Start.Me.Up Mini-Challenge

The Start.Me.Up Mini-Challenge lets you show off your creative chops and build your resume while working with real companies on real projects.

Compete with other students to deliver on a real need of a local company.

Think of it like a freelance gig, but with prizes.

Work must be submitted by Friday, March 19. Scroll down and click the links below to submit your work by client project.

How it works


  • We’ve recruited 3 companies who have real work they need help with.
  • They’ve outlined what they‘re looking for in the project briefs below.
  • Get invited to a virtual info session to talk with clients if you sign-up before March 8th.



  • You pick the project you want to work on and get started.
  • Sign-up for office hours on March 15th to get feedback on what you’re working on.
  • Submit your work by March 19th, 11:59PM.



  • Each company picks their top 3, and winners are announced March 25th, by President Barron.
    • 1st Place: $400 gift card
    • 2nd Place: $300 gift card
    • 3rd Place: $200 gift card

The Projects

THE COMPANY: Argolytics helps small- to medium-sized manufacturers cut waste and costs. They need help showcasing what they can do and the results they can generate for potential customers.

THE WORK: Create a mock-up of a branded product data sheet and a “use case” web page to showcase their product offerings and the value they provide.

Client Info

Submit Your Work

THE COMPANY: The Student Farm at Penn State (SFPS) is expanding their operations and need help envisioning a social media campaign to raise awareness with potential donors.

THE WORK: Envision a themed donor campaign designed to inspire target donors and mock-up sample campaign posts for Instagram and Facebook.

Client Info

Submit Your Work

THE COMPANY: Office Yum is a virtual cafeteria for companies in rural areas. Food is ordered via a mobile app, then delivered to the company on pre-specified times.

THE WORK: Mock-up a kiosk/booth that generates awareness about Office Yum service and allows people to order and pick up food.

Client Info

Submit Your Work

Important Dates

  • Sign-up Opens March 1st – get details about the virtual client info session and helpful emails as we go.
  • Client info session March 8 6:00 – 7:00 pm – meet the companies virtually, ask questions, check out the competition. You’ll need to sign up to get the invite.
  • Office hours March 15, 9AM – 5PM – sign-up to get feedback on what you’re working on.
  • Submit your work March 19 – all work due by 11:59PM.
  • Winners notified March 24 – you’ll find out if your work was selected as one of the top three by the company. You won’t know what place you came in, but you’ll know you won something, and will get an invite to the announcement event on the 25th.
  • Winners announced March 25 – President Barron announces 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for each company at the virtual Student Recognition Event. After, we’ll contact you about the prize you’ve won and how to collect.








Frequently Asked Questions

Can I work with others on the project?

Yes, that’s up to you. Note, however, that there is only one set of prizes for each place, so you will have to work out how you will split or share the prize with others.

Can I have others provide feedback on my work?

Certainly. Just like any freelance work, it is up to you who you work with or ask for help.

We are also holding office hours on March 15th from 9AM – 5PM to give you feedback on what you’re working on.

Where is the client info session being held?

The info session will be held via Zoom on March 8th from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. If you sign-up before the session, we’ll send you details on the session and the Zoom link.

How do I sign up for office hours?

Office hours will be held on March 15th from 9AM – 5PM to give you feedback. Sign-up here.

If I have questions, can I reach out to the companies?

No, but, if you sign up before March 8th, you’ll get information about a virtual client info session to be held that evening. At that time, you can ask clients for additional info, or run ideas by them. You will also have project briefs to work from.

Do I have to sign-up to submit work?

No, but if you sign-up by March 8th you’ll get a link to attend the virtual client information session that will give you an advantage as you’ll be able to talk directly to the clients. We’ll also send you additional info to keep you in the loop, so signing-up is the best way to make sure you don’t miss out on anything.

How do I format my submission?

You can upload one file to show your work. This can be:

  • a PowerPoint (max 10 slides),
  • a Microsoft Word document (max 5 pages),
  • an image (JPG or TIFF), or
  • a video (max 5 minutes).

Be sure to include a title page/slide with you name and email.

Note, you can only have one submission per company. If more than one file is submitted for a company, only the first submission will be eligible to be judged.

Can I submit more than one deliverable for the same company?

No. Like typical freelance work, you should submit the work that you believe best addresses the company’s need. If more than one deliverable is submitted, only the 1st deliverable uploaded will be eligible to be judged.

Can I submit work for more than one company?

Yes. If you have the time, and the desire, you can work on more than one project. If you are planning to submit work for more than one company, you will need to complete a separate a submission form for each company.

When and where do I submit my work?

All work must be submitted online by March 19th at 11:59PM

Who owns the work I submit?

Similar to a typical freelance gig, the company will own the rights to the deliverable that was uploaded for this competition. However, students can showcase the deliverable and include the company name on their resume or within their portfolios.

Who decides who wins?

Like a real freelance project, a representative from each company will evaluate the deliverable and make the final decision on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, place.

How will I know if I won anything?

You will be notified via email on March 24th whether you have won one of the top three spots for a company, or not. If you have placed in the top three, you will also receive info on attending the virtual Student Recognition Reception March 25th from 6-8PM, where President Barron will announce the winners.

All winners will receive an email on the 26th with details on which place they came in and details about how to claim your prize.