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TechPoint S.O.S. Challenge

TechPoint is the nonprofit industry-lead growth accelerator for Indiana’s tech ecosystem. Our mission is to build the top tech ecosystem among mid-sized U.S. cities by increasing equitable economic opportunities in Central Indiana. We do this by attracting talent (Xtern, for example), growing companies (Scale-Up Initiative, for another example), and building community (As well as the Mira Awards and TechPoint is an initiative of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), an organization committed to advancing our entire region.

Last year, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of students across the country lost internship and employment opportunities. The TechPoint team saw this impact first hand as nearly half the participants slated to take part in the 2020 Xtern program lost internships. As we thought about solutions for our program, we knew we had to think broadly about whom we could serve. We created The TechPoint S.O.S. (Summer Opportunities for Students) Challenge. The aim of this new program was to activate the resources of our community to ensure students had an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and develop professionally. Today we are excited to announce The S.O.S. Challenge is back for Summer 2021!

During this six-week program participants will work alongside a team of peers to create a solution for challenges communities face in 2021. Each S.O.S. Challenge project will provide an opportunity to demonstrate your skills and build a portfolio worthy project as an artifact of a summer well spent! Indy area tech companies will coach teams and dedicate their time and expertise to give project guidance as needed. They will also provide a professional connection, giving participants insight into what it's like to work in their specific occupation.

Through the provided mentorship and unparalleled instruction, admitted candidates will use the skills they’ve developed in their respective academic programs to solve problems, and explore the commercialization of their solutions. This intersection allows participants to demonstrate valuable experience whilst exploring their future in technology and entrepreneurship as part of an intentionally interdisciplinary team. S.O.S Curriculum is made possible through a partnership with Elevate Ventures. Winners of S.O.S. will have the opportunity to participate in Elevate’s Fall 2021 Regional Nexus Pitch Competitions

At the end of the program, participants will receive a $500 stipend. The top teams in each challenge will earn their share of $25,000 in prize money! 

  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Sports and Entertainment
  • Indiana Agriculture
  • Sustainable Energy

This challenge is intended for all university students (undergraduate and masters) who do not have a full-time experiential learning opportunity in Summer 2021. Additionally the Challenge is open to students who have graduated from ElevenFifty Academy in 2020, but have not yet found full time employment in Tech.

Participants must be 18 years or older, reside in the Eastern or Central time zones at the time of participation (to maximize work time overlap), and be eligible to work in the United States. International student participants must be able to obtain CPT. Students will further be evaluated for a program fit consistent with the policies in place for admission to the Xtern program. Projects will require people with both technical and business skills including those listed below: 

• Software Engineering/Development
• Data Science 
• UX Design
• Product Management
• IT/ Cybersecurity
• Sales
• Marketing
• Graphic Design
• Business Analyst
• Project Management
Whether you’re back on campus, taking online classes, or bored at home, the structure of The S.O.S. Challenge will allow for you to engage! If this sounds like a way to maximize six weeks of your summer, click HERE to learn more and apply! Be sure to apply before the deadline, April 23rd at 11:59 p.m. EST. And if you have any questions, please check out our FAQ, last year’s S.O.S. Challenge story on TechPoint’s Index, and don’t hesitate to email us at!