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Prizes & Judges

Each finalists 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.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive $5,000 and the opportunity to interview for an elite internship with Autodesk during the summer of 2016.

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


A panel of judges from incubator, start-up or venture capital fields who have experience in innovation, product development, and launch will evaluate all finalist entries to determine the winners.

Daniel Armbrust

CEO and co-founder,
Silicon Catalyst

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Daniel Armbrust is CEO of Silicon Catalyst, the industry’s first incubator for semiconductor solutions startups. Silicon Catalyst is addressing the challenges faced by early stage start-ups progressing from concept to prototype by providing funding, mentoring and technical services from industry stakeholders. Silicon Catalyst is proud to have Synopsys, TSMC, Keysight, imec, Advantest, PDF Solutions and Autodesk as its founding partners. Silicon Catalyst’s initial location is in Silicon Valley and expects to collaborate with regional partners to support innovative semiconductor startups globally. Armbrust is responsible for recruiting strategic partners to invest and mentor a portfolio of innovative startups and develop them for further seed investment or acquisition.

He most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of SEMATECH from 2009 until April of 2014 and previously held various technical, management and executive positions for over 25 years at IBM.

Armbrust earned a bachelor’s degree in ceramic science and engineering from Pennsylvania State University as well as a master’s of science degree in manufacturing systems engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Kate Drane

Senior Director of Outreach,

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Kate Drane is Indiegogo’s Senior Director of Outreach for tech and hardware. She has led hundreds of companies, including Misfit Wearables, Jolla and Canonical, to secure funding on Indiegogo.

In addition to working at Indiegogo, Kate is the co-founder and CMO of The Can Van, the world’s first mobile beer canning service made to bring reasonably priced and environmentally friendly packaging options to California breweries. She met her co-founders while attending Presidio Graduate School, where she received her MBA in Sustainable Management.

Kate frequently speaks at events around the world including Engadget Expand, CES and TEDx.

Ian Foraker

Executive Director Western Division,
Cleantech Open

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Ian is the Executive Director of the Cleantech Open’s Western Division, which includes the Western Region (CA, NV, and HI) and the Pacific Northwest Region (OR, WA, ID, AK, and Western MT). In this role, Ian has focused on building the organizational capacity of the Western Division, including building a core staff and expanding team of over 50 volunteer leaders and partners located in the key Major Metro markets in the West: SF Bay Area, Southern CA, Reno/South Lake, Portland, and Seattle.

Ian has a keen interest in organizational systems and dynamics, and comes to his current role with varied academic and business experience. In business, Ian has worked for Arthur Andersen, Siemens, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, IBM, and Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

Ian completed his undergrad at Williams College, his MBA at New York University’s Stern School, and pursued doctoral studies both at the University of Mannheim, Germany, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Ian speaks German fluently, is an active member of his local swim team, and a proud father to his daughter, an emerging artist.

Kate McAndrews


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Kate McAndrew invests in early stage companies at Bolt and is the founder of the Women in Hardware initiative. Bolt is a venture capital fund designed to address the unique needs of startups at the intersection of hardware and software. Its portfolio companies receive support from a world-class team of engineers, access to cutting-edge prototyping shops, and help with manufacturing.

Kate’s passion for the hardware community led her to create Women in Hardware, which brings together female founders, engineers, investors, and manufacturers from the connected hardware space in San Francisco, Boston, and New York City.

Prior to joining Bolt, Kate invested in early stage digital health startups and built houses with habitat for humanity. Kate is a California native who resides in San Francisco with her husband and their pit bull rescue, Duncan. Follow Kate on twitter @katepmcandrew

*Additional terms and conditions apply. Please see the Official Rules for further information.

You are responsible for the payment of any taxes or other costs related to receiving, claiming, or collecting any prize. If you are under the legal age of majority (i.e., a minor) in your place of residence, you should discuss potential tax consequences with your parent or legal guardian prior to entering the competition. Read the Official Rules for additional details.

Contest participants must meet the age requirements set forth in the Official Rules for the competition.

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. © 2015 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.