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37 International Finalist Teams Will Compete in Conrad Challenge’s First-Ever Virtual Innovation Summit

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Challenge has innovated to take the Summit online for the first time, bringing together teams from nine nations

Houston, Texas – May 7, 2020 – The Conrad Challenge, a year-long annual event that inspires students to combine innovation and entrepreneurship to address some of the most pressing global challenges, recently announced that its Innovation Summit, the culminating event for finalist teams, will be held completely online for the first time. The 2020 Virtual Innovation Summit will take place from May 27-29 and will include 37 international finalist teams–who emerged from more than 600 teams that entered the Challenge in August 2019–from nine different countries. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the global landscape and prevented the Conrad Challenge from hosting its typical in-person Innovation Summit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, the Challenge is putting its core values into action by quickly innovating to find a solution. The Virtual Innovation Summit will be hosted on Hopin, a live online events platform, and will give each finalist team the opportunity to interact with a panel of expert judges who have reviewed their video power pitch, the culminating presentation of the team’s nine months of work. The judges will decide the award winners in each Challenge category. 

The event will also feature a variety of sessions available to all finalist teams, coaches, judges and partners, which are designed to give participants a full experience and reflect the social and learning opportunities provided at the annual in-person event. These include special opportunities with the Alumni Leadership Council (ALC), Cosmic Chats with event sponsors and the highly-anticipated award ceremony. In addition, the summit will feature breakout sessions for each category to host Q&A sessions with all of the finalist teams and the expert panel of judges. Each of these will be supported by Hopin’s features that enable attendees to learn, interact and connect with people from anywhere in the world.

“Our students–the Conrad Innovators–are global game-changers whose creativity is shaping the world of tomorrow. The COVID-19 pandemic is a significant world-wide threat that we are all facing together.  Because we cannot travel or be in the same physical space, the Conrad Challenge is following our own mission of innovation to solve this challenge. We are pivoting from our live event at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to our first-ever Virtual Innovation Summit. Our 2019-2020 finalists have worked so hard and developed an extraordinary portfolio of innovations,” said Nancy Conrad, founding chairman of the Conrad Foundation. “I am excited to meet the finalists and to spend time with them at our Virtual Innovation Summit at the end of May.”

Each Conrad Challenge team consists of 2-5 students between the ages of 13-18 who have innovated a new product in o