Cheng Wu Innovation Challenge


A total of $20,000 is awarded. The judges decide how the funds are divided.

The final presentations for the 2021 Cheng Wu Innovation Challenge are on Friday, April 9, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Dorsey Learning Hall (Luddy Hall 1106).

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.

Read about the 2020 winners

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.

Read about the 2019 winners
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.

Read about the 2018 winners


  • 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.


  • November 30: Information Session, 3-4 p.m., Shoemaker Innovation Center (Luddy Hall 2150)
  • January 15: Information Session, 4-5 p.m., Shoemaker Innovation Center (Luddy Hall 2150)
  • February 5: Applications due, 5 p.m.
  • February 19: Finalists notified, 5 p.m.
  • April 2: Finalist slides due, 5 p.m.
  • April 9: Final presentations and winner selection, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Dorsey Learning Hall (Luddy Hall 1106)

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.