Calling All HBCU Graduate and Undergraduate Students to Enter the Keysight Innovation Challenge 2021

Great ideas start small and grow big. They’re born from innovators unafraid to break barriers in the face of challenges, who go on to change the world and inspire others to do the same.

Keysight is calling on graduate and undergraduate students enrolled at a historically Black college or university (HBCU) to enter the Keysight Innovation Challenge 2021 and help break barriers for future Black engineers. HBCUs are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African American community. There are currently 101 HBCUs in the U.S., including both public and private institutions. Today, Black students make up about 80% of the student body at HBCUs.

It’s time to celebrate African Americans’ long history of achievement in STEM fields and inspire more Black students to pursue careers in STEM, where they are largely underrepresented. By 2040, minorities will be the majority in the U.S. Yet today, just 7.6% of STEM degrees go to Black graduates.

To enter the contest, HBCU graduate and undergraduate students can choose from two different tracks. For the Innovate Next Business Challenge, students are asked to create an innovative business concept in a Keysight field of interest and submit a one-page business plan summary and a two-minute or less video pitch. Teams can have up to five students. Entries will remain open through May 24, 2021. Three finalists from the business challenge will be announced on June 24, 2021 and will go on to compete in a live virtual event in September.

For the Upskill Your Peers Video Challenge, students (up to two per team) will showcase a unique measurement technique in a video that’s three minutes or less. This contest will also accept entries through May 24, 2021. The first, second, and third place winners in this category will be announced on June 24, 2021.

First place winners of both tracks will receive a $2,500 cash prize, a piece of Keysight test equipment, and an informational interview or summer internship, depending on their grade level. The winning teams’ HBCUs will receive $15,000 worth of Keysight equipment. Second place winners will receive $1,500 and a piece of Keysight test equipment. Their HBCU will receive $10,000 worth of test equipment. Third place winners will receive $1,000 and a piece of Keysight test equipment. Their HBCU will receive $5,000 worth of Keysight test equipment. For more information, visit our contest website.

The world needs more diversity—and engineering is no exception. It’s time to make change for future Black engineers, and we’re calling on HBCU students to help pave the way.