Frequently Asked Questions


Am I eligible to compete?

Eligibility for the contest includes having at least 1 team member that is a current NYU student, faculty, researcher or Stern alum. This person must be part of the team’s leadership and will own at least 30% of the venture. (See Contest Terms and Conditions for additional details.)

Apps that are already in an app store or otherwise publicly available for download are not eligible.

What kind of apps can be submitted?

All types of apps are welcome except those that require a significant amount of animation (i.e. most mobile games). Successful app submissions will be those that have a clearly addressable problem and solve it effectively via their app concept.

Does my app have to be new?

Apps that are already publicly available for download are not eligible. The ideas do not have to be original but must clearly demonstrate improvements to previous iterations.

I’m not a coder and don’t have a technical cofounder. Can I still compete?

Of course! All you need is a great idea. The Mission: Appossible contest was designed for both technical and non-technical competitors alike. Technical assistance will be provided by the W. R. Berkley Innovation Lab and Messapps as needed.

Can I submit more than one idea?

You may submit more than one idea and individuals are allowed to be on multiple teams. However, if more than one of your concepts advances to Round 2, you will have to choose only one to submit.

Do I need to have a team?

You do not need to have teammates.

Contest Details

How do I enter?

To enter, visit and submit your idea to the online portal.

What prizes are awarded?

The winner of the final pitch competition will be able to claim the grand prize of having their app fully developed by Messapps or $10,000 in cash.

How is the contest structured?

The contest is structured over 3 rounds: Initial Submission, Semi-Finals, and Finals.

What key dates and deadlines should I be aware of?

You can find a full list of key dates and deadlines, categorized by stage, on the contest’s website here.

What kind of assistance can I get through the contest?

You will receive technical assistance in developing wireframes, app designs, and a landing page. Additionally, you will receive assistance in the form of complimentary workshops and coaching sessions.

How will submissions be evaluated? What’s the judging criteria?

Submissions will be evaluated by a group of expert judges including NYU faculty, professional app developers, and successful entrepreneurs.

The criteria will include creativity, novelty, market potential and feasibility of the idea as well as the structure and logic of the submission. 

Who are the contest organizers?

The Mission: Appossible contest is collaboratively organized by the W. R. Berkley Innovation Lab and Messapps.


Prize Details

What does the winner get?

The grand prize winner will get their app fully developed by Messapps or can opt for a $10,000 cash prize to support operational and marketing efforts for their winning app. (as long as the team can prove their technical capacity to complete the development of the app).

Will I own the work developed by Messapps?

Teams own 100% of the work completed by Messapps as it relates to their specific concept.

What if I decide to take the cash instead of developing the app?

The goal of the contest is to facilitate the creation and launch of innovative mobile app-based ventures. To receive the cash award, the winning team must provide a plan for executing on their idea. Please note that cash awards are only payable to legal business entities and cannot be paid to an individual.

Additional Details

I’m afraid someone will steal my idea. Will you sign a non-disclosure agreement?

Neither the W. R. Berkley Innovation Lab nor Messapps will sign a nondisclosure agreement. As the organizers, we are here to help and can assure discretion.

I’m afraid someone will steal my idea. Do I have to participate in the People’s Choice Voting?

All teams must agree to participate in the People’s Choice voting round. This round helps showcase the exciting startup ideas coming out of NYU and will provide you with an opportunity for greater exposure to potential customers, investors or stakeholders who might be able to help you bring your vision to fruition. For this round, you will not be asked to reveal your “secret sauce”.

Who will own the intellectual property for my app?

Teams will own 100% of the intellectual property for their app according to the signed eligibility statement required for submission to the contest.