirts present in front of a screen with "1 out of 4 women" illustrated.

Who can participate?

Innovate GC is open to Grinnell College students, any major and any year, who want to work in a team to solve a problem.

Why participate?

  • Explore entrepreneurship
  • Flex your creativity to improve society
  • Build your network
  • Learn from professionals
  • Practice new skills

Sign up to attend the keynote/kick-off dinner, then stay for the team formation activities if you want to participate in the Innovate GC Challenge!

Cash Prizes

  • 1st place team: $500 per member
  • 2nd place team: $300 per member
  • 3rd place team: $150 per member
A winning team of four students with the Wilson Center director and one of the judges presenting the award.

Organizers and sponsors

Innovate GC is sponsored by Grinnell College’s Wilson Center for Innovation and Leadership.

2024 Event Organizers are Nifemi Ogunmesa [ogunmesa], Dayana Garcia [garciada], and Stephanie Peterson [petersos].

Wilson Center logo