Open Call for Submissions in Third Annual Design Challenge “Using Happiness to Optimize Longevity”

Over $50,000 in Prizes, Mentorship & Sponsored Travel to Silicon Valley Will Be Awarded to University Students Who Design New Products, Tools & Services for Living Longer, Fuller Lives

PALO ALTO, CA–(Marketwired – Aug 11, 2015) – The Stanford Center on Longevity today announced the launch of its third annual design challenge, and this year’s theme, “Using Happiness to Optimize Longevity.” The challenge invites university students everywhere to submit designs for new products and services, which encourage everyone to live longer, fuller lives. Finalists will win over $50,000 in prizes, along with sponsored travel to the Stanford campus, where they’ll receive entrepreneurial mentorship and present their designs to renowned industry leaders for final judging.

“The topic of the challenge is particularly intriguing this year,” said Dr. Laura Carstensen, Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. “We expect to see qualitatively new designs when teams use happiness to change behavior.”

Since entrants retain all rights to their challenge submissions, several past finalists are on their way to turning their designs into full-fledged products and companies. Inspired to help her late grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, San Francisco student Sha Yao created a special tableware set for dementia patients, winning $10,000 in the 2014 Challenge. Ms. Yao subsequently turned her “Eatwell” design into a successfully funded Indiegogo project, and was recently invited to join the selective Amazon Vendor Express program.

“Entering the Stanford Design Challenge changed my life,” said Ms. Yao. “I’m now hopeful that my design can eventually help millions of people in the world like my grandma.”

All details for entering the challenge are available at the Stanford Center on Longevity website:

For updates, follow the Challenge on Twitter @StanfordLngLife.


The Challenge is open to teams of 1-5 students (undergraduate, graduate, medical, and postdoctoral) enrolled at an accredited university or college during the 2015-2016 academic year. Finalists in past challenges have come from as close as San Francisco and Berkeley to as far away as Denmark and Singapore.

This year’s Challenge has three categories: Mind, Mobility, and Financial Fitness, reflecting the Center’s belief that to the extent that people can reach old age mentally sharp, physically fit, and financially secure, that individuals and societies will thrive. Each track will have its own expert judges, award up to $17,000 in total cash prizes and expert mentor support, and offer sponsored travel to Stanford, where finalists will present their designs to renowned industry, academic, and government leaders.


  • Cash prizes: $10,000 (first place), $5,000 (second place), $2,000 (third place)
  • Finalists receive mentorship, $1,000 for prototyping, and personalized coaching from industry experts and researchers
  • Finalists receive airfare and hotel reimbursement for a student to attend the Finals at Stanford University to present their idea to investors and potential customers
  • Finalists attend an entrepreneurial workshop at Stanford and learn how to take their concept into execution.

The mission of the Stanford Center on Longevity is to redesign long life. The Center studies the nature and development of the human life span, looking for innovative ways to use science and technology to solve the problems of people over 50 and improve the well-being of people of all ages. For more information about the Center, visit and follow us on Twitter @longevitycenter


Media Inquiries
Vanessa Camones
theMIX agency for Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge
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