What is Kickbox?

Kickbox is a way to help Elon students develop their ideas and foster innovation on campus. It is (literally) a box, stuffed with guidance, resources, and a Visa gift card to help you fine-tune and develop your idea. Students are encouraged to use the Maker Hub’s tools and community to help turn your idea into a reality.  

What specifically is in the box?

We can’t tell you – we don't want to ruin the surprise :)

What can I make with a Kickbox?

You tell us! When we were developing Elon’s Kickbox, we didn’t have any specific projects in mind. It could be something that solves a problem in the world, in the community, on campus, or in your room. It could be a prototype or a finished product. Need inspiration? Take a look at one of the United Nation’s Global Problems or see what students made in Spring 2016 and Spring 2017.

Who can apply for a Kickbox?

Elon students in all majors are invited to apply for a Kickbox.

How do I get a Kickbox?

We have a limited number of Kickboxes to distribute this year, so it’s a competitive process that involves a few steps.

  1. Think of an idea for a project that you can complete in roughly three months time (start now).
  2. Identify a faculty or staff sponsor who supports your idea (start now). You will need to talk with your sponsor before submitting an application. 
  3. Complete an online application explaining your idea and why it’s worth pursuing (Applications are now closed for Kickbox 2018).
  4. Receive confirmation that your Kickbox project was accepted (January)
  5. Attend an in-person workshop (approx 2 hours) in late January or early February. You will receive your Kickbox at this session.

How much time do I have to finish my project?

You’ll have between mid-January/early February (when you pick up your Kickbox) to late April to work on your project.

Can teams apply for a Kickbox?

Yes. If you want to work as a team on a project, that’s awesome. But you’ll only get one Kickbox for that project. Kickboxes are awarded per idea.

If you choose to work as a team, one person must be designated as the primary investigator for the project. This individual will be responsible for meeting all the deadlines and communicating with Kickbox program staff. Teams between 2-4 members, or co-investigators, seem to work best.

Students listed as co-investigators on a project are allowed to apply for their own Kickbox if it’s for an entirely different project. Remember, it’s one Kickbox per idea.

How many Kickboxes can I get?

Students can be the primary investigator for only one Kickbox per year. However, students can be co-investigators on more than one project.

What are the responsibilities of the faculty/staff sponsor?

All Kickbox recipients are required to have a faculty or staff member sponsor their idea. The role of the sponsor is to make sure the idea or project has some basis in reality, and to provide you with guidance during your project. The sponsor should have experience in the domain you’ll be exploring with your Kickbox. Learn more about sponsor expectations. 

How do I find a faculty/staff sponsor? 

You’ll want to find a faculty or staff person with previous experience that could help you as you develop your idea. Start with professors and staff persons you already know. Explain your idea to them and ask for their recommendations about who to talk to next. Faculty and staff at Elon know each other and will likely know who could help. 

What if my project fails?

That’s okay. Failure is a natural part of making. It’s expected. The important thing is that you learn from these failures to better prepare for your next project. You will still be required to complete all the responsibilities of the Kickbox - like regular updates and presenting about what went wrong and how it could be fixed.

What kind of funds are in the Kickbox?

The Kickbox has a $300 pre-paid Visa card that can be used anywhere that accepts credit cards.

What can I buy with my Visa card?

The funds in the Kickbox are to help make your idea a reality. Making it a reality will likely involve a lot of different things. These could include:

  • materials
  • tools
  • the advice of professionals and peers
  • attending a workshop that costs money
  • purchasing software
  • travel to a conference or meet-up
  • just about anything, really

There’s no way for us to know what you’re going to need to build and refine your idea. To make it as simple as possible for you to get what you need, we’re giving you near-total freedom with how you spend your funds. If you can honestly justify it for your project, then it’s OK to spend your funds on it. Purchases of illegal substances and weapons are prohibited.

In exchange for this freedom, you will be required to track your expenses in an online spreadsheet and submit your receipts at the end of your project. You may have to pay back any funds that are not accompanied by a receipt, so be sure to document everything. We’ll provide you with a budget spreadsheet template in Google Drive and Excel formats to help you track expenses.

Who owns the stuff I buy with my Visa card? 

You maintain ownership of your idea and anything you build as part of this project. You are also welcome to keep any materials you purchase for your project. Any tools that you buy should be returned to the Maker Hub for use by other Elon makers. Examples of tools that should be returned are: a soldering iron used to solder parts of your project, an oscilloscope to measure electrical signals, and a power drill to drill holes. We recognize there is a gray area in this definition, so please direct any questions about what should be returned to

What if I don’t use all the money on my Visa card?

That’s great - you can return it to the Maker Hub. This project has limited funds, so any money you don’t use will go toward helping another Elon maker build their idea.

What if I need equipment that isn’t in the Maker Hub?

Let us know. Equipment like table saws, drill presses, and other traditional workshop equipment is available at Elon. We can work with you to facilitate access to those tools in workshop areas around campus. 

In addition, Elon students have access to the woodshop at Container Space at Loy Farm and STEAM Junction, the makerspace in downtown Burlington. Review those links to find what’s available and how to access those spaces. If you need tools that are not available at these locations, you could use a portion of your funds to access other makerspaces in the region.

What are the requirements if I get a Kickbox?

By taking a Kickbox, you agree to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Post regular (at least 4) and substantial updates on the progress of your project on a project website. Each update should include photos (of your project, notes, or sketches) and text.
  • Attend four 1-2 hour meetings throughout the Spring semester with other Kickbox students.
  • Show your project to are makers at the Burlington Maker Faire in late April.
  • Give an oral presentation to the Elon community during Celebrate Week in late April.
  • Return the Visa card with any remaining funds and equipment used in your project.
  • Submit all your receipts and a spreadsheet with all your expenses.
  • Complete a post-project survey of your experiences with the Kickbox program.

What if I don’t fulfill the requirements of the Kickbox?

If you do not complete the requirements as outlined in this document, if you leave the project or Elon University, or in the unlikely event you are asked to leave the project, you agree to return the Visa card, as well as ALL materials and tools to the Maker Hub within three business days. You may be held accountable for any missing funds on the Visa card. You will also not be allowed to receive Kickboxes in the future.

Who selects the Kickbox projects?

Kickbox applications are reviewed by Maker Hub student staff, Teaching and Learning Technology staff (TLT) and by select faculty members serving on the Academic Technology and Computing Committee (ATACC).


Where did Kickbox come from?

Adobe originally developed Kickbox as a way to inspire innovation among their employees. They have made the materials available for others to use for free. We’ve modified their version to make it a better fit for Elon.