The Sponsored Challenges focuses on team building and ideation and sets the stage for a year of innovation and entrepreneurship.  

Sponsored Challenges are designed as cross-campus collaborations. They are where students from all disciplines come together and use their combined knowledge to come up with unique solutions to pressing and urgent problems...and have fun in the process! Students work to solve business problems in areas such as Engineering, Health, Education, Sustainability, and the Arts.  The best solutions win prize money, and the experience helps all students develop crucial skills in entrepreneurial thinking.

Announcing the Fall 2021 Sponsored Challenges

We are pleased to work with the Craig M Berge Engineering Design Program and Mister Car Wash to offer two challenges this fall semester. REGISTER as a student participant by October 18, 2021. Challenges will run from October 18 – December 4, 2021 (See timeline below)


Register here!


Challenge problems are identified by a participating sponsor.  This ensures that students gain experience addressing real problems and designing solutions that can be developed beyond the eight-week challenge.  This Fall we have two problems identified:

  • Honest Wildcat - One of the challenges facing students and faculty in a remote, or online learning environment is the assurance of academic integrity. For most students this isn’t an issue, but these are stressful times and remote learning can present opportunities where academic integrity can become compromised. There must be a better way!  The Honest Wildcat challenge seeks innovative approaches to ensuring academic integrity.  Help the Craig M Berge Engineering Design Program find a way to ensure academic integrity in various modes of testing.
  • Mister Car Wash Freshwater Reduction Challenge - Many companies today are struggling to build a framework around ESG (environment, social and governance) metrics as the world shifts from corporate social responsibility to thinking about a sustainable future. Additionally, the investor community is using ESG narratives and measurements to ensure that they are investing in companies that are thinking beyond short-term gains and building a business that considers the resources used and how to protect them for future generations.   Students will partner with Mister Car Wash to work on one of their key ESG initiatives – Freshwater Reduction.  Students will work in cross-functional teams to deliver a solution to understanding current data on freshwater usage and propose a solution for consistent and verified data capture. 


Student Registration

Students register using a simple online form by Monday, October 18th.  Students must register as individuals and once the challenge begins will form teams of 2-4 students per team to develop solutions to the identified problem.  Currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students from any major or academic program, recent graduates from within the past year, and Pima County Community College students planning to transfer to the University of Arizona are eligible to participate.  We will work with students to assist with team formation and ensure an interdisciplinary composition.

To request disability-related accommodations that would ensure your full participation in this event, please contact: Paul Valdez at


The Sponsored Challenges will run from October 18 – December 4.  A list of key dates and milestones is below:

  • October 18 - Registration Deadline
  • October 18, 6-7:30 pm, Challenge Kickoff
  • October 22 – Finalize teams and pledge a specific problem to develop a solution.
  • October 22 – 29 – Teams research problem in more depth with assistance from subject matter experts.
  • November 3 – Submit first draft of solution
  • November 3 – November 20 – Continue to research, ideate, and refine solution.  
  • November 20 – December 3 – Pitch preparation with team. 
  • December 4 – Showcase Event where each team pitches their solution to a team of judges and competes for prizes. 


Reasons to Participate

  • Meet other students and get connected to amazing mentors
  • Gain experience working with a team
  • Develop skills in problem analysis and problem solving
  • Build confidence in designing and communicating solutions
  • Acquire knowledge and skills to make you competitive for internships, jobs, and career opportunities
  • Compete to win prize money
  • Develop the next great idea!

Register here!


Contact  or 520-621-4597


Sign up for our newsletter to find out when new ones are announced, or check out the winners from our old challenges to get inspired!


Learn about past challenges