The Innovation Challenge is a program dedicated to teaching students which utilizes the LeanLaunchpad methodology to conduct customer discovery interviews. The goal is to provide students with real world, hands-on learning experiences and to successfully transfer their knowledge into creating products and services that benefits society. This program also teaches students how to conduct Customer Discovery interviews and how to present their findings in a professional manner.

Throughout the program, students are expected to brainstorm challenges for various topics, which includes Biological & Chemical Sciences, Energy & Clean Tech, FinTech, Health & Wellness, Food Science & Nutrition, Education, Social Entrepreneurship, Math & Computer Science, Engineering (Chemical, Mechanical, Civil, etc.), Art, Design & Fashion, Environment & Sustainability , Tourism & Hospitality, and Robotics and Internet of Things (IoT). They will use their challenges to create a feasible product and try to understand the market that they are trying to attract. Thus, furthering their understanding of entrepreneurship.

Program Dates

Fall 2018:

  • Workshop #1 – October 12, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Workshop #2 – October 19, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Workshop #3 – October 26, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Pre-Finale Workshop – November 9, 2018
  • Final Presentations – November 16, 2018

All workshops will take place at the CUNY Central Office (555 West 57th Street)


  • Teams must include a currently matriculated CUNY student (any level/major), faculty, or CUNY alumni
  • Students must be able to dedicate 5-10 hours a week for the program; including time for 3 workshops and completing at least 15 customer interviews by the final event.