Cheng Wu Innovation Challenge

2024 Cheng Wu Innovation Challenge 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners

2024 Winners

1st place winner Live Video Accompaniment, 2nd place winner UAV-miniUGV System, and 3rd place co-winners ARtreides and Mathmemo.

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2023 Cheng Wu winners

2023 Winners

1st place winners Elevate and KLARE with 2nd place co-winner Tell Me Your Story.

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2022 Cheng Wu Winners with judges

2022 Winners

1st place winner Palm Garden with 2nd place co-winners i-Sight and Multiversity.

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2021 Winners

Axon-way and Deep Word were co-winners.

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Image of Veda Narayana Koraganji and Vakar Ahmed, the 2020 winners of the Cheng Wu Innovation Challenge

2020 Winners

Luddy ISE graduate students Veda Narayana Koraganji and Vakar Ahmed of M3DE Pro and Neuroscience undergraduate Maggie Kennedy and her team of NeuroNeursing were co-winners.

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2019 Cheng Wu Challenge winners, Louis van der Elst, left, and Merve Gokce Kurtoglu

2019 Winners

Luddy doctoral students Louis van der Elst, left, and Merve Gokce Kurtoglu won first prize for TrophoWell, a platform that serves as an alternative to animal testing in patient-personalized medicine.

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Students Tingyu Li and Pavithra Ramamurthy stand with a robot for the Cheng Wu Innovation Challenge.

2018 Winners

Luddy master’s students Tingyu Li, left, and Pavithra Ramamurthy won first prize for “Buddy,” a robot that encourages children with cleft lip and palate to do speech therapy, in the form of storytelling, in their homes.

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2017 Cheng Wu Innovation Challenge winner, Hannah Jones

2017 Winners

Luddy master's student Hannah Jones, right, won first prize for "SensAbles," an affordable line of wearable technology made for teens and adults who suffer from sensory overload in environments.

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  • Each team member must be an IU Bloomington undergraduate or graduate student who is enrolled full time.
  • Each team must feature at least one student completing a major within the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering.
  • Technological innovations developed for a course may be submitted.
  • All intellectual property submitted for the purpose of the competition must belong to the students who are submitting it.
  • By participating in this competition, you agree to receive any funding through your IU bursar account and to use the funding to support the further development of the technological innovation presented in the competition.


  • December 6: Information Session, 2-3 p.m.
  • January 17: Information Session, 2-3 p.m.
  • January 31: Applications due, 5 p.m.
  • February 14: Finalists notified, 5 p.m.
  • April 4: Finalist proposals due, 5 p.m.
  • April 11: Final presentations and winner selection, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

IU technology experts review the applications. The top-scoring teams are named finalists and will present at the competition.

Judging criteria

The judges consider whether the technological innovation is:

  • Novel, especially compared to existing solutions
  • Nonobvious
  • Technologically feasible
  • User centered—the team understands the target end user
  • Implementable—the team has a clear development plan and will effectively use funds from the competition

About Cheng Wu

Luddy graduate and serial entrepreneur Cheng Wu established the fund that sponsors the challenge.