Stay tuned for StartUp 2020!

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What is StartUp?

SCAD StartUp is a yearly event hosted by FLUX - the UX club in collaboration with SCAD+.

Students are challenged to come up with a product or service concept based on a theme, and are given a toolkit of product design and service design sources to utilize. Each teams final deliverables are presented in the form of a slide deck which they present to a panel of judges that serve as mock investors.

6 Judges

Students will present to a panel of judges from a variety of influencial companies at the final pitch. Judges will offer critique and guidance on their projects.
See who the judges are here

30+ Mentors

Throughout the week mentors from within and outside of SCAD will be available for guidance on business ideas and design direction.
See who the mentors are here

1 Week

7 days. 168 hours to work collaboratively as a team and create their own solution to the challenge presented at the kickoff.


Creating a home

What is “home”? The concept can change based on who you talk to. For some, it’s where they grew up, and for others, it’s the friends they met after moving away. No matter who you are, we all have a home, but what does “home” mean to you? And what does it look like? Show us how your solution can create a home.

Previous themes

2018 - Work / Life Balance
2017 - Morning Routine
2016 - End of Life Experience

Got any questions?

What Is SCAD StartUp?

You know when you get unshakeable ideas that basically prove your genius? Well, this is a week-long design sprint where you get to flesh them out with up to four other friends and pitch it to a group of mock-investors at the end. Similar to Shark Tank, just not on TV.

Can I Participate?

To participate in this startup event, you must be a SCAD student. All undergraduate and graduate students are invited to join the party. Any year, any major.

How are teams set up?

You’re more than welcome to plan your team ahead of time. Teams must be 2-5 people, and must represent a minimum of two majors.

What if I don't have a team?

No worries, you don’t need to have a team before coming to the Kickoff event. You’ll be able to meet new people at StartUp Sessions following the Kickoff, and we’ll help you find fellow geniuses to work with. Just make sure to notify us on the registration form.

And if I'm crowned champion?

If your team takes the first place crown, your group will win $2,000. Second place, $1,000. And in third place, $500. For all winners, you’ll receive extra merch, total bragging rights, and other cool stuff. And most importantly, you’ll walk out with something badass to put on your resume & portfolio.

Ok, and I forgot to RSVP?

There’s still a chance. If people who RSVP’d don’t show up, a standby line will open at 12:30pm outside of the SCAD Museum of Art on the day of the kickoff. Once registration ends at 12:45, we’ll start letting people in, first-come first-served. So come early.

How much do I have to pay for this?

It's completely free.

Am I even qualified?

Yes you are! Leave your resume at home. We know you’ve got skill.

What do I bring to the Kickoff Event and StartUp Sessions?

1. Proof you go here. A student ID will do.
2. Laptop & phone.
3. Chargers. Duh.
4. Stuff that helps you design.
5. Hunger to shake things up.

Event Schedule

Throughout the week, we'll be offering a variety of workshops to enhance student's skills and provide opportunities with industry professionals.

Scheduled times may change.

Saturday, February 9th

StartUp Kickoff Event

12:30pm - 2:00pm • SCAD Museum of Art

Come join us to hear an in-depth breakdown of StartUp 2019, including the mentors that will be available throughout the week, the judges who you’ll be pitching to, and hear from past winners.

Saturday, February 9th

StartUp Sessions

2:00pm - 5:00pm • SCAD Museum of Art

Sessions will provide a variety of skills for students to prepare for the week and meet with mentors from industry professionals.

Wednesday, February 13th

Midpoint Review

5:00pm - 10:00pm • Ruskin Hall

Midweek check in for teams to get quick reviews of their projects from SCAD professors, mentors, and local industry professionals.

Thursday, February 14th

StartUp - Alumni Founder Panel

(Open to ALL SCAD Students)

5:00pm - 6:30pm • Ruskin Hall Room 205

A conversation with successful alumni founders on the realities of what it’s like to start and grow a business.

Friday, February 15th

Mentor Madness

10:00am - 1:00pm • Ruskin Hall

One day before the final critique students will have an additional opportunity for project advice and direction from industry professionals.

Saturday, February 16th

StartUp Project Pitch

9:00am- 12:00pm • Ruskin Hall

You'll have five minutes to present your StartUp to industry professional judges.

Saturday, February 16th

StartUp Celebration

1:30pm - 4:00pm • O House Ballroom

Come see everyones final business ideas and see the top presentations from the day. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 teams.

StartUp Sessions

Sessions provided a variety of skills for students to prepare for the week.
7 Workshops were offered, and you can view the slide deck for each workshop below.


Throughout the week, students will be working toward creating products and services based off their business idea. Below are the deliverables required for the final pitch presentations.

Digital Slidedeck

Students will create a slideshow presentation to explain their idea and are of impact that their new product will have. Make sure there's a clear problem and solution statement, as well as a completed business model canvas.

Business Model

Teams will create a business model to explain how their company will make an impact and generate revenue. Download the business model template here.

Visual Prototype

Students need to provide an example of their concept through a prototype that they can show the judges, either in digital or physical form.


Anything such as posters, vision video, clothing, etc. in addition to the required above 3 deliverables are encouraged! Find what fits your passion and skills set to incorporate it into your teams final presentation. This is your chance to "wow" the judges, so give us what you've got.

Judges / Criteria

Our Judges are VIPs with founder experience who will provide feedback to all teams throughout the Final Pitch and select the winners to be featured and awarded during the StartUp Celebration on Saturday, February 16th. Your team will have an opportunity to present your StartUp solution to judges.

Judging Criteria

Problem / Solution Fit

How viable is the concept in terms of feasibility, idea development, and time?
Does it target a real user need?
Does it successfully address the theme?

Unique Experience

Is it a quality design visually?
Does the product feel natural and intuitive?
Is there appropriate context and branding?

Compelling Narrative

How compelling and powerful is the presentation?
How effective is the storytelling?
Does each major and team member have a strong voice and impact?

Wow Factor

How novel and unique is the idea?
Does a similar product already exist in the world today?
How will you go above and beyond in your presentation? (posters, handouts, physical prototypes, etc)?

StartUp Rules:

You must agree to the rules, regulations, and expectations of etiquette for StartUp 2019. You'll agree to allow the StartUp Team to thoroughly review your final deliverables and process work to ensure honesty, integrity, and the absence of Intellectual property violations. You admit that all work produced is completely, and solely the product of your team unless explicitly stated in a written agreement from the Startup Team. Cheating is not allowed in any way shape or form.

Any projects / solutions created for class, work or personal use, currently or previously, are ineligible for use in StartUp 2019.

Any work, to any degree, created by a student outside of the team will result in disqualification.

Any projects or concepts created for Global Game Jam are ineligible for submission.

Contact US

Have any questions? We'll get back to you ASAP.

Event Photos