The competition is segmented into "Tracks" to help match teams with judges who have the relevant expertise to evaluate each opportunity. It should be noted that the judging criteria is the same for all tracks.
For some teams, it may be difficult to determine which Track is most appopriate. For example, a technology company with a social mission, or a faculty-led team full of graduate students.
Teams may indicate preferred track on their application, but organizers have the right to put teams in the track deemed most appropriate based on the applicant pool in any given year. *NEW IN 2013*: If your team is Alumni/Faculty/Staff based, your eligibility will be limited to the Showcase track with a maximum prize of $5,000.
Teams competing in the commercial track are for-profit ventures that are based on a traditional business model, which may include web-based companies that are not particualrly technologically driven. Teams in this track should not include ventures that are based on proprietary technology, are heavy on engineering or include scientific disoveries.
This track includes ventures that have a strong connection to innovative technologies and are generally considered "technology-driven."
Teams competing in the social track are ventures concerned with social return on investment and improving the local or world community. Social track ventures do not necessarily have to be non-profit, so long as they are built upon the achievement of a systemic social or environmental objective. Examples: a scalable program to reduce childhood obesity, a solar-powered provider for "green" contractors.
Any team whose ownership structure is more than 50% faculty, staff or alumni must compete in this Track. A team in this Track may have one faculty member and 10 graduate students if the Faculty member is the majority stakeholder in the venture. This track may include any type of venture: traditional, social, scientific, high tech, etc.