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Engineering + Business + Design = Creator Challenge Series

The Creator Challenge Series is an initiative inspired and propelled by the growing interest in entrepreneurship and technology at UC Davis.

In just over a week, you will experience the full life cycle of an idea. This year, our goal is to create 'A Brighter Future', focusing on our UC Davis initiatives of OneHealth and Sustainability. Connect with cofounders, mentors, and leading companies to grow your idea into a full-fledged venture using state-of-the-art technology. Your entrepreneurial community awaits.


IDEATHON - April 28, 2018

Bring an open mind and your best ideas to officially kick off the 2018 Creator Challenge Series with the Ideathon!


ARC Ballrooms


The Student Startup Center is be partnering with InnovationMinds to bring you a series of workshops featuring today’s coolest gadgets and technologies. You’ll get to play with the tech, meet successful entrepreneurs, and exchange ideas with other students! Come to get inspired and find potential teammates for the Create-a-thon!


Register for the Creator Challenge Series online here! Application will open March 1, 2018.

  • Virtual Reality
  • 3D Printing
  • Electronic Prototyping using Joule/Arduino/Raspberry Pi Boards
  • Drones
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Wearable Technology
  • Gesture Control
  • Augmented Reality
  • Internet of Things
  • Ubiquitous Control (Google Glass)

CREATE-A-THON - May 4 - 5, 2018


Kemper Hall


The Create-a-thon is focused on bringing together students of all majors to channel their inner entrepreneur and create something spectacular with their team member. There will also be industry professionals attending as mentors and judges to help you.


Participants at the Create-a-thon will have 24 hours to build their futuristic product using any of the technologies we have to offer. Then, the teams get their chance to impress the judges who will be scoring the projects and awarding prizes. The top projects from the Create-a-thon will have the opportunity to participate in the final event, the Sharkathon, to pitch their project to potential investors. Think of it as a mix between a hackathon and a startup weekend. Exciting right?


This series was developed by the Student Startup Center with the support of the College of Engineering and the State of California through Assembly Bill 2664, in response to the growing interest in innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology at UC Davis.


Start by thinking about what problem you'd like to solve in today's world. What are some problems that you face on a daily basis? Some problems that you hear about from your family, friends, or the news? Think outside the box and be creative


Register for the Creator Challenge Series online here! Application will open March 1, 2018.


Feel free to check our FAQ, email us at, or stop by the Student Startup Center where one of our student managers would be happy to help you out.



RUNNERS UP (2 TEAMS) = $500 each



What is the UC Davis Creator Challenge Series?

The UC Davis Creator Challenge Series is an initiative to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship on campus. The Student Startup Center is kicking off this series with the Ideathon where students will be able to play with emerging technologies while thinking of ways these can be incorporated into everyday lifestyles.

What is the CREATE-A-THON?

The Create-a-thon is a 24-hour mix between a hackathon and a startup weekend, where students work-around-the clock creative blitz during which students, mentors, and companies work together to engage in a collaborative project. Leading up to this event you will get to play with and learn more about the latest emerging technologies and brainstorm ideas geared towards transforming the ways in which humans utilize technology in their everyday lives.

Who can attend?  Do I have to be a tech expert?

All of our events are open to all majors. We welcome all of our computer scientists, designers, engineers, and innovators to collaborate on their ideas. We will be holding workshops leading up to and at the Create-a-thon, which will help you get more familiar with the technology and help you meet other students for your team.

You don’t have to have any prior experience. We will be holding several workshops leading up to the Create-a-thon which will help you get more hands-on experience with the available technology.

What can I build?
The sky’s the limit! We will provide you ample technology and workshops; however, the ways in which you use these technologies for your idea in the overall theme of the Create-a-thon is up to you.

What do I bring?
We will be providing students with food, caffeine, wifi, swag, a workplace and technology to borrow for your ideas. We recommend bringing a laptop, charger and comfy clothes with you.

What if I don’t have a team or idea?

Don’t worry we have plenty of opportunities for you to meet others and form teams up until the Create-a-thon. Teams will be limited to 5 people.

How much does it cost?

All events are free.

Are there prizes?
Yes! Our sponsors will be providing some exciting prizes for teams that best utilize sponsor technology.

How do projects get judged?

The first round of judging will take place Saturday following the end of the competition. A judge (who may be another sponsor, conference speaker, investor, or expert) will visit your table and hear your 2-minute product pitch. Projects will mainly be judged on (1) How well your solution uses the available technology (2) Progress on the solution and (3) Communication of the idea

Top teams will advance to the second round of judging which will take place on Sunday at the Sharkathon. Here teams will have the opportunity to present their ideas in front of a panel who will judge the viability of your solution as a future start-up company.

Who owns the technology that the teams produce?

All intellectual property for the technology will belong solely to the teams.



The Creator Challenge Series is proudly sponsored by:

Program funding for the Creator Challenge Series is also provided by the State of California through Assembly Bill 2664: University of California Innovation and Entrepreneurship Expansion. To become a sponsor, you can find more information here: Sponsorship Information Packet


The Creator Challenge Series is an initiative inspired and propelled by the growing interest in entrepreneurship and technology at UC Davis. Today's engineers, designers, and computer scientists will become tomorrow's leaders in innovation and we are here to give them the tools and opportunities necessary to solidify their visions and make them competitive players in the industry. The ESSC's vision is to bring together students, mentors, and leading companies to create smarter lifestyles.


For the last two years, Liz has run operations of a rapidly growing technology consulting firm. Prior to that, she co-owned and operated a granite countertop company in Northern Virginia. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

hemali patel, Lead Project Manager

Hemali Patel is finishing off her fourth year at UC Davis with a degree in Managerial Economics and minors in Professional Writing and Technology Management. Working at the Student Startup Center combines two of her passions: event planning and business, allowing her to work with future startups by organizing an opportunity for them to build and work on their product/prototype. Aside from her work at the Student Startup Center, she is the President of the Indian Student Association of UC Davis and the previous Academic Affairs Commission Chair of ASUCD.

Tanvir Kaur, Assistant Project Manager

Tanvir is a second year Chemical Engineering student at UC Davis. She was an intern for the Creator Challenge Series in the spring quarter of her freshman year and has returned to the Student Startup Center this year as the Social Media Manager and Intern Lead for the Creator Challenge Series.

The Series is also made possible with the help of these students:
  • Abdullah Faiyaz
  • Ana Ignatescu
  • Anthony Alvarez
  • Austin Gonzalez
  • Jenna Rutledge
  • Kimmiko James
  • Mahima Rupakula
  • Megan Wang
  • Monisha Ravindar
  • Nishtha Asija
  • Sabrina Way
  • Sanjana Srinivas
  • Shail Trivedi
  • Shreya Dittakavi