Project Invent

Start a Team

We’re looking for passionate mentors to join our network and start a team of high school students inventing solutions for their own communities. Learn how to apply and become part of our 2019-2020 batch of mentors who are leading school and community change.


Why Start a Team?


Inspire young engineers and social entrepreneurs.

Students tackle real world problems that don’t have an answer in the back of the book. We provide the curriculum, advising, and community to get you started.


Create real change in your community.

We help pair each team with a community partner to work with throughout the year, going beyond a single interview and leading to innovations that truly make an impact.


Get Quality Support Year-round.

Invention is a messy process. Our advisors come from Stanford, MIT, and more and advise teams through any challenges that come up throughout the year.

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Showcase to Silicon Valley Investors.

Teams get invited to exclusive opportunities. In the past, we’ve hosted a kickoff at IDEO, a workshop at the USPTO, and Demo Day at the Stanford, a final showcase to top tech leaders for funding. 


Calling all Mentors

Every January, we open our application to folks looking to lead Project Invent teams for high school students in their communities. Mentors don’t all look the same. We consider applications from educators of various disciplines (not just STEM), high school upperclassmen skilled in leadership, highly motivated college students, industry engineers, school administrators, parents, and more. If you’re passionate about inspiring high school changemakers, we want to hear from you. Here’s a few other things to consider before you apply:

  • you will be invited to join us in San Jose (July 8-11, 2019) or Pittsburgh (June 18-21, 2019) to attend one of our summer institutes! Some travel scholarships will be available.

  • you will be expected to spend 2-4 hours/week to lead your team from October to May (during school hours is fine, as long as your school is ok with it).

  • there will be a $500 registration fee to cover the costs of starting a team. This can be fundraised, collected from students, covered by the school, secured through local grants, or otherwise funded.





who should apply?

Educators, parents, high school upperclassmen, you name it. Although 90% of our previous mentors have been educators, our goal is to support incredible people in bringing an incredible opportunity to students, no matter what your job is. 

i am a student. can i start a team?

We do accept juniors and seniors in high school to lead teams in some cases. However, you have to be willing to dedicate the time to serve the role of mentor as any other mentor would (attend summer training, lead meetings, help team fundraise) and need a stellar track record in leadership and invention. 

If you would still like to start a team but are not ready to assume the responsibilities of a mentor, ask an adult (teacher, parent, engineer) to apply to be the team mentor instead! Share with them this website.

after applying, when will i hear back?

We’ll get in contact with you about 2-4 weeks after you apply with whether we would like to invite you to interview. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until April 2019, but the earlier you apply, the higher your chance of admission.

what’s your acceptance rate?

Last year’s acceptance rate was 36%.

is there a cost to becoming a Project Invent team?

There is a $500 cost to register your school. That includes a 4-day in-person training (in Pittsburgh or San Jose), monthly and on-demand advising, assistance to find a community partner, and the opportunity to present at Demo Day in Silicon Valley to top investors. We do expect you to cover travel costs for both the training and Demo Day with some scholarship available.

what are the trainings for?

The goals of the trainings are to build a national community of mentors and to highlight how to use the invention process to teach students to be confident changemakers. Community problem solving is a powerful way to teach students that they have the ability and responsibility to change the world. We will cover how real-world problem solving through inventing can be one of the most powerful ways to empower a new generation of fearless problem solvers. All four days will be very interactive and a great way to get to know your fellow mentors and experience the invention process yourself.

where are the trainings?

This summer, we have two 4-day trainings. You can either attend our training in Pittsburgh (East Coast) or San Jose (West Coast).

South Fayette High School
June 17-20, 2019
Mcdonald, PA

Tech Museum of San Jose (Bowers Institute) 
July 8-11, 2019
San Jose, CA

are there any benefits to applying earlier?

Yes!  The earlier you apply, the more likely it is for you to be accepted. Once we run out of team slots, we will close applications. That means that we may close applications earlier than April and you would be out of luck. Best bet is to apply as soon as you can!


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will close when all spots are filled (or April 15 at the latest).