Guidelines and Regulations

All competitors are required to abide by the following rules.

Please contact with any questions or concerns

  1. You must be a University of Wisconsin - Madison student to compete in Transcend Madison.1,2 All majors are encouraged to apply. Collaboration among students from different colleges is strongly encouraged and will create a competitive advantage.
  2. All participants must submit an initial registration by the deadline: 11:59pm, January 31st.
  3. Once your application has been approved, final submissions must be completed by 4:00pm on March 13th, 2017. This deadline is subject to change. Submission details will be available shortly and provided to you individually upon approval.
  4. All you need is an idea to compete.
  5. However, final submissions will be evaluated based on five main criteria:
    • Idea—novelty, creativity, importance
    • Prototype3—implementing your idea in the real world
    • Business Model—how your idea fits a market (product-market fit). Keys to promoting your idea as a business: customer segment, value proposition, channels, cost structure, etc. See this video for a great place to start
    • Execution—the most important factor. Hustle, effort, and taking the meaningful steps to grow an idea are all crucial
    • Pitch—sell us on your idea. There is an award for Fan Favorite!
  6. Teams may include up to 5 participants.4
  7. After final submissions are made, all group members are required to attend their assigned pitch time-slot. It is also highly encouraged that at least one member remain at your team’s booth for the entirety of the competition to engage with attendees interested in your idea.
  8. Students may submit multiple entries.
  9. For those competing with class projects, all group members must have to option to compete together with said idea. Permission to compete with said idea must be a unanimous decision, regardless of if each individual member decides to compete.
  10. Pitches will be broken up into two days, March 29th and 30th. The pitching order is assigned based on availability and not by quality of submission. There will be two rounds of judging. In the first round, every team will present to the panel of judges. The judges will then deliberate and select teams for call backs. This is a chance for selected teams to refine their pitch and answer any remaining questions the judges may have before judges make their final decisions.

  1. Students graduating in the fall semester are still eligible to compete.
  2. All U.S. Citizens will be required to submit a W-9 form with their final application in the spring. All resident aliens and non-resident aliens will be asked to present their I-20, most recent I-94, Passport with photo and Homeland Security stamp, SEVIS, and W-8BEN (subject to change). These requirements allow you to receive your awards faster!
  3. Prototypes are not required. For those competing with prototypes, there will be designated times for demonstration. Prototypes do not need to be final or working prototypes. Prototypes simply display your effort to implement your idea in reality and demonstrate its feasibility. Prototypes do not need to be physical: mockups, renderings, CAD models, wireframes or 3D prints are all valid. Think minimum viable product first.
  4. Special exceptions may be made for in class projects to protect the intellectual contribution of group members. If you think this may be the case, please email

Download Final Submission PDF