The Madden Challenge is the culmination of the Gateway to Business class – a shark-tank-style presentation format that includes the best teams from the Gateway course going head-to-head, competing for votes, prize money and seed money, provided by a generous gift from John W. Madden, Jr., to move forward with launching their app businesses. Students not enrolled in the Gateway class are encouraged to participate as observers, judges, or volunteers for the event, which is open to the public.
A unique feature of the Madden Challenge is the Youth Judging Panel, made up of entrepreneurially-minded K-12 students from the surrounding community. The Youth Panel acts as “real” judges; questions the competitors alongside the investor-judges; and deliberates independently to choose their top three competitors.
In 2015-16, 200+ students formed over 100 teams to compete over 3 academic quarters, with winners crowned in the Autumn and Spring Quarters.