The Innovation Competition is an international pitch competition for teams that seek funding and mentorship in kickstarting their high-potential start ups. This past year, the Innovation Competition hosted 120+ attendees, of which 90% were female, from 28 universities.

What to Expect 

The Innovation Competition begins at 9 AM with breakfast and registration. Throughout the day, you will hear from our accomplished Keynote speaker, and complete three innovative workshops. You will also hear pitches from each of our six semi-finalists. New to this year, we will be offering exclusive networking events at this year's competition.


October 3: Application for Competitors Due

October 12: Finalists Announced

October 27: 10th Annual Innovation Competition

Figures At a Glance

100+ attendees | 90% female

28+ universities from around the world | $7,000+ in prize money



2018 Leaders, Judges, and Mentors

Esosa Ighodaro Bio.jpg

Keynote Speaker: Esosa Ighodaro

Esosa Ighodaro is the Co-Founder and President of COSIGN. COSIGN is a tech platform that allows brands to create, distribute, and monetize visual content through social media influencers and brand advocates.  Her role heading up marketing and growth has resulted in a partnership with multinational brands, and features in ELLE, Forbes, NBC, The Huffington Post, USA Today, and many more. Her achievements at COSIGN led to several awards, including Top 20 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017 by CIO, Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch by Paste Magazine, and one of the 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017 by Entrepreneur Magazine.

Prior to her role a COSIGN, Esosa spent over 6 years honing her marketing and financial expertise at some of the world's most respected financial institutions, including J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bear Stearns. During her time at Citigroup's Global Consumer Group, she served as project lead on the retail strategy program and led the development and implementation of various projects for the US Retail Bank including the ‘Our Promise’ initiative.

She is also Co-Founder of Black Women Talk Tech (BWTT), an organization that aims to help black women build the next billion dollar companies. Their 1st conference for black women tech founders in February 2017 took place at Google's NY headquarters and garnered 300 requests to attend for 30 seats and 50 investors.

Esosa graduated with a bachelor of science in finance from the Fox School of Business at Temple University. She now lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Workshop Leaders






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