Calling Student Innovators! R&D Pitch Contest

Calling Student Innovators! R&D Pitch Contest
Shawnee Mission School District

A new opportunity is available to students as part of one of Shawnee Mission’s biggest showcases of the year.

This year's R&D Forum will feature a virtual Student Showcase and a live-streamed Pitch Finals competition at the Center for Academic Achievement on May 1, 2021.

For more information on the 2021 R&D Forum, click here.

The R&D Forum, made possible by the generous support of the Regnier Family, is a district-wide celebration of student excellence and innovation. 

This year’s forum has some new twists, including a digital showcase and a NEW student pitch contest: The Next Great Idea, with an opportunity to win cash awards.

We are searching now for The Next Great Idea, hosted with help from partners at Startland.

 Students in grades K-12 are invited to enter now! 

About The Next Great Idea Competition

We are excited for students to join our search for The Next Great Idea here in Shawnee Mission! Students have the opportunity to win a cash prize and gain additional funding to turn their ideas into reality.

The Next Great Idea Competition invites students to share their innovative ideas to address a problem they would like to solve.

Competition Steps:

●    Students develop and submit a video pitch through an entry form (linked below). All students who submit a pitch will have the opportunity to practice and develop their pitch, with help from industry experts

●    Students will have the opportunity to incorporate the feedback from the industry experts into their final pitch submission

●    All Final Pitch submissions will be evaluated to determine finalists

●    Finalists will present their ideas in a livestreamed finals contest on May 1. 

Top awards are $2,500, of which $1,000 is a cash award to be used by the winner to pursue their passion and education and up to $1,500 will be awarded as "build it" grants to support making the winner's pitch a reality.

Entry form here:

Show us your Next Great idea by submitting a 1-minute video and fill out this form.

Here is a checklist to help make your entry outstanding.

Dates to Remember:

The deadline to enter is March 26.

Practice pitch sessions with industry experts will be held in late March and early April.

Final competition will be held on May 1 at the Center for Academic Achievement.

What kind of pitches are you looking for? Think of a problem you have come across, that needs to be solved. Then, come up with a strategy for how to solve it, and share your innovative ideas! In fact, you might have worked on a project this year that would fit; if so, consider entering it. Practice sessions with industry experts will be held to help students fine-tune their ideas and presentations.

Ideas might be things like a student-created app, a medical invention, or a way to cure or diagnose a disease. Perhaps it might be an invention that enhances a community playground, helps cleanup the environment, or makes a household task easier. The potential for ideas is unlimited!

Who can enter? SMSD students in grades K-12 are welcome to enter. There will also be a Best Young Innovator award for the best presentation for students K-8, with a prize of $500.

The Shawnee Mission School District's Next Great Idea and the R&D Forum are made possible by the Regnier Family.

 Virtual Student Showcase- More Info Coming Soon

Students, families and staff are encouraged to enter student-created projects, experiments, or art projects to share in this district wide event.

Be creative. Think about a project, experiment, or art piece you can design and share. There will be no formal categories or judging of these projects this year.

More information regarding the procedures to follow to enter the Showcase will be shared soon!

Do you have questions? Please contact for more information.