Idea To Prototype

What is Idea To Prototype?
The Idea 2 Prototype (I2P) program, part of CREATE-X, offers undergraduate research course credit for you and your teammates to advance your ideas for a potential value creating product by performing basic research, analysis, building, and testing - leading to a proof of concept prototype. Think of it like undergraduate research - a deep dive on a problem for 1-2 semesters with a mentor. Grants for materials and supplies only are available. Faculty mentors are available if you don't have one. Open to all majors and interdisciplinary teams encouraged to apply.

What information is needed to apply?
Your team name, members, goals, progress, budget, mentor status, and why you want to do this! Gather this information before applying or you can apply again to finish it.

What am I supposed to do in this class? What are the expectations, deadlines, and deliverables?
You will set your goals and timeline for the semester, in partnership with your mentor, and work towards them. These goals typically involve the steps towards creating a physical prototype of your idea/invention.

What is the ideal number of teammates?
Anywhere between 2-5 people. 5 is the maximum number allowed.

What majors and years can participate?
All current undergraduate students at Georgia Tech can participate in the program.

What is the selection criteria for teams into the I2P program?
Teams will be selected based on passion, innovation, marketability, and potential of producing a successful prototype.

Can a graduate student compete either individually or as part of a team with undergraduates?
No. This part of CREATE-X is only open to current Georgia Tech undergraduates working towards their first undergraduate degree.

How many class credit hours will I receive?
3 credit hours, through the UROP courses in your school or department (i.e., 2699, 4699). Spots are offered by permit and the course can be taken up to two times (for 6 Credit Hours total).

How much actual time should a student expect to put into this per week?
As much as any undergraduate research project, at least 8 hours/week. Hopefully you will be even more motivated since you will be working on your own idea!

What days/times is the course offered?
There is no set schedule. You will arrange your own meetings with teammates and mentor.

Will the course credit hours for I2P count towards my degree?
Probably. For engineering students, yes you may count up to 6 hours of undergraduate research credit towards completing your degree. Other students should check with their academic advisors.

How do I find a faculty mentor?
Reach out to some of your professors and other faculty you know. You may easily find one! We suggest you send them an email to ensure they meet these criteria:

  • Can they work with your team 30 minutes per week?
  • Will they be able to suggest grades for your team at the end of the semester?
  • Do they care about you, your team, and your project?

These are the basic expectations of a mentor.

Can I have multiple mentors?
Yes, however a group should have one main mentor that can complete the previously mentioned expectations.

Why should I do this?
Besides the course credit and financial support, you will be well positioned to take the next step in your invention and entrepreneurship endeavors, such as competing in the InVenture Prize, taking the Capstone Design course with your idea to refine it further, applying for Startup Launch, or participating in Startup House.

Do I have to wait until I register to work on my invention?
No, start working early and often!

Can I enter with multiple inventions?
No. Only one invention per student is allowed, regardless of team or individual status.

If I am a co-inventor with others who are not current Georgia Tech undergraduates, can I still compete with the invention?
Yes, if you fully disclose the contributions by all individuals during registration.

Are any inventions I come up with mine or do they belong to Georgia Tech?
Participation in I2P does not require students to assign their intellectual property rights to the Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC). Provided that conception and/or reduction to practice of the invention did not result from work performed under a sponsored research agreement, significant use of Georgia Tech resources, or duties assigned to you as an employee of the Institute, your submission should be deemed as an Individual Effort under the Institute's Intellectual Property Policy.

It is also important for you to be mindful of intellectual property rights of any former or current employer if you conceived and/or reduced to practice your invention while an intern, co-op, or employee of a company.

Should you have any questions regarding any potential rights of GTRC and/or your employer, you are strongly encouraged to contact us prior to submitting your invention to the I2P program.

If I received substantial input from a professor or another Georgia Tech employee, can I enter I2P?
The I2P organizers, Georgia Tech, and the Georgia Tech Research Corporation want to ensure that the intellectual property rights of others are respected and the contributions of all inventors are recognized. Input from others, however, does not necessarily constitute an inventive contribution.

When you register, please indicate in the Intellectual Property section any professor, Georgia Tech researcher, other employee or anyone else who has contributed to your idea and explain their involvement. Those individuals may be notified of your submission.

Further, if you or a Georgia Tech employee with whom you are collaborating believe that an inventive contribution was made by the employee to your submission, a record of invention should be submitted to GTRC for review under the Institute's Intellectual Property Policy. The submission will be reviewed and, if appropriate, GTRC will favorably entertain a request to release the technology to the inventors. Upon request, and when deemed appropriate, GTRC may request outside patent counsel to assist in a determination of inventorship.

I came up with an idea while employed as a co-op/intern. Can I submit this invention?
Maybe. The employment agreement that you have with the company, if any, will dictate the disposition of any intellectual property related to your employment. Should you have any questions regarding ownership of your invention, you are strongly encouraged to contact us prior to submitting your application.

I have used some Georgia Tech resources in developing my invention. Can I enter?
Yes. Please indicate what resources were utilized so that the disposition of the intellectual property can be determined. Should you have any questions regarding the use of Georgia Tech's resources, you are strongly encouraged to contact us prior to submitting your application.

Our invention was developed as part of a project class. How does this affect our ability to enter?
This should not affect your ability to enter I2P. Please indicate which class your idea resulted from during registration and the name of the course professor. The I2P organizers may verify the disposition of the submitted intellectual property with the Georgia Tech Research Corporation.

What if I find a number of patents and similar products while searching my idea?
It's normal rather than unusual to find patents disclosing ideas that may be similar or at least sound similar to yours. Do not be discouraged by this. It means that you will need to differentiate what you have relative to what is already out there. This may not be as daunting as it may at first seem. Similar comments apply if you discover a similar existing product, web application, etc. There is always room for improvement!

Can I enroll in I2P and Capstone in the same semester to work on the same project with the same teammates for double credit?
No, these are separate programs and double dipping is not true to the spirit of the respective courses.

Event FAQ:
What deliverables are expected for the Mid-Semester Mingle(MSM)?
Students should prepare 2-3 slides to present for 2 minutes about their progress so far this semester. What problem are you working on and what is your proposed solution and progress towards it? Photos/videos are especially helpful.

What deliverables are expected for the Showcase?
In an Expo format, each team will get a table and can use that space to show off their invention to visitors (e.g., friends, judges, faculty). Use the space in the best way you can think of: protoype demo/poster/laptop with monitor/other displays --its up to you! Dress as you would like to be perceived.