High School
Impact APP Challenge

The Impact APP Challenge is an entrepreneurship program empowering High School students to come up with and launch the next great social or environmental APP and gain critical skills they will need to be the future changemakers.  

Program Goals:

Real-world Experience:

Schools can actively involve students in real-world problem-solving and fostering their engagement in social and environmental issues.

Skill Development:

Schools can actively develop students’ skills in critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, teamwork, and communication through the program.

Community Building:

Schools can build a sense of community among students, staff, and stakeholders by coming together to address important social and environmental challenges.


Sustainable Change:
Schools can create a lasting impact by instilling in students a sense of responsibility and commitment towards sustainable change in their communities and beyond.

Program Phases & Learning Objectives:


Problem Definition Phase (All Students At School)

All students are invited to participate in identifying some of the major environmental or social challenges they experience in their lives and what potential solutions may be. This allows students to see themselves as part of a larger community and also take time to be creative and brainstorm solutions to big problems. More importantly, students learn to think outside themselves.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop skills to identify major environmental or social challenges and propose potential solutions.
  • Enhance critical thinking abilities to analyze and understand problems in the world.
  • Learn to succinctly define problems and assess their scale and impact on individuals or communities.
  • Foster creativity and brainstorming skills for generating solutions.

Application Phase (All Students At School)

All students are encouraged to apply by adding more detail to their problem and solution, beginning market research to support their idea and completing an application.


Learning Objectives:

  • Translate ideas from brainstorming sessions into written applications.
  • Gain proficiency in completing a professional application process.
  • Develop skills in drafting responses and seeking feedback.
  • Learn to conduct market research to support their idea.
  • Improve written communication skills to effectively convey ideas.
  • Foster teamwork and collaboration with team members.
  • Develop basic drawing skills to illustrate their ideas.

Shark Tank Pitch Phase (Finalist Teams 10-20 Students)


10-20 students from 3-5 teams will be selected as finalists and invited to participate in a virtual presentation of their idea.  Finalists will gain tremendous experience gathering feedback and evolving their idea, presenting to experienced professionals and addressing concerns.


Learning Objectives:

  • Gain experience in gathering and incorporating user feedback to refine ideas.
  • Learn to prepare a pitch deck for presenting their idea.
  • Develop concise verbal communication skills for presenting their vision.
  • Enhance abilities to address questions and challenges from industry experts.
  • Develop resilience in dealing with both success and disappointment.

User Feedback & Product Definition Phase (Winning team 3-4 Students)

 This is probably the hardest and most valuable phase as students begin to interact with many people outside of their close contacts to get feedback from other potential users of their APP to ensure their problem definition and APP solution and features are valuable and meet the needs of many.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn to manage and participate effectively in team meetings.
  • Acquire proficiency in using new technology platforms.
  • Balance commitments to school, after-school activities, and the Impact APP Challenge.
  • Develop skills in recruiting and working with team members from diverse backgrounds.
  • Learn to define problems and technical solutions clearly.
  • Gain experience in full team meetings and effective communication.
  • Develop time management skills for scheduling meetings with professionals.
  • Understand individual responsibility as part of a team.
  • Learn to define the solution and its ability to alleviate pain points.
  • Experience the user feedback cycle.
  • Collaborate with professionals in the industry.
  • Define the product features effectively.

 UX/UI Design & Prototype Phase

This is the most fun phase of the program as students begin to see their idea come to life first through basic wireframes and flows from screen to screen and then to real prototypes used to get feedback and improve the solution and prepare for engineering. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Interact with remote professionals for design collaboration.
  • Learn to communicate the vision clearly to support the design process.
  • Gain experience in the design process, including wireframes, mood boards, UX/UI designs, and prototypes.
  • Develop skills in providing and receiving constructive feedback.
  • Learn to demonstrate prototypes to users and obtain feedback to guide final designs.
  • Prepare for product development.

Engineering/Product Development Phase

In this phase, students will become expert testers of their APP and document issues, bugs, and fixes.  Clear communication skills will become invaluable during this phase to ensure a 30 minute fix doesn’t become a two week back and forth. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Become proficient in testing the APP and documenting issues, bugs, and fixes.
  • Enhance communication skills to facilitate efficient bug fixing and issue resolution.
  • Learn to professionally review for feedback rather than criticism.
  • Understand the branding and marketing lifecycle.
  • Participate in beta testing and bug cycle.
  • Communicate effectively with professionals during product review and testing.

Sales/Marketing Preparation 

It is wonderful to be able to build a product that solves an important problem but being able to communicate and sell that vision to others and gain enthusiasm and support from is another critical skill.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn to define the target audience clearly.
  • Develop skills in reaching out to the target audience and establishing early adopters.
  • Learn effective communication strategies through websites, app stores, and social media.

Launch Phase

It’s finally here! The time has come to launch the first version of the APP and see if people will actually use this solution to successfully address the problem originally identified.  There is only one guarantee in product launches and that is that things change, assumptions are usually wrong,  and you must be willing to listen, learn and adapt to what your audience is telling you.  

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain knowledge and skills to launch a website and promote a product.
  • Learn methods to acquire beta users.
  • Develop proficiency in obtaining user feedback.
  • Understand how to validate the original theory or adjust as needed.
  • Learn to develop short and long-term objectives.
  • Experience the realization of a vision.
  • Learn about product maintenance after launch.

What Do Students Think?

Prize For Winning Students:

1. Student-Owned Innovation:
The winning team will see their APP live on the Apple App Store, owned 100% by the students, establishing them as innovation leaders.

2. Product Development Funding:

The Impactree Foundation will cover up to $25,000 in product development and engineering costs, providing the necessary resources to bring their idea to life.

3. Valuable Internship Opportunity:

The winning team will embark on a four-month internship, collaborating with our team of experienced tech leaders. This internship experience will be a valuable addition to their resumes.

4. No Programming Required:

Students only need to bring forward their exceptional idea and a commitment to work 2-3 hours per student per week turning their idea into a reality. 

School Requirements:

All participating schools must:

  1. Have buy-in and a commitment to program and student success from school leadership
  2. Provide funding for program depending on number of expected winning teams.
  3. Have a primary faculty member who will serve and internal champion for the program. 
  4. Coordinate one faculty advisors for each winning team
  5. Announce the program to the school and actively promote the application process
  6. Hold dedicated class time to discussing community/environmental problems and possible solutions.
  7. Support Impactree Foundation’s selection process of the winning App
  8. Support the winning students through the 4-6 month internship and App development process as needed
  9. All faculty advisors will meet with the winning students or students and the Impactree Foundation team weekly during the internship to review progress and planning

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Impactree Foundation
PO Box 454 Las Gallinas Ave, Suite 269
San Rafael CA 94903