100-hour Challenge: FAQs
What is the 100-hour Challenge?
This is a contest that challenges your inventiveness, resourcefulness and creativity! Create and pitch a valuable, innovative or socially beneficial product or service using materials from UW SWAP (Surplus with a Purpose). Think like an entrepreneur and keep in mind the three elements of entrepreneurship: having an idea, taking action and creating value. To succeed in this Challenge, test assumptions, seize opportunities and be creative.
UW SWAP (Surplus with a Purpose) is a campus unit that sells surplus university equipment, ranging from athletic gear to lab equipment. See the SWAP web site for more information, including a sampling of their inventory.
So, what does SWAP have to do with the contest?
Recycling/reusing is key to saving resources. As part of the challenge, you’re required to use an item from UW SWAP and design/build/create something — anything! It could be a functional object, a work of art, a system or process — you’re only limited by your creativity.
Sounds cool! How do I enter the contest?
No pre-registration is required. Simply participate in the Challenge (see details below) and you'll register online when you submit your final entry at the end of the Challenge. Please note, you must be an enrolled UW–Madison student, or an enrolled student at an accredited two- or four-year institution in Wisconsin.
Do I have to enter the competition by myself?
No, you can enter as a team. However, a team captain must register as a team, and s/he must list all team members at that time.
How do I get the SWAP item?
The Challenge will hold a special SWAP sale in the Main Lounge of Sellery Hall (B20) on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 from 9am to 6pm. At this sale, we’ll provide you with a voucher worth $15 that can be used to purchase SWAP items.
What can I purchase with my voucher?
Any item at SWAP with a value of $15 or less.
Can I purchase multiple items?
Yes, as long as the total value of all SWAP items purchased does not exceed $15.
Can a friend and I combine our vouchers?
No. Only one voucher may be used per purchase, and only one voucher per team.
But, can a friend and I purchase items separately with separate vouchers and still combine the items to make our entry?
No. Only one voucher purchase may be used per entry, and only one voucher per team.
OK — how about if I purchase my item with my $15 voucher, and then use my own money to purchase additional SWAP items, and use all the items in my entry?
No. The value of the SWAP items used in the entry must not exceed $15.
Can I use any additional materials in my entry besides the SWAP item?
Yes. But the SWAP item must be used as the main component of your entry.
Once I have my SWAP item, then what do I do?
You have 100 hours during the Challenge (9am Wednesday, February 22 to 1pm Sunday, February 26) to create something of value, using your SWAP item, and tell us about it by making a digital photo set, video, or other electronic communication posted on a publicly accessible web site (such as YouTube, Flickr or your personal web site). Use your creativity both when building your invention and when pitching it! See our Technical Requirements and Contest Rules for specifics. You must also answer three brief questions about your entry, found on the entry submission form.
Tools available at Sector67!
Contestants will be able to work on their entries at Sector67, a “hacker” space equipped for work on hardware, software, electronics, art, sewing, pottery, glass, metalwork, iPhones/Android apps, games, etc. Sector67 will have staff on hand to assist contestants in using equipment. Staff are there for contestant safety and productivity, but will not consult or advise contestants on entries.
How long can my video be? How many photos do you need?
We want you to tell your story concisely. Videos should run approximately 3 minutes, and photos should number 6 or fewer. See our Technical Requirements and Contest Rules for specifics. The judges and audience will make their selections based solely on the content of your online presentation, so in addition to being informative, make it compelling and/or creative!
Where and how do I submit my entry?
Once you have posted your project on a publicly accessible web site, fill out the online entry form (available at this site starting at 9am Wednesday, February 22) telling us who you are, the title of your entry and the URL where others can view your project. It must be a public web site; entries using private or password-protected sites, or URLs using the
https:// prefix, will not be accepted. We regret that we are unable to provide technical support for submissions. It’s important that your link works, so please check your URL carefully! Also, be mindful of copyright regulations and make sure your post won’t be blocked or disabled by the host site you use.
How long do I have to create my masterpiece and submit an entry?
The challenge is 100 hours long, and the clock starts ticking at 9am on Wednesday, February 22. All entries must be submitted via the online entry registration form by 1pm on Sunday, February 26.
What happens next?
All entries will be posted on the 100-hour Challenge site for public viewing. In addition, they will be reviewed by a panel of UW–Madison judges, and three winners will be selected: most creative, most potential revenue value (money) created, and most social value created. A “People's Choice” prize of $100 will be awarded to the entry that is voted the most popular between 12pm on Thursday, March 1 and 12pm on Saturday, March 3 (a 48-hour viewing window).
How will the judges choose the winners?
For winners in all three categories, the judges will consider the following factors in selecting winners:
- Does the entry clearly indicate what problem it seeks to solve or what need it seeks to address?
- Does the entry clearly show how it solves the problem or meets the need described above?
- Does the entry make a compelling case that the solution has value (business/market value, social value, or artistic value)?
Entries that provide short, concise answers to these questions will be rated more highly than entries containing lengthy explanations.
So this “people’s choice” award… can I tell my friends to look at my entry?
When will I know whether I have won?
Winners will be announced on Saturday, March 3, 2012.
New for 2012!
Showcase and Awards Reception
Show off your creation, network with other inventors, and find out who the four winners of the 100-Hour Challenge prizes are at the Wiscontrepreneur 100-Hour Challenge Showcase and Awards Reception, first-ever events to be held Saturday, March 3 in the Entrepreneurs’ Resource Clinic at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. The Showcase will be one of the features of "Saturday Science", a free public event featuring science education and exploration programs for families and learners of all ages (average attendance of 500). Inspire the next generation of inventors, and let your creation serve as an eco-friendly model for how old items can be repurposed! All participants are invited to register online by noon on February 28, 2012 to reserve space to showcase your creation. The public and press will be invited to attend the Showcase; invite your friends to check out your invention live and in-person! Following the Showcase, cake and punch will be served at the Awards Reception. Participation in these events is voluntary and is not required to win a prize.