1) I'm a undergrad / grad / postdoc / medical / business / [fill in the blank] student. How can I contribute?

Do you. Honest.

Sure, a large component of the competition is thinking of a creative solution to a medical problem, crafting a convincing pitch, and winning. But the other great parts of it is making friends, putting yourself in an environment that encourages innovation, and challenging yourself and others by tackling a problem in a short period of time. It's going to be awesome.

Plus, we're a huge fan of multidisciplinary teams. Different backgrounds can make sparks fly. And we love to see them fireworks.

2) I'm not affiliated with UCLA. Can I still participate or just come to see the final pitches? Can I observe the event even if I don't participate?

The more, the merrier! (Unless you're from USC--uh, kidding!) If you're here, you'll have to participant because, really, what's the point of lurking?

The final pitches are open to the public and will be held in the CNSI Auditorium. If you have friends and family who want to attend the final pitches, we'll be more than happy to have them.

3) What do I need to bring?

All we really want is you. We promise to do our very best and provide you with a fun, supportive, and encouraging environment with prototyping materials that you can have and/or rent (prototyping list can be found here). There will also be free WiFi courtesy of UCLA, plug points all over CNSI, and lots and lots of free food and drinks. Alas, all drinks are non-alcoholic.

But if you want to bring your own stuff, you can bring your laptop and prototyping tools and materials. We're pretty open to most things except for soldering irons and drones. Those aren't allow. Sleeping bags are.

4) I don't know how to code!? Ahh!

Don't worry! Neither do I. Unless you count html coding.... 

No experience is necessary. A large component of Inventathon is thinking of a creative solution to a medical need, learning on the fly, and doing research to justify your solution. Plus you can find and make friends (!) with people who have those skills, or simply use a different method to present your prototype, such as technical drawings, Powerpoint, and concept art.

5) What if I invent something cool that I want keep working on?

Yes, please. That would be amazing. We will love you, like, forever.

If you're UCLA affiliated (Go Bruins!), there are a number of courses, resources, and opportunities available so let us know and we'll point you in the right direction.

Please note though that this event and the final pitches may be considered public disclosures. Sharing your idea with others is essential to validating it and gaining support, and this is also a great time to learn how to do so without giving away your "secret ingredient."

6) I want to volunteer!

Well, what are you waiting for? Fill out the form here. Volunteers are needed throughout the entire event as well as the days leading up to it. Did you know we're raffling away not one but two GoPro HERO Sessions? How cool are we?!

7) Will I need to create a team beforehand?

Nope! Come knowing that you're going to network. Or better yet, start a discussion today on our Facebook page.

8) I don't have any ideas or I have this great solution for this medical need.

During our Saturday kickoff, we will provide a list of needs that teams must choose from. Entries that are not responsive to one of the needs will be disqualified. If you want to submit an idea, please do so on the application and we will consider adding it on as a need.

9) I'm not sure if I can attend or not. Can I still register?

We're pretty serious about attendance on Saturday and Sunday. Priority will be given to applicants who can attend both. Plus, your team will be disqualified if everyone isn't present during key check-in times. We'll let you know when those are.

10) Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No. We will have a registration list at the door, but be sure to pre-register to ensure your spot! Please also show up early because we will be using the registration and standby lists until our capacity is met. 

11) I need my sleep. What happens if I sleep or nap during the event?

Face art, anyone?

If you do decide to take a nap, you'll likely feel refreshed and ready to get back to hacking / inventing! However, since you only have the weekend, it may not be a good idea to sleep during the event. Kidding. Well, maybe not since we will provide loads of caffeine, water, and snacks to keep you going throughout the night!

Do you. It will all be fine.

12) Parking?

No, we won't pay for your parking. Daily parking permits are available at UCLA in Lots 2 and 8 (map). Please note that you will have to pay for both days.

13) What if I have to leave partway through the Inventathon?

We get it. You want to sleep in your own bed or just need to find a quiet place. However, your entire team must be present during key check-in times (includes pitches and judging) to qualify for the competition. Additionally, in order to win the raffle, you must be present during the raffle announcements. Please us know beforehand if you have any conflicts.

14) Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please e-mail bsc@mednet.ucla.edu or call us at (310) 206-8611.