The Competition

Here is the place to learn more about how the Young Innovator Awards work. It covers everything from how to register, and submit an innovation, to the judging process and the judges themselves, through to the prizes up for grabs for our winners.

OverviewTimelinePrizesHow to EnterJudgingREgISTER

Can I enter?

YiA is for Year 7 to Year 13 students from the following list of Instep schools:

  • ACG Tauranga
  • Aquinas College
  • Bethlehem College
  • Katikati College
  • Mount Maunganui College
  • Otumoetai College
  • Papamoa College
  • Tauranga Boys' College
  • Tauranga Girls' College
  • Te Puke High School
  • Te Wharekura o Mauao

plus intermediate students from any WBOP school.

Register Now

What's the Challenge?

The challenge is to come up with an innovative product or service.

We are looking for extraordinary ideas that address real-world problems - based on anything in your life that you are passionate about.

It can be an original idea, or you can adapt your entry from other in-school projects/competitions (e.g. technology/science/business, YES, Mashup).

You can enter individually or as a team of up to five students from your school or from other Instep schools.

Are you up to it?
Register Now

What Can I Win?

Our first-place Junior & Senior winners receive valuable internship experiences with the some of the Bay’s top innovative businesses plus prize money of $1000 and $2000 respectively.  

Our first-place Intermediate winner will have the opportunity to be inspired by seeing innovation happening in the real world up to the value of $1,000

All second-place winners take home $750, and third place takes home $500. Additional internships may also be awarded at the judges' discretion.

There's also the People's Choice Award, which includes a $200 Bayfair Shopping Centre gift card for one winner from each category.

Sound good?
Register Now


Prizes for the winners

Year 7–8


The winning entry will have the opportunity to be inspired by seeing innovation ihappening in the real world up to the value of $1,000

Year 9–10


The winning entry receives a valuable internship experience with one of the Bay's top innovative businesses plus $1000

Year 11–13


The winning entry recieves a valuable internship experience with one of the Bay's top innovative businesses plus $2000

Are you up to the challenge?

Have your say now and vote in the People's Choice Awards!

Entries have now closed!
Congrats to all who entered YiA

Watch this space! We'll be accepting registrations shortly.

How to Enter

Entering yia is easier than ever with our new online system.
Simply follow these four steps, from registration through to submission.



Start by registering an account for free on our website. All we need to know is your name, email address, school and school year.

Registrations open in
March 2021
Register Now

Complete Your Worksheets

Once you've registered, you'll be able to download the blank worksheets . These are the most important part of your entry! Your worksheets are what communicate your idea to the judges. The worksheets include:

1. The Big Idea

This captures the essence of your innovation, who it is for and the problem it solves.

2. Your Problem

We want you to communicate the problem you are trying to solve, how big it is, who it affects and why it matters on this worksheet.

3. Your Research

You should communicate who your innovation is for, what they need, who you spoke to when carrying out your research and what technology or science you might use to make innovation work.

4. Your Innovation

Here we want you to explain your final idea, how it works, and how it solves a problem to make the world a better place to live. It’s up to you how you want to fill out your worksheets. You can download them in PDF, PowerPoint or Google Slides. Make sure you print them A3 if you decide to fill them in by hand but remember you’ll need to submit everything electronically.


Record your video

This is the fun part! Every innovation entered into YiA needs a 15-30 second video which explains your idea. This is your chance to really sell your innovation to the judges.

You can upload your video by file, YouTube Link or Google Drive Shareable Link. For more information about how to submit your video Click Here

Here are some tips on recording a great video:

  • Record it on your phone so it's easy to upload
  • Make sure you hold the phone horizontally
  • Talk through the steps in your 'big idea' template
  • Try to ensure that your face is in the whole picture
  • Make your video as creative as you can to make it stand out

You'll need to upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo before submitting your innovation, but don't worry, we've made a video showing you how to do this!


Submit Your Idea

Your deadline is July 2nd! Log in here and click ‘Let’s go!’ to submit your idea. You’ll need everything ready, including your innovation name, visual, video, worksheets and anything extra you’d like to show us. If you’re entering as a team, make sure all of your team members have registered to your team before submitting.

Good luck!

Entries open in
March 2021
Submit Now

Want to win world-class internship and cash prize?

Be inspired by our finalists and their amazing innovations!

Have your say in the People's Choice Awards, coming soon!


Learn more about our judges and our judging criteria here. Our judging panel is made up of top local innovators as well as international guest judges from a huge variety of backgrounds. Get to know the team of people who will be judging your entry!


Your Problem or Need

Max 5 points

Explain how you identified your problem or need, and evidence of research that it is a real issue.


Know the Customer

Max 5 points

Demonstrate an understanding of the needs of your target audience and the changes you've made in response.


The Solution or Idea

Max 5 points

Explain your process of selecting your idea, how it solves the problem, and why it's better than what's available, and the technology required.



Max 5 points

Consider environmental factors and factors that would impact people and communities related to your idea.



Max 5 points

Use a variety of communication styles, including a well planned and executed video, and worksheets to a high standard.

Alex McCall

Entrepreneur & Venture Scout
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Hiria Te Rangi

Whare Hauora
Kaiwhakahaere (CEO)
See more

Sarah Stevenson

Bay of Plenty District Health Board
Portfolio Manager
See more

Brian Glynn

Senior Director, Business Development
See more
impressive past judges/Speakers