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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 Break in 2019

At our last two International Finals in Costa Rica (2017) and Thailand (2018) we have successfully tested this new competition concept. We really enjoyed it and saw the teams coming up with very creative and innovative ideas. Now, we will use the feedback from these two pilots to work on this international competition concept even further. For that, we will need the year of 2019 to work with partners on a program that is even more exciting for all participating teams.

Therefore, there will be no international Future Innovators competition at WRO 2019 in Hungary.

We encourage our National Organizers to go on locally with this competition concept, new international options will come up 2020 an onwards.

Partners that want to join working on this exciting competition concept, can contact Markus Fleige from the WRO Team at mf(at)

Information about the program

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 the organizers 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.

This judging schedule has been used at WRO 2017 and WRO 2018 and might be different in local countries.

There will been 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)

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

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.

No, as mentioned above there will be no international competition in 2019.

We are working on an even better competition concept for 2020 an onwards.

Impressions from Future Innovators 2017 in Costa Rica