Call for Entries: HOT NEW NEXT

Call for Entries: HOT NEW NEXT Blog  Gray Magazine

Call for Entries: Portland / Seattle / Vancouver​

Is your idea the next big thing in design?

Presented by GRAY


HOT NEW NEXT is a dynamic competition celebrating the innovative ideas moving Pacific Northwest design forward. This Shark Tank-style program will offer contestants in each city the chance to present a rapid-fire pitch of a compelling new design-related concept or product to an expert panel and live audience.

Judges (and the audience) will vote, and regional winners will be featured in GRAY magazine, receive off-site mentorship by our judges, and advance to the championship round—held on the GRAY Stage at IDS Vancouver—to compete for a cash prize and the designation of truly being the next big thing in Pacific Northwest design.

​Whether your idea is brand new, or a clever update to an existing product, all design disciplines are welcome—from architecture and furniture to interiors, fashion, tech, and beyond.

Even if you aren’t chosen for HOT NEW NEXT, we may still want to talk to you about featuring your idea in GRAY—so submit today!

Full information and submit here >>


Portland Event
Monday, April 16, 2018
Design Within Reach



Guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Your idea must be design-related.
  2. Your idea should be as new/never-before seen as possible.
  3. Successful pitches will have accompanying professional or high-quality photography available to illustrate it.
  4. Successful pitches will address and existing problem, or will be an exciting new addition to the market.
  5. Submitters will be added as subscribers to GRAY’s e-newsletter, which includes information about HNN. You may unsubscribe at any time.
  6. Submission portal closes March 9.


You will benefit the most from HOT NEW NEXT if you:

  1. Have a compelling and detailed idea for a product (with illustrations or renderings) or concept but haven’t yet realized it or brought it to market OR
  2. Have a prototype or product that you’ve already brought to market and want to scale it.
  3. Have an innovative idea that will evolve existing paradigms in the design world.


What to expect:

  1. Step one: Submit your idea via our online submission form. Don’t worry, your idea is safe with us!
  2. If you are chosen as a contestant, we will notify you via email by March 16.
  3. Then, a member of our team will reach out to share event information and answering any questions you may have along the way.
  4. If you are selected, you will be invited to pitch at any one of the HNN events happening throughout the region.
  5. At the event, contestants will have about 5 minutes to pitch to the judges in front of an audience using images and/or video to illustrate their ideas. Then, judges will ask questions and/or provide feedback. At the end, judges will deliberate to choose the idea that they think was pitched most successfully and/or has the most potential.


Winners receive:

  1. Spotlight in the August/September “Futurecast” issue of GRAY magazine.
  2. One-time mentoring session post-event with each judge.
  3. Spotlight on GRAY’s social media channels and website. (Note all contestants receive promotion via GRAY’s channels).
  4. Advancement to the GRAY Stage at Interior Design Show Vancouver, the biggest design show on the West Coast, on Sep. 22, 2018, to pitch against the other regional winners for a chance to win the $1,000 grand prize, and continued promotion via GRAY’s channels around that event.


Grand prize:

  1. $1,000 USD cash prize to help your idea become a reality!
  2. The designation of truly being the next big thing in Pacific Northwest design!




If I entered the GRAY Awards or Pitch Tank last year, can I use the same Submittable account I already created to submit for HOT NEW NEXT?
Yes! If you don’t already have an account, it’s easy and free to create one.

How do I know if my idea or product is a good fit for HOT NEW NEXT?
We are looking for diversity of ideas here, so whether you are an established designer or company, or brand new, we are interested in hearing what you’ve got in the works! Read about past winners (this event was formerly known as Pitch Tank) on our HNN web page: HNN is free to enter, and we may contact you about future opportunities to be featured in GRAY, so you’ve got a lot to gain by entering, and only the short time it takes to fill out the submission form to lose!

How do the multiple events in three cities work?
There will be a HNN event held in Portland (April 16), Vancouver, B.C. (May date TBA), and Seattle (June date TBA). We aim to have contestants compete in the city closest to them, but ask each submitter to indicate which of the three cities are potential options, since our aim is to curate the best mix for each event. As a contestant, you will participate in ONE spring event, and then the winner from each event will go on to pitch their idea against the other regional winners on our stage at Interior Design Show Vancouver, September 22, 2018. Note associated travel costs are not provided.

How many contestants will be chosen?
Each city’s event will feature 4-5 contestants. In total, up to 15 contestants will get broad promotional exposure on GRAY’s platforms, live feedback from the prestigious panel of HNN judges, plus the chance to pitch at the west coast’s biggest design show and potentially win the grand prize!

Do winners need to register for or buy tickets to attend Interior Design Vancouver?
Nope, GRAY provides that for you!

I have a question that wasn’t answered above, what should I do?
Email us at [email protected], and our HNN team will respond as soon as possible during business hours (9am-5pm PST).


About GRAY
GRAY is a privately-held media company based in Washington, and is North America’s only magazine dedicated exclusively to design from the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. and Canada. GRAY’s print and digital magazines, talks, competitions, website, and events are curated to reflect the culture of leading design in this region.

​Established in 2011, GRAY presents the best of the best in interiors, architecture, fashion, art, and design—​encouraging a global audience of more than 1 million designers and consumers to look to the Pacific Northwest for sourcing, inspiration, and leadership.


Images courtesy GRAY.

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