About the HBCU Battle of the Brains


Timeline: Friday, March 9, 2018 – Monday, March 12, 2018

Mission: To promote the talented business and STEM students within the African American community while highlighting the benefits of SXSW, as well as the technology industry, in an engaging and dynamic way.

Target Market: Business and STEM students of color ranging from college freshmen to graduate school students.

BOTB Problem to Solve: To be provided at the orientation.

“Battle of the Brains”

Teams from HBCUs around the country will compete until the Final Four teams are identified. Those teams will pitch live in front of an audience and crowd participation will constitute one of the five final votes.

One team will be crowned the 2018 HBCU Battle of the Brains Champion. Teams will be encouraged to incorporate technology, design, business and STEM components into their business solutions.

Teams will be judged on the following criteria:

  1. Analysis – ability to thoroughly articulate the value an feasibility of the issue, and their solution.
  2. Business/Technology Solution – proposed solution using current and/or future technology trends.
  3. Presentation – the ability to pitch their solution effectively to the panel of judges.
  4. Q&A – demonstrated mastery of subject through by addressing the judge’s inquiries.

Participating teams will have 24 hours to develop a comprehensive solution based on the challenges presented [ex: social engagement tool/platform/strategy (website/mobile app), a marketing plan with collateral, a go-to-market strategy for technology solution]. Invited participants would serve as judges for the competition.

Overview: The HBCU Battle of the Brains will be made up of a variety of components. In addition to the competition, there will be a welcome reception, awards ceremony, college & career expo, and more. The competition itself will take place on Friday, March 9, 2018 – Saturday, March 10, 2018.


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