USC Wrigley Sustainability Prize


The USC Wrigley Sustainability Prize is an annual entrepreneurial competition supporting environmental ideas with market potential from within the USC community. Visit the USC Dornsife website for the most updated information about this year’s prize.

The event highlights innovative start-up ideas from all disciplines and rewards concepts that could result in meaningful environmental change. Winners gain business training, networking and exposure, additional competitive opportunities, and prize money to translate ideas into action.

Building on the environmental mission of the USC Wrigley Institute, the Prize supports the most compelling ideas that meet the following criteria: Innovation (How creative is the idea? Has it been done before?); Impact (What kind of an environmental or sustainability impact could the idea have?); Feasibility (Can the idea be executed and would it have commercial appeal?)

2021 Application Process:

Teams are required to submit a 3-minute Video Pitch, and an online application with an executive overview of their concept (see handbook for video pitch, executive overview, and application questions HERE). Selected finalists will be invited to participate in an executive workshop retreat at the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island where they will receive exclusive hands-on training and networking opportunities. Finalists will then present their concepts at a public showcase event, to be judged by environmental experts, startup investors and prominent business leaders.

Apply here!

Submissions Open: August 23, 2021
Submission Deadline: September 26, 2021
Finalists Notified: October 12, 2021
Executive Workshop Retreat: Friday October 22 – Sunday October 24, 2021
Final Showcase: Friday, November 19, 2021


  • First Prize: $7,000 and an automatic second-round entry to the Marshall School of Business, New Venture Seed Competition
  • Second: $5,000
  • Third: $3,000

2021 Prize Rules and Regulations:

  • Teams must submit a completed application and 3-minute video by 11:59 PM on Sunday, September 26, 2021, to be eligible. Finalists will be notified by 5:00 PM Pacific Time on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.
  • Solutions being pitched must be student-led.
  • All team members must be current undergraduate or graduate students; each team must include at least one member of the USC undergraduate community. Non-USC team members are allowed, but must be current undergraduate or graduate students at other universities.
  • Both teams and individual innovators are invited to register. Teams may range from 1-5 members, and are encouraged (but not required) to include individuals from multiple academic disciplines.
  • No individual may serve as a member on more than one team.
  • Any significant changes to project scope between submission of the application and the final event may require further vetting. Please consult the Program Administrator for approval.
  • All finalists must have one or more representatives present at the Executive Workshop on Catalina Island, the weekend of Friday, October 22 – Sunday, October 24, 2021. For large teams (4 or more), space at the workshop may be limited to a subset of the group, based on total attendance.
  • Finalist teams must pitch in person. All team members must actively participate in the final presentation.(In the event that the final showcase is virtual, teams will present virtually).
  • Supplemental materials are optional, and may be provided up to 3 pages or 100MB. These may include (but are not limited to): graphics, videos, material prototypes, annotated illustrations/blueprints, marketing materials, etc.
  • The selection committee reserves the right to eliminate from the competition any team that fails to comply with the prize rules or procedures, or fails to act in accordance with USC policies. 

For more information, please contact using the email subject “2021 Wrigley Sustainability Prize.”

Past Prize Winners