Category Archives: News and Media

Video Submissions due for NBC’s Fallonventions Nov. 6

Producers for NBC are currently looking for smart, talented, energetic young inventors to feature during an upcoming Fallonventions segment on “The Tonight Show” in December (specific date TBD). We’ve set a deadline of Friday, November 6, 2015, for video submissions.

Check out for videos from prior segments.

They are open to inventors from kindergarten through high school, and they must have a functioning model or prototype. Unfortunately, they can only consider inventions created by solo inventors or teams of two.

8th Annual Event Dates and Venue Set

The deadline for submitting invention entries online for the 8th Annual Competition is January 29, 2016.  


Who is Eligible?

The competition is open to students K-8 in:

  • Hillsborough County
  • Pinellas County
  • Pasco County
  • Hernando County
  • Citrus County
  • Manatee County
  • Sarasota County
  • Polk County

Preliminary Judging

Top 50 entries selected Feb. 1, 2016. Preliminary judging by the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors on Feb. 3, 2016 will select the top ten (10) finalists.   015

HSN Workshop

Finalist presentation workshop on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at HSN Studios (St. Pete) (tentative).


Prizes and Awards

Every competitor receives a free day pass to Tampa’s award-winning Museum of Science and Industry.   The top ten finalists receive annual family passes.  Awards include:

  1. Grand Prize:   $1,000 to the student and another $1,000 to the school
  2. Second Prize: $500 to the student and another $500 to the school
  3. Third Prize: $250 to the student and another $250 to the school


Plus surprise gifts from HSN. 

Finalist Presentations

Finalist presentations  6:00 PM, February 11, 2016 at the University of South Florida at the newly constructed USF Music Concert Hall on USF’s Tampa Campus.


Its time to get inventive!


New in 2015–Online Invention Submission

The 7th Annual USF Young Innovator Competition is proud to introduce online invention entry this year.  The deadline for entry is Feb. 1, 2015.  To submit online, go to  After creating a login and student profile you may submit as many inventions as you like and upload your prototype images and/or drawings.   For a tutorial on how to submit online please see the screen-shots below:


Bright House Networks High School Competition

The 2015 USF Young Innovator Competition is open to children K through 8th grade.  For high school students we are pleased to endorse the Bright House Network Bright Ideas competition.

Untitled Extract PagesBright House Networks is proud to present Bright Ideas STEM from Today’s Youth… a multi-state competition where high school students can show how STEM – that’s science, technology, engineering and math – can bring their idea to life! Students are challenged to come up with a Bright Idea that takes on a problem that hasn’t been solved before, or approaches a familiar problem in a fresh, imaginative new way!

The deadline is October 31, 2014!

Who is Eligible

Students who are in public, private, or parochial high schools who are at least 14 years old as of the date of entry and are legal residents of the following Bright House Networks service areas:

  • Bakersfield, California
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Livonia, Michigan
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Central Florida (Orlando)

How to Participate

Between September 22, 2014 and October 31, 2014, students can visit and follow the instructions to:

1. create a Contest account and complete the Contest registration form in its entirety;

2. enter Essay #1, an essay of no more than fifteen hundred (1,500) characters describing their idea powered by science, technology, engineering and math to make the world “a better place” including what it does, who you want to use it, and how they thought of it;

3. upload their original Drawing of their idea or upload your Video; and

4. enter Essay #2, an essay of no more than fifteen hundred (1,500) characters describing what science, technology, engineering and math tools are needed to make your idea work

About the Prize

Six finalists will be chosen, one from each Bright House Networks service area throughout the country. These students will travel to Orlando, Florida, where they will compete head-to-head on TV, in front of a studio audience. An expert panel of judges will select one winner. THE BIG winner will have the chance to work with lead innovation firm Fahrenheit 212 – which could help this student’s (or team of students’) dream or idea potentially be realized and fulfilled!
The winner will work with Fahrenheit 212, for a period of eleven weeks, in order to develop a virtual prototype and a business plan that includes:
 a 10-page pitch deck
 a video/virtual prototype/rendering
 a roadmap with next 3-4 steps
 a list of potential partners (with one or more introductions)
The work will be conducted at Fahrenheit 212’s New York office. Bright House Networks will send the Winner, along with one parent/guardian, to New York twice during the eleven week period.

Competition Founder Gives Keynote in Silicon Valley

August 13, 2014, Silicon Valley: Anna Hopen gave the keynote presentation at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s First Annual Teacher STEM Innovation Institute in Santa Clara.  Anna discussed the evolution of the USF Young Innovator Program and its operation.

Anna Hopen at Silicon Valley giving keynoteAnna and Anton Hopen at USPTO STEM workshop

Anna Hopen is a 15 year-old hailing from Tampa, Florida who just started her second semester at St. Petersburg College where she has a straight-A average.  In 2009 she conceived of a competition for young inventors.  In 2010 the first competition was held at Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).  Ten competitors out of 79 entries competed in a “Shark-Tank” style event.  The competition is held every year at the University of South Florida (USF) on or near Thomas Edison’s February 11 birthday.  Over 500 inventions were submitted by children around Tampa Bay in 2014.  The competition’s non-profit has received support from USF, MOSI, Outback Steak House, HSN and Bright House Networks.  Anna has appeared on television for several years now starring in public service announcements for the event.  Several of the young inventors have received patents from the United States Patent & Trademark Office and even appeared on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.  Anna was recognized earlier this year by the Executive Women’s Council as a “Children’s Champion” for fostering STEM education, particularly in young girls.