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Open Category - Future Innovators


In WRO we see entrepreneurship as an important skill of the 21st century. We need more young and motivated entrepreneurs finding solutions for real challenges and create businesses in which new technology and clever ideas form the basis for success.

Over the years, WRO Open Category teams have created many innovative projects with the potential of becoming successful business ideas. Therefore, WRO wants to offer the students in the Senior age group an opportunity to develop business models on the basis of their Open Category project.

Future Innovators 2018

At our event in Costa Rica in November 2017 we successfully launched the Future Innovators program. Seven teams from different parts of the world took part and presented their Open Category project from a business model perspective. This pilot helped us a lot in getting to understand the requirements for judging and preparation. We feel the Future Innovators program will be a valuable addition to the Senior Open Category.

Therefore, we will run a 2nd pilot at WRO 2018 in Thailand. We will invite 10 Open Category Senior teams to participate in the Future Innovators program and present their project. Like in 2018, this program will be in the form of an extra judging session, in addition to the normal Open Category judging.

More information about the program in 2018

If a Senior Open Category team qualifies for the WRO 2018 international final, the National Organizer can apply for this team to take part in the Future Innovators program. A team must compete in the Open Category, it cannot only take part in Future Innovators.

National Organizers may reserve a place for their country for Future Innovators upfront, by writing a mail to Markus. There is a maximum amount of one team per country.

Markus will coordinate the pilot and will have a waiting list for countries if needed. When the official registration starts on September 1st, the countries will be asked to confirm their participation with the team details (team name, coach contact information).

Participating teams will be asked to present their Open Category project from a business model perspective. This can be done by using the concept of Business Model Canvas (see more at: “Getting started with Business Model Canvas?”).

Teams must submit a written summary (2 pages) before the competition. This written summary should be sent to Markus no later than 2 weeks before the event. The judges will use this summary to prepare for the presentation.

For the presentation the teams should use a digital presentation (e.g. Powerpoint) that can be presented using a laptop and beamer at the tournament (see more at: “Judging schedule” and "Judging scoring rubrics").

Note: The teams do this in addition to the requirements for their participation in the Open Category.

There will be an extra judging round in addition to the normal judging of Open Category. This judging will be done by a group of Future Innovators judges, in a separate judging room. The teams only need to bring the necessary equipment to the judging room, the judges will come to the booth later to take a look at the full project.

Overall, we plan to have the following judging schedule:

  • 10 min: Presentation of business model by the teams (judging room)
  • 20 min: Q&A on the presentation (judging room)
  • 15 min: Demo  Q&A focused on the business aspects at the booth (during one of the competition days)

Note: Future Innovators judging will start on Friday afternoon (16th November).

Teams are judged based on the following judging sheet. This judging sheet contains the typical areas of Business Model Canvas concept.

Last version of 08.02.2018: Download Judging Sheet 2018

There are multiple ways to start with a business model. The concept of Business Model Canvas allows your team to think about many necessary aspects of your idea. As an introduction, you can watch the following video:

In addition, you can find information on the YouTube channel of Strategyzer, the inventors of Business Model Canvas:

It is up to each team to decide the process on working with Business Model Canvas. We recommend the following:

  • Make a large printout of the template and fit it on to a wall. Then use Post-it notes to collect your ideas and stick them to the template (Download Template Business Model Canvas or LINK).
  • Once all Post-it notes have been added to the template you can make use of an online tool to finalize the Business Model Canvas (e.g. Business Model Fiddle or the online version of Strategyzer).

Questions & Answers

WRO Member Countries can decide to host a national Future Innovators competition, but is is not obligated. Please be aware that a team cannot qualify for just the Future Innovators program. A team must have qualified for the international final as a Senior Open Category team. It must also participate in the international final in the Open Category. Participation in Future Innovators is an opportunity teams can take, there is no separate qualification.

We plan to have around 5 judges viewing your business model. The judging panel will consist of judges with a business background and some of the judges have already judged at WRO 2017 in Costa Rica. 

Yes, there will be a special Open Category Future Innovators award for the best team.

Impressions from Future Innovators 2017 in Costa Rica