University Mobile Challenge™

The University Mobile Challenge™ is an annual international competition organized by the Berkeley Mobile International Collaborative.  It is designed to provide students with an opportunity to prepare for, experience, and feel the galvanizing power of real-world competition and allow them to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams right now.

*2012 University Mobile Challenge Finalists Announced*


Each participating university will conduct a local “Mobile App Challenge” competition to choose the best mobile application built by a student team.  Teams are judged on the business model and the innovative utility of the mobile app as well as the effectiveness of their presentation.  Finalists from each university will be invited to compete at the annual international finals held at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

BMIC Holds First University Mobile Challenge at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2011
See the results of the 2011 University Mobile Challenge

The University Mobile Challenge

Develop and Showcase Your Mobile Application

Develop an innovated concept that will address a need today.  It could take the form of a business concept, or a technology development (application or device development) and could be aimed at any market, addresses any issue and any manner of end users.

The UMC Finals are in Barcelona Again!

From the entries received 10 university teams will be selected to take part in the global competition at Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona. If your University has more than one entry, we will need a qualifying round to find the best within your University.

  • The final competition at the Summit will consist of two rounds.
  • Top two teams from the first round will compete for the second and the final round
  • Each finalist team will get 10 minutes to present to a panel of judges – venture capitalists, competition sponsors and major industry players in the mobile health ecosystem.
  • Venture capitalists and judges will provide live feedback through a 3-5 minute Q&A session immediately after each presentation before marking their ballots.
  • There will also be an audience favorite ballot in the competition final round.
  • Each student traveling to Barcelona will be provided free exhibitor passes to Mobile World Congress xhibitor, valued at 650 euros.
  • BMIC will provide ground transportation and housing support in Barcelona for two members of each winning team to compete at Mobile World Congress in February 2012. Scholarships to cover airfare will also be available to teams based on need. One of the judging criteria this year is fundraising (see Judging Criteria).


Student Eligibility

To participate in a regional qualifying round, students must:

  • be in good standing, and registered as students at an institution of higher learning for either undergraduate or postgraduate education
  • or taken a leave of absence from an eligible school no more than twelve months prior to January 2012
  • identify a university-affiliated faculty or doctoral student advisor for the team.  Multiple teams from the same institution may have the same faculty/doctoral advisor


Team Eligibility

Student startup teams must have:

  • a minimum of least two and at most six students, all meeting the above criteria
  • applications that do not have any current venture capital funding
  • Selected two members of the team from the qualifying rounds to compete for the final round.

Key Dates

January 1, 2012 – Teams must be registered on Registration Page with the intent to compete.  *Registration is now closed*  *2012 University Mobile Challenge Finalists Announced*

January 31, 2012 Finalists from each university must be identified. At that time, those teams must submit the following:

    • Screen shots of Application
    • Preliminary executive summary (not mandatory, those interested in receiving constructive critique from those in the business of venture capitalism may choose to submit early)
    • Declare mobile/tablet app operating system, utilization of location based services


February 7, 2012: Finalists of the UMC Challenge announced
February 15, 2012: Finalists must submit the following

    • Final executive summary
    • Pitch videos/demos uploaded
    • Upload application: all pitches require some form of prototype as a proof-of-concept, whether a clickable mockup for what the product will look like to an application running with partial or full functionality.


February 27 – March 1, 2012: Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

February TBD: UMC Championships in Barcelona

Judging Criteria

Judging Criteria Categories the panel will use to determine the winning team
Commercial Appeal How much potential appeal is there to consumers, companies and professionals? Is it commercially, socially, politically, or personally appealing, relevant, or exciting?
Essential Value & Utility What is the level of indispensability and importance of the app?
Innovation & Uniqueness Is it freshly entertaining, or a new approach to an old problem, or a better way to do something efficiently/effectively/elegantly?
UI and Quality of Experience Is there clarity, simplicity, friendliness, and an intuitive feel of how the app works and what to do next? Is it attractive?
Effective Use of API(s) & Technology How well and to what extent is the app taking advantage of potential hardware and APIs?
Significance of "Problem" App Identifies/Solves Estimate how compelling the app appears to be in solving a difficulty that has been painful previously.
Due Diligence How well did the team cover what you consider the key questions? How well did the team demonstrate its understanding of this opportunity?
Funding How well did the team execute to get their idea funded?


*Registration is now closed*

University Mobile Challenge 2011-2012 Partners


The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organizations. The GSMA is working with its mobile industry members and regulators to help healthcare professionals deliver better, consistent and more efficient healthcare. For the latest information on Mobile Health programme please visit We have created an Industry Portal where the mobile and health sectors come together, please visit to view latest news, publications and industry insights Industry.

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