WPI students have many opportunities to test their ideas in competitions designed to strengthen their skills, introduce them to the wider innovation community, and gain essential funding. WPI's awards and competitions are excellent practice for fine-tuning ideas and pitches and are valuable activities for innovators and entrepreneurs.

​Kalenian Award

The annual Kalenian Award honors innovation and entrepreneurship at WPI.  Established in 2006 in memory of Aram Kalenian, the award provides seed funds to support and advance the ideas and inventiveness of WPI students, faculty, and alumni(ae).

Strage Innovation Award

The Strage Innovation Award is given to a student or team based on the merits of their new venture, whether it includes commercial, social, or philanthropic proposals. Students apply for this award and their proposals are eventually evaluated by a judging panel.

Graduate Research Innovation Exchange (GRIE)

The Graduate Research Innovation Exchange (GRIE) competition is an annual campus-wide celebration of graduate research. Students present their research to the community with a poster presentation in early spring. Finalists are selected to present at the poster finals later in the spring where they compete for cash prizes. GRIE is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Robert H. Grant Invention Awards

The Robert H. Grant Invention Awards are course-based project competitions. In courses where the curricular elements could lead to inventive outcomes, faculty may elect to host an Invention Awards competition to encourage and foster students' entrepreneurial spirit. Students present proposals, and entrepreneur alumni often act as members of judging teams that help students with advice and relevant questions for their proposals. The prize is $1500 per course.

Robert H. Grant '42 and his wife Barbara believed in keeping the spirit of entrepreneurship alive at WPI through a special endowment that continues to fund these annual awards. Faculty members who wish to host the Robert H. Grant Invention Awards competition will work with the I&E team to determine judging criteria and to bring in judges with targeted industry experience. Judging decisions are final. Contact Gina Betti for more information.    

Read about Grant Invention Award winners in courses from 2014, 2015 (ME, ECE, Manufacturing), and 2016.

Elevator Pitch Competition

WPI hosts “Elevator Pitch Competitions” in which competitors learn how to succinctly sum up a business plan or idea to a potential partner, funder, or an interested party. A good elevator pitch can help you in a career fair or job interview or even at a social event where you can sum up your interests and projects in an enlightening and engaging manner.