In a series of live events produced by GRAY, contestants from across North America pitch new, inventive designs to a panel of experts who help them hone their pitches to investors, retailers, media, and manufacturers. Winners walk away with cash, mentoring, editorial coverage, and are named North America’s HOT NEW NEXT Champion!

HOW IT WORKS: Single preliminary events (Round 1) are held in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, and Toronto. Winners at this level move on to the Championship Round held on the GRAY Stage at the Vancouver Convention Centre in British Columbia during the Interior Design Show (IDS). Winners of each Round 1 event, must be able to get to Vancouver, B.C. for the Championship event on October 3, 2020.

Entry deadline: EXTENDED TO JULY 13, 2020!

Event dates are being rescheduled to late summer/fall. Stay tuned for updates.


Portland, Oregon: Postponed to April, 2020

New York City: TBD

Chicago, Illinois: TBD

Toronto, Ontario: TBD

Los Angeles, California: TBD

Vancouver, B.C. (Championships!): TBD

You will benefit the most from HOT NEW NEXT if:

  • You have a compelling and detailed idea for a product or concept that hasn't yet made it to market, or that you want to scale.
  • Your business model can be easily explained to the judges.
  • You have an innovative idea that will evolve existing paradigms in the design world.
  • Your pitch includes photography, illustrations, or renderings.
  • Your pitch addresses an existing problem, or will be an exciting new addition to the market.
  • You think you can present a dynamic personal pitch.

What to expect:

  • Step one: Enter your idea via our online entry portal by July 13. Don't worry, your idea is safe with us!
  • If you are selected, you will be invited to pitch at a HNN Round 1 event.
  • The selected contestants of each event will be posted on our website. 
  • At the event, contestants will have 2 minutes to pitch to the judges in front of a live audience using images and/or video to illustrate their ideas. Judges will then ask questions and/or provide feedback. At the end, judges will deliberate to determine the design they believe has the most potential and was pitched most successfully. 
  • Each Round 1 winner will be posted on our website.
  • Each Round 1 winner will move on to pitch at the Championship Round on Oct. 3, 2020 in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Round 1 contestants receive:

  • Each contestant receives broad promotional exposure on GRAY's platforms, live feedback from the prestigious panel of judges, plus the chance to pitch at IDS, the largest interior design show on the West Coast!
  • Round 1 winners advance to the Championship round held on the GRAY Stage at IDS Vancouver, the largest interior design platform on the West Coast  

Champion receives:

  • Cash! Monetary prize to help your idea become a reality!
  • Mentoring! 1 hour of one-on-one with each judge on the championship panel.
  • Press! The Champion will be featured in the Dec./Jan. issue of GRAY magazine
  • Prestige! The Champion is publicly anointed the next big thing in design!


If I entered Hot New Next or the GRAY Awards last year, can I use the same Submittable account I already created to submit for this year’s 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 a diversity of ideas, so whether you are an established or emerging designer or company, we are interested in hearing about what you have in the works! Read about past winners here:

How do the events in six cities work?

There will be one HNN Round 1 event held in each city. We aim to assign contestants to the competition held in the city closest to them, and even ask each applicant to indicate their city of preference. However, as our goal is to curate a diverse mix for each event, there is a chance that you will not be offered the closest city. Contestants will participate in ONE city event. The single winner from each city event will advance to the championship round. By entering, you agree that if you win the city round, you will be able to compete in Vancouver BC at the championship round on Oct. 3, 2020. **Note** travel costs are not provided for city or championship rounds.

How many contestants will be chosen?

Each Round 1 event will feature 4-5 pre-selected contestants. Each contestant receives broad promotional exposure on GRAY's platforms, live feedback from the prestigious panel of judges, plus the chance to pitch at the west coast’s biggest design show and potentially win the grand prize!

Do city 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, and our HNN team will respond as soon as possible during business hours (9am-5pm PST).

By clicking the Hot New Next form below you will be asked to sign in (for returning submitters), or create a free account, and then you may view the submission form.

For any questions, please refer to the guidelines on the Submission landing page, here.