Join Colorado’s design pioneers in a competition to create new frontiers for financial services.

February 4 & March 3-4, 2017
@University of Denver

COMPETE with Colorado’s top talent to design the future of financial services.

Take part in a four-week long student competition to design new products or experiences that reinvent the future of financial services. You will kickoff the month with a day-long design thinking bootcamp, spend the next four weeks hard at work with your team, understanding your users, and prototyping and testing solutions. You and your team will present your idea and insights at a two-day case competition in March, where the winners will receive cash prizes and recognition.

Get first chair on innovation education and community


Learn from emerging and experienced innovators, entrepreneurs, academics, and professionals across CO.


Build your skills as a creative, human-centered leader who can succeed in today’s rapidly evolving work environment.


Tackle messy, ambiguous problems that matter to society, business, and you.


To see the 2017 challenge, click here.


Project X-ITE, University of Denver
2199 S University Blvd
Denver, CO 80208


Saturday, February 4, 2017

All events at Anderson Academic Commons
9:00 AM Registration & Breakfast
9:30 AM Design Thinking Bootcamp
5:00 PM Design Challenge Prompt Revealed
5:30 PM Cocktail Reception
– Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management

Friday, March 3, 2017

4:00 PM Registration
4:30 PM Welcome Remarks
5:00 PM Desing Thinking and Disruptive Innovation Panel
5:45 PM Cocktail Reception

Saturday, March 4, 2017

9:00 AM Check-In & Breakfast
9:30 AM Welcome Remarks
10:00 AM First Round of Presentations
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Fidelity Labs Exercise!
2:00 PM Final Round of Presentations
4:00 PM Winners Crowned

Important Dates

January 22, 2017: Applications Due
February 4: Design Thinking Bootcamp
March 1: Final Presentation Decks Due at 5:00 PM
March 4: First and Final Presentations


1st Place – $10,000 + Eternal Glory & Bragging Rights

2nd Place – $7,500 + Our Deep Admiration

3rd Place – $2,500 + A Solid Round of Applause


All competitors will have the invaluable experience of networking with our corporate sponsor over the course of 3 days. Students will have the opportunity to ask about the company, culture, and their experience working there, giving each student insight into the inter-workings of the company and the type of skills and personality that the sponsor looks for in college graduates.


To learn about design thinking principles is one thing. But to be motivated and engaged to conduct client interviews, work tirelessly to truly develop relevant insights, and bring it all together into a meaningful and thorough strategy is completely different. Putting these principles into practices will significantly change the way you think about problem solving in the future.


– Don’t accept the status quo,

– Collaborate, Research, Experiment, Debate, and Create, and

– Inspire developments in one of the largest industries in the world

in order to take a step back and truly realize and attack one of the most interesting problems this industry faces.

Your Goal: Generate new ideas for products, services, and experiences.

Each team that is accepted into the challenge will submit a slide deck that will be used when they present to a panel of judges. Please review the submission requirements before submitting your deck to the challenge.

QUESTIONS? Feel free to contact us here.

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a human-centered innovation strategy that enables teams to find the most meaningful problems to solve. Design thinkers strive to deeply understand unmet human needs and design solutions that meet those needs. We explore the problem first, and the solution second. Design thinking is both a process and a set of mindsets that can drive innovation and breakthrough growth in large enterprises.

Design thinking isn’t the only thing you need for innovation. Innovation lies at the intersection of human values, business strategy, and technology. Business acumen and technological enable you to build and execute the solution that matters to people.

For more information, visit the Stanford website

Participating Universities

The Colorado universities that are participating in the disCOver Challenge are: The United States Air Force Academy, Colorado College, Colorado State University, University of Denver, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, and University of Colorado Colorado Springs.


Fidelity Labs

Fidelity Labs uses emerging technologies and human-centered design to create visionary products and services that improve people’s financial lives. As the innovation engine for Fidelity Investments, it provides expertise to the rest of the firm on new tools and techniques, while also incubating potential new lines of business. Fidelity Labs has worked to identify and explore hundreds of emerging technologies while using design thinking and a lean start-up mentality in collaboration with customers to incubate new products, services, and even businesses. Find out more about Fidelity Labs by visiting their website!

Project X-ITE

University of Denver’s Project X-ITE brings all the resources of the university together to advance knowledge, understanding, and engagement at the intersection of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship across the DU community, the region, and the world. Find out more about Project X-ITE by visiting their website or one of their events!

Sign up for the Project X-ITE email list.

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