Published: Jan. 31, 2022 By

light bulbsDo you have an idea for making our campus more sustainable? Do you want to make a positive change in our campus community? Be a part of the President’s Sustainable Solutions Challenge (PSSC)! You could see your idea come to life, and $2,500 in cash prizes will be awarded to winning ideas. 

For the past two years, CU Boulder students have competed in a campus-wide pitch competition with proposals to help move CU into a sustainable, carbon-neutral future. Winning ideas have ranged from green roofs to resilient parking lots to community solar farms. This year, with sponsorship from the CU President’s Office, all University of Colorado campuses will hold their own Sustainable Solutions Challenge. Read more to find out how to get involved in Boulder’s third annual competition. 

What you need to know

Students (as individuals or teams) are invited to share their ideas for making our community more sustainable by creating short pitch presentations. These pitches should address environmental quality, natural resource use, social justice and economic longevity at CU Boulder or through the CU system.

Interested students can sign up to participate and learn more with this short form. The competition is open to all CU Boulder students, and anyone with an innovative sustainability idea can compete individually or as a team. The winning proposal will be awarded a $1,500 prize, a runner-up proposal will be awarded $500 and the audience’s favorite pitch will also win $500. Each pitch consists of a short summary, a slide deck and a pitch presentation around 10 minutes long. Check out the PSSC webpage for more specifics and the timeframe.

Why you should participate

By participating in the PSSC, you can:

  • Potentially win up to $2,000

  • See your idea come to life if it’s chosen for implementation

  • Gain valuable experience for your resume

  • Network with fellow Buffs and experts in sustainability

  • Learn more about local and global sustainability

Even if you don’t have a fully formed idea, you can still sign up now.

Important dates

Attend optional info sessions and workshops to learn more about the challenge, finalize your idea, network with student participants and sustainability professionals and explore how to develop a successful pitch.

Feb. 10 and Feb. 16: Virtual information sessions 

Tune in at 6 p.m. on Feb. 10 or Feb. 16 to learn about the Sustainable Solutions Challenge, explore ideas about potential proposals, and meet potential teammates interested in participating. Fill out the participant interest form to get the Zoom link. 

March 16: Ideation and Pitch Development workshop

Registered and potential participants can understand the proposal components, refine their concepts and learn more about campus sustainability challenges. More details on this will be available on the PSCC website

April 4: Proposal submission deadline

All Boulder participants should submit their proposals, which will consist of a pitch deck and executive summary, to ideas@colorado.edu by midnight on April 4, 2022. 

April 14: Pitch competition

The top five teams will present their pitches at a campus competition, which will be judged live. 

April 21: Sustainable Solutions Showcase

Winning proposals will be showcased alongside other innovative class, research and student projects. All participating students can exhibit and take part in an interactive student summit.  

Learn more about the Sustainable Solutions Challenge and other ways to share your ideas for sustainable solutions this spring, such as Mission Zero Climate Projects or the New Venture Challenge Climate Competition.