Startup UCLA’s Bruin Impact Challenge

Have an idea to improve the world?  We want to hear it! 

The inaugural Bruin Impact Challenge invites students to cultivate early-stage ideas that drive positive social and environmental impact. During the fall and winter quarters, students will move through three selection rounds, including a final pitch showcase. Apply to get resources, networking opportunities, and a chance to win from a prize pool of $10,000. Just for IDEAS!

✍   Process

  • Round One – Applications: Apply to determine your eligibility and choose one of four tracks that best describes your idea. Use the “Enter Now” button on the top of this page to submit your application.
  • Round Two – Proposals: Submit a project proposal with more details about your idea, including predetermined criteria given to participants in round one. A team of judges will select finalists from each track to continue on to the final round.
  • Round Three – Pitches: Pitch your idea to a live audience and judges. Winners will be selected to receive recognition and cash prizes.

🛤   Tracks

  • Social Ventures (non-profit organizations, non-profit or for-profit social enterprises)
  • Arts & Media (art installations, media productions, musical creations, etc.)
  • Advocacy & Organizing (values campaigns, policy engagement events, community convenings, etc.)
  • Strategic Giving (fundraising initiatives, volunteer programs, skilled giving events, etc.)

✅   Eligibility

  • Open to all currently enrolled UCLA undergraduate or graduate students.
  • Non-students are allowed to join as team members with at least one qualifying UCLA student.
  • Submissions must be an early-stage idea (not developed prior to 9/1/21) that will produce a measurable positive impact.
  • Each student or team must meet with a Startup UCLA Venture Consultant.
  • Each UCLA student must have a Startup Tree profile to participate.

📚  Resources 

All participants who move into round two will be eligible to attend a series of workshops and events to connect with like-minded peers, get support building a sound proposal, and learn the critical elements for building social impact projects. Participants moving into round three will be invited to mentor and peer review sessions, pitch workshop and practice, and the final pitch showcase.

📆  Key Dates & Deadlines

  • Monday, Oct 4: Application Opens
  • Friday, Oct 22: Applications Close (11:59 pm PST)
  • Tuesday, Oct 26 Acceptance emails sent
  • Monday, Nov 1: Challenge Kick-off Event
  • Nov 8, 15, 29: Workshops
  • Sunday, Dec 5: Proposals Due
  • Friday, Dec 17 Proposal Selections/Finalists Announced
  • Jan/Feb: Workshops & Review Sessions for Finalists
  • Mar: Bruin Impact Challenge Pitch Showcase
  • Mar: Winners Announced

💸  Prizes

Cash prizes totaling up to $10,000 will be awarded after the pitch showcase to help winning teams propel their solutions further. Certain restrictions may apply.

Use the “Enter Now” button on the top of this page to submit your application. Questions? Join the Virtual Info Session on Oct. 12 or email

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