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Shields Innovation Challenge

Do you want to solve a challenge facing your community?

Students are invited to join our second annual Shields Challenge. Teams will develop solutions to challenges in the Boston community. Solutions might be a partnership, a non-profit organization, an awareness campaign, an event, a technological solution, or something else entirely.

For each phase of the Shields Challenge, teams will submit a deliverable that prepares them for the final presentation. Along the way, students receive coaching from a member of the BC High community. Top teams will present to a panel of expert judges.

For further questions, please contact [email protected].

Why You Should Participate

Build an innovation mindset as you experiment and test hypotheses.

Learn how to identify opportunities and understand needs of all stakeholders.

Practice navigating uncertainty and embracing ambiguity.

Enjoy the opportunity to connect with young alumni who are engaged in innovative work.


Prizes will be awarded throughout the competition. Each member of the winning team will be awarded a prize and also select a community-based organization to receive a donation from BC High.


  • All team proposals must present original work.  
  • Teams that advance to the final presentation stage will be paired with a member of the BC High community who will provide feedback on the presentation draft. 
  • Opportunity areas and solutions incorporate a healthcare theme, broadly defined. 
  • The winner(s) of the Shields Innovation Challenge will be determined by a panel of expert judges from the Shields Innovation Council and/or the Boston Innovation community. 

Important Challenge Dates

  • March 7 to March 22: Inspiration and Opportunity Identification
  • March 23 to April 5: Ideation and Prototyping
  • April 6 to April 12: Testing and Iterating
  • April 13 to April 15: Reflection, Storytelling, and Business Communication
  • April 18: Team Presentation Due

Last Year’s Challenge

  • 95 Students
  • 25 Teams
  • 25 Volunteers
  • 4 Expert Judges

2021 Teams

First Place: Vert

Vert’s idea, utilizing vertical hydroponics, provides necessary nutrients to low-income communities who rely on fast food and less healthy options due to convenience and low price.

Second Place: The Healthy Food Initiative

The Healthy Food Initiative proposed a farmer’s market that uses leftover healthy foods from restaurants, hospitals, and grocery stores.


Our panel of expert judges included Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D., president of Babson College; Raj Echambadi, Ph.D., Dunton Family Dean, D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University; Jane Swift, former Massachusetts Governor and President and Executive Director of LearnLaunch; and Don Gummow ’13, Innovation & Operations Analyst at Brigham & Women’s iHub Open Innovation Studio.