Why participate?

Why should you join the City’ZEN Challenge?

As you will discover below, the City’ZEN Challenge has a lot to offer: substantial prize money and multiple winning teams, exclusivity, two parallel competition tracks, professional incubation coaching, domestic and international internship offers and start-up and commercial partnership opportunities.

Taken together, this is an ensemble of advantages that, simply put, you won’t find anywhere else.


An international, inter-school competition reserved exclusively for students at our partner-schools.

Unlike other international innovation competitions, the City’ZEN Challenge is exclusively reserved for students at our partner-schools.
This is a major advantage because it translates into a much higher probability of your project being selected for the official competition and reaching the podium at the final jury.

Two competitions in one

Do you have your own project-idea? We have a competition for you. This is our Competition Track 1.
You don’t have a project-idea? We have a competition for you too.
This is our Competition Track 2.
(Please see the FAQ section for more information.)

Multiple winners and substantial prize money

At stake, a total of 25,000 € and 8 winning teams:

Track 1: 16,000 € and 4 winning teams

  • 1st Prize: 7,500 €
  • 2nd Prize: 5,000 €
  • 3rd Prize: 2,500 €
  • 4th Prize: 1,000 €

Track 2: 9,000 € and 4 winning teams

Category: BL Staff Ideas

  • 1st Prize: 3,000 €
  • 2nd Prize: 1,500 €

Category: BL Client Ideas

  • 1st Prize: 3,000 €
  • 2nd Prize: 1,500 €

Professional incubation coaching for each finalist-team

One unique advantage of the City’ZEN Challenge which clearly sets it apart from other competitions is the project coaching services provided to each finalist-team.

From start to finish, from conception to proof of concept, Berger-Levrault provides each team with professional incubation coaching to help them crystallize their project. This ‘start-up’ training experience helps our student-teams to not only launch their ideas but also to kick-start their careers.

Domestic and international internship offers

Every year Berger-Levrault makes available to members of our finalist-teams numerous internship opportunities, both domestic and international (France, Spain, Canada and Morocco).

With a view to promoting their professional development, Berger-Levrault interns are given the chance to work on concrete projects with trained professionals and thus, develop important skills and gain valuable experience.

For more information concerning current internship offers, please visit this webpage.

Post-Competition: Start-up incubation and commercial partnership possibilities

In its quest to support students and cultivate innovation, Berger-Levrault is often inclined to propose various forms of incubation support (technical, logistical, financial, etc.) to certain finalist-teams in order to help them transform their projects into bona fide start-ups, and, potentially, become commercial partners with the company.

Who can apply

To be eligible to compete in the City’ZEN Challenge, you must be at least 18 years old, a student at one of our partner-schools and be officially enrolled for the 2021-2022 university year.

How to apply

You have your own project-idea.

In Track 1, student-teams propose and develop their own project-ideas.

The call for project-ideas for Track 1 is from 18 October to 29 November 2021.

You don’t have a project-idea.

In Track 2, student-teams develop the project-ideas proposed by staff and clients of Berger-Levrault.

The call for applications for Track 2 is from 18 October to 29 November 2021.


What students say

What our partner-schools say

What the coaches say