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What is the Innovation Summit?

The Innovation Summit is a day-long Countywide event where employees come together to develop ideas that will improve the organization. At the event, participants will have the chance to collaborate with their team members and consult with subject matter experts to build out their ideas. At the end of the event, teams will share their ideas with the judging panel. 

Can I attend the Innovation Summit on County time?

Yes, as long as you have supervisor approval. The Innovation Summit will count for 7 hours of LMS training.

What can I win at the Innovation Summit?

The judges will determine the first, second, and third place team winners. Prizes are listed below:

  • First Place Team: $2,000
  • Second Place Team: $1,500
  • Third Place Team: $1,000 
  • People's Choice Award: $500 chosen by participants at the event.

When and where is the event?

The event will be held Thursday, April 26, 2018 from 8:30 am-5:00 pm at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos. To view the event agenda, please visit the following webpage:

How do I form a team?

You must form your team and come up with an idea/concept before the registration deadline on April 16th. Teams must be comprised of 3-5 employees from at least two different departments or divisions. Once you have formed your team, each team member should obtain supervisor approval and register for the event in LMS. After you register you will receive an email invitation to a survey where you will provide your team name, names of your team members, and a brief summary of the idea you plan to present at the Innovation Summit.

Does every individual who participates in the Innovation Summit need to submit an idea when they register?

No. Each team (3-5 people) needs one idea/concept.

Who can and cannot participate in the Innovation Summit?

Regular, term, and extra-help employees are all eligible to participate in the event with supervisor approval. Contingent employees, contractors and County volunteers are not eligible to participate.

Will I have to explain my idea in detail when I register?

No. The follow-up survey only requires a short description of your idea/concept. You will be given the opportunity to develop and refine your idea/concept at the event with your team and our subject-matter experts.

What happens when I register my team and our idea?

The Innovation Summit Committee, comprised of representatives from multiple County departments, will review each idea/concept description to ensure that it complies with competition rules. Teams with ineligible ideas will be notified by the Innovation Summit Committee.

Can I join more than one team?


How will I share my idea to the judges?

You and your team can share your idea using the method of your choice; some options may include a PowerPoint, flip chart, or simply a verbal presentation. You will only have 3-minutes to make your pitch. The 3-minute time limit is strictly enforced.

What if my team’s idea is deemed to be ineligible by the committee?

The Innovation Summit Committee will contact all of the teams who submit ineligible ideas and give them one week to revise their concept for the committee to review.

Who are the judges?

The judging panel will be comprised of County executives and/or department heads.

What if I have an idea/concept but can’t find a team?

If you are having trouble finding a team, you can recruit team members through the Yammer “Innovation Summit” group or contact

Will food be provided at the event?

Yes. Light breakfast, box lunch, and snacks/drinks will be provided at the event. If you have any dietary restrictions, please email

What supplies will be available at the Innovation Summit?

Office supplies, projectors, flip charts, and WIFI. We highly recommend you bring a laptop for research and creating your pitch to the judges.

Will there be people with expertise in different County functions at the event to assist teams with questions?

Yes. There will be subject-matter experts on hand to answer questions you may have when building out your idea/concept.

How do I get to the Innovation Summit?

As parking is limited at the Aviation Museum, we encourage all employees to use an alternative mode of transportation to get to the event. Join a carpool or a vanpool, bike, walk, or take transit—the choice is yours! All employees who use an alternative mode of transportation to the event will be entered into a raffle to win a portable phone charger & reusable Hydroflask water bottle!

What can we expect the day of the event? Should we bring our idea flushed out and spend the day creating a pitch? Or just have preliminary data and expect to have time to flush out the idea?

After the speakers we will dismiss the teams to start working. During this time most of the teams spend a little time flushing out the idea and then start crafting their presentations to the judges. Since this may be the first time the team is meeting to discuss the idea in person, there is usually some brainstorming and decisions to be made about the idea and what is priority to pitch to the judges in the 3 minute time period. Watch the clock, use your time wisely. We'll make periodic time announcements during the work time. We'll also have subject matter experts on hand to help answer any questions you may have about different programs or policies at the County.

Here's a tip: Don’t save the important stuff to the end of the pitch…some teams have run out of time just as they got to the idea because they spent so much time on background. 3 minutes goes really fast!

Is there a written deliverable?

During the event, around lunchtime, we'll collect 3 bullet points from you that captures the nature of the idea you will present. We do this because sometimes the idea morphs a bit during the group work and we want to have a little cheat sheet for the judges so they can remember who presented what. We may also throw a little "turbulence" at you during the event. We don't want folks to come to the event with a presentation in the bag and just sit there. Don't worry, it won't be too bad.

For the pitch, will we need to have considered the implementation steps or just introduce the concepts?

One of the things your presentation will be scored on is feasibility, so you may want to touch upon implementation in your presentation but you do not have to have it planned out and go into details about it! 

Can you share past innovation summit presentations?

Unfortunately not at this time. I think teams are nervous enough...having a camera there and then showing off the presentation outside the context of the event isn't fair to them. We did hope to make a mock presentation video demo but our videographer left the county. Hopefully next time!

If you have any other questions, please contact the Innovation Summit Committee at