This competition is to motivate female students and young researchers to develop entrepreneurial and business mindsets based on their research and development (R&D) endeavors. The vision behind this competition is to promote the growth of women-led startups in technical fields.

Sponsored by IEEE Life Members Committee and SmartWTI,  the provider of innovative IoT/AI water management solutions. SmartWTI supports initiatives that contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.

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2023 Winning Teams and Project Titles

Best Innovation Pitch Winner – Team Agrifarm: “Transforming Precision Agriculture: Advancing Crop Productivity with Innovative IoT-Powered Soil Monitoring and Plant Disease Detection”

Best Impact Pitch Winner – Team Green Warriors: “CarGreen Tech: A Climate-Positive Transport Management System”

Best Transformative Business Idea Winner – Team Hawkeye: “The Aerial Warrior: Fighting Against Mosquito Menace”

Best Spotlight Pitch Winner – Team Plant-FIT: “Plant-FIT: Wearable Fitness Tracker for Plants”

Best Step Ahead Pitch Winner – Team Enjad: “INFERNAL”

Honorable Mentions

Best Innovation Pitch Honorable Mention – Team Climate Crusaders : “IoT-Based Smart Garbage Monitoring System for Efficient Waste Management”

Best Impact Pitch Honorable Mention – Team Eco Innovators: “Unleashing the Future: A Revolution in Waste Management through AI-Driven Recycling”

Best Transformative Business Idea Honorable Mention – Team Powerpuff Girls : “Reject to Rewards – An entrepreneurial idea with plastic recycling”

Best Spotlight Pitch Honorable Mention – Team EnergyAI – “EnergyAI: Green Solution Home Assistance”

Best Step Ahead Pitch Honorable Mention – Team Bio Fuel Futura: “Bio Fuel Futura”

Competition Theme

The overarching theme of the competition is ‘Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability’, which has been devised in order to empower the next generation of female researchers to proactively address the challenges of climate change through translational research.

Competition Rules

  • Participating teams will pick one impact of climate change and one method to mitigate that impact. The relevant topics under each category include but are not limited to the following:

1. Impacts of Climate Change

  • Health impacts of climate change (e.g., air pollution, water pollution, etc.)
  • Impact on specific population or culture (e.g., children, elderly, racial or ethnic groups)
  • Economic impacts (e.g., business, employment, industry, etc.)
  • Impacts on the weather (e.g., rising sea levels, flooding, droughts, heat waves, etc.)

2. Methods for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation

  • Greenhouse gas mitigation
  • Sustainable and precision agriculture
  • Reducing waste generation
  • Decarbonization
  • Sustainable transport
  • Sustainable building and construction
  • Sustainable and circular electronics
  • Renewable and clean energy production
  • Energy-efficient design technologies and appliances
  • Innovative materials for carbon reduction and environmental regulation
  • Smart grid technologies
  • Community applications of efficient electricity

Team Composition & Submission Criteria

  • **Updated** Each team should have at minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 participants, including a mentor. At least one of the team members needs to be an IEEE WIE Member (student or above)
  • Eligible for students, postdoctoral fellows, and young professionals (defined as within 15 years of a B.Sc. degree by the IEEE YP program)
  • The initial proposal should be approximately 600 words maximum. The proposal should include a project Title, the Problem, Solution, and Expected Outcomes.
  • Finalists will present a three-minute oral pitch presentation with four slides about a business idea based on the presenter’s research projects.
  • Slides for the final presentation should adhere to the following format:
    • First Slide – Team Name, Project Title, and Team Members Names, Affiliations, and Credentials
    • Second Slide – The Problem
    • Third Slide – The Solution
    • Fourth Slide – Expected Outcomes

New Extended Schedule

  • Initial proposal platform opens: September 1, 2023
  • Initial proposal platform closes: October 15, 2023
  • Finalist Presentations: November 7, 2023: Regions 1-9 (8:00 am-9:00 am CST) and Region 10 and Pacific Time Zone (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm CST)


On a scale of 1- 5, proposals will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • A demonstration of a thorough understanding of the problem
  • Size and scope of the solution’s potential impact
  • Feasibility of the solution’s implementation
  • Clarity and detail of the pitch


All participants will receive certificates of recognition!

Finalists and honorable mentions will be recognized for the following five categories. Finalists will receive a cash prize. Honorable mentions will receive WIE promotional items.

Top 3 Awards:

  • Best Innovation Pitch: $300
  • Best Impact Pitch: $300
  • Best Transformative Business Idea: $300

Additional Awards:

  • Best Spotlight Pitch: $200
  • Best Step Ahead Pitch: $200

Competition Chairs

Dr. Shawana Tabassum – Mary John and Ralph Spence Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Tyler, TX, USA
Dr. Hala As’ad – Audio DSP Algorithms Researcher & Developer, Ford Motor Company, Ottawa, Canada

For questions relating to this competition please contact