Due to this year’s virtual format for SEP Arrive, the 2021 Innovation Challenge will take place before rather than during the event. Team submissions are due November 12, and the top 5 winning teams will be recognized on November 17 during the SEP Arrive virtual summit.

The 2021 Challenge

The Innovation Challenge serves as a key focal point of SEP Arrive each year. The 2021 challenge encourages student teams to use market research and discovery tools to help tell the story of a local entrepreneur. Each student team (2-5 students) will identify a local entrepreneur who serves customers in their community and will create a simple StoryMap to highlight 3 things:

1. Problem

What local Problem is addressed by this entrepreneur’s business?

2. People

Who are the People currently affected by this problem?

3. Potential

How would you recommend increasing the Potential growth of this entrepreneur’s business?


The top 5 teams will be announced during the Arrive 2021 virtual summit, and each member of the 1st Place team will receive $100 and a 1-year personal license to ArcGIS.

What Is a StoryMap?

StoryMaps offer an amazing way to visually capture and share stories through interactive maps. Due to the gracious support of Esri, we are able to provide each of you and your student teams access to a great research and mapping tool ArcGIS Business Analyst. We’ll barely scratch the surface of its endless capabilities, but it’s going to be a lot of fun to explore!

Here is an example StoryMap created using the guidelines below: Mulvi’s Coffee Co.

Submission Guidelines

  • Teams can range from 2* to 5 students/each.
  • Submissions must be completed in entirety, including the following StoryMap components:
    1. Header picture – Showcase the Problem, People, Potential, or the entrepreneur’s business.
    2. Map – Identify where the Problem is experienced and/or where the People affected by it live.
    3. Infographic – Display key demographics and characteristics (e.g., age, income, behaviors) of the People currently affected by this Problem.
    4. Conclusion – Wrap up with some final recommendations to help the entrepreneur increase the Potential growth of their business.
  • Submissions must be received by the posted deadline (Nov 12).

*Exceptions to the team size will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Teacher’s Guide

For a complete introduction to this year’s Innovation Challenge along with step-by-step instructions, please download and use the following guide.