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How It Works

Connected Future Innovation Challenge: an innovation challenge for you to not only show off your design prowess using Autodesk software, but to take that innovative, new idea – an idea with market potential – and gather the support, mentorship, and recognition to one day make it a reality.

Consider designing products such as (but not limited to) wearables, health devices, home goods, lifestyle products, or energy sensors; products that provide data or information, have sensors for optimal use, or connect to another device. Be creative and innovative, that’s the challenge!

Joining the Connected Future Innovation Challenge is easy:

  1. Create your Autodesk Design Competitions account.
  2. Download free* Autodesk software.
  3. Use Autodesk software to design a connected consumer product that connects with another device or streams data to a platform that can be used to gain insight, take action, or manipulate something (i.e. a connected device) in a positive way.
  4. Submit a “beauty shot” (using Autodesk software) of your design in .jpg or .png to be used in the submission Gallery.
  5. Upload a .pdf to be no more that 3 pages, 8.5 x 11 in size, to offer any additional design details, views, exploded elements, etc. you wish to provide.
  6. You will be prompted to complete the following sentence:
    In order to (insert your vision), our product will help (insert target audience)’s solve the problem of (insert user problem) by offering them (insert strategy/solution). Our product will be successful when (insert goal).
  7. Share your entry on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter using the hashtag #ConnectedFuture.

Submission guidelines

  • Each participant can submit only one entry.
  • Submissions will need to be innovative and inventive, suited to its purpose, practical, and creative. It needs to create a positive user experience, innovate on the idea of a connected device, and show off your design skills.
Examples of connected products: Nest, Edyn, Tesla Model S, Fitbit, Ringly, or home security systems, energy sensors, health care devices, or even broader appliances or electronics that connect to your phone, products that provide you data, or products that use sensors for optimal use, etc.


The competition is open to post-secondary students 18-24 years old in the 50 US States and District of Columbia.

You must meet all requirements set forth in the Official Rules for the Connected Future Innovation Challenge to participate.

Judging criteria

Submissions will be reviewed and evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation and inventiveness: Is this a new idea or approach, does it “push the envelope” and enhance the user’s experience (20%)
  • Suitability to purpose: Is the product useful and suited to serving its purpose well, providing a positive user experience (20%)
  • Implementable: Could this product be produced; is the design and process reasonably practical (20%)
  • Creativity: Degree to which the entry reflects cleverness and originality of thought that adds value (20%)
  • Software skills: Degree of skill demonstrated and quality of the file output submitted (20%)

Live AU Pitch Session will be judged based on the following parameters:

  • Innovation and inventiveness: Is this a new idea or approach, does it “push the envelope” and enhance the user’s experience (20%)
  • Suitability to purpose: Is the product useful and suited to serving its purpose well, providing a positive user experience (20%)
  • Creativity: Degree to which the entry reflects cleverness and originality of thought that adds value (20%)
  • Software skills: Degree of skill demonstrated through product pitch presentation (20%)
  • Overall Pitch Presentation: Was the pitch presentation informative, engaging, and professional (20%)

A rubric will be created for both the Online Submissions (finalist selection) and the Live AU Pitch Session (winner selection). In the case of a tie, the Presiding Judge’s score shall determine the winner. If a tie remains at that point, the entry that received the highest score in the category of Innovation and Inventiveness shall determine the winner.

Deadline and important dates

  • Competition close: October 30, 2015
  • Finalists announced: On or around November 4, 2015
  • Live Pitch Session and Winners announced: December 1-3, 2015 (during Autodesk University, Las Vegas)

Finalists & Mentor Process

Phase 1: Finalists will be announced, November 2015
Following the deadline 4 finalists will be selected and invited to enter Phase 2.

Phase 2: Mentorship, November 2015
The finalists will be offered 3-4 online mentoring sessions with an Autodesk mentor to develop and refine their product idea, design and pitch, as well as the opportunity to interact and network with experts at a professional level. Finalists will also receive 1:1 time with prominent incubator and start-up professionals to ask questions and solicit feedback. A Student Expert group will be available for technical advice and guidance for all finalists throughout the month.

Phase 3: Live Autodesk University Pitch Session, December 1-3, 2015
Each finalist will receive an Autodesk sponsored trip** to Autodesk University, Las Vegas to participate in the Live AU Pitch Session where a winner will be announced. Each finalist will pitch their final design and product concept live, in front of a distinguished panel of judges and an audience of Autodesk’s corporate customers. Finalists will also be able to attend sessions throughout the week at Autodesk University experiencing the full conference, networking, and participating in AU activities.


In order to participate in the “Connected Future” innovation challenge, it is necessary to accept the Autodesk Design Competition's Terms of Use as well as the “Connected Future” innovation challenge Official Rules.

These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Submissions must be entirely the original work of the participant and must not have been previously published or exhibited.
  • Only entries designed using an Autodesk® software are eligible for consideration in this competition. To download free* software, as a student, go to
  • All participants must provide personal information that is true and correct.
  • Participants must be between 18 and 24 years of age at the time of entry submission.
  • Participants must be legal residents of the United States of America.
  • Autodesk reserves the right to exclude submissions at their sole discretion.

In addition to the rules above, the following specific competition rules apply:

  • The .jpeg or .png design file you submit will be posted on the competition homepage and will be visible to all visitors to the site. By submitting your .jpeg or .png design file, you agree to let the competition organizer publish the design on the official competition site.
  • One competition entry (maximum) per participant will be accepted.
  • Submissions with libelous or otherwise unlawful, abusive, or obscene material as determined in Autodesk’s sole discretion will be automatically disqualified and deleted from the website gallery.
  • All participation in the competition must be individual.
  • By submitting a design, you agree to let Autodesk use your content on Autodesk websites for promotional or other purposes.
  • The judges reserve the right to choose the winners at their sole discretion. The jury also reserves the right to choose fewer than the specified number of finalists/winners if, in the jury’s sole discretion, an insufficient number of eligible and/or qualified entries are received.
  • Incomplete and/or inaccurate entries, as well as entries not complying with all rules, are subject to disqualification.
  • Autodesk reserves the right to change these terms at any time.

*Free Autodesk software, cloud-based services and apps are subject to acceptance of and compliance with the terms and conditions of the license agreement or terms of service that accompany such software, cloud-based service, or app.

**Autodesk to provide travel, accommodations, and Autodesk University pass

Autodesk and the Autodesk logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. © 2014 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.