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HOT NEW NEXT is a design pitch competition for established and emerging designers in North America who seek to gain valuable feedback from some of the continent’s leading experts while exposing their latest products or concepts to the world. This year, preliminary rounds take place in Seattle, Portland, New York, and Los Angeles. One winner from each round will be invited to the finals held in Vancouver, British Columbia, this fall. 

The GRAY Stage at IDS takes on a new look in 2023 with GRAY Studios - an interactive space consisting of two recording studios: Canary and Dove. Enjoy original GRAY programming, hosting your own talks/interviews for digital engagement, and live demonstrations by exhibitors.  Throughout the show, GRAY will host talks with designers and visionaries as well as opening up the studios for pre-reserved use allowing makers, designers, and collaborators the opportunity to share and demonstrate their ideas. 

Art Director: Andrew Alford

Where to find us: GRAY Studios is located in the main hall adjacent to Studio North and Prototype


How it works

Designers and innovators across North America enter their ideas for a chance to be invited to pitch their design and business plan during a First Round event. During First Round events — held in Seattle, Portland, New York City, and Los Angeles in front of a live audiences — presenters will have just 3 minutes to convey their concepts to our distinguished panel of judges.

The judging panel includes individuals with expertise in key areas for product launch success: design and manufacturing, business development, sales, finance, marketing, and retail. The panel will hear each rapid pitch presentation and follow up with questions and offer insight to help presenters hone their pitches. The judging panel will name the winner. The live audience and online audience will vote for People’s Choice.

Green Electronic Device

Winners from each First Round event will 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). 

Here, the winner of Hot New Next 2022 is chosen and awarded with a cash prize, editorial coverage in GRAY magazine, international exposure on GRAY’s digital and social media platforms, mentorship(s) with members of the judging panel(s), and more!

What winners win

First Round winners receive:

  • Press! Broad promotional exposure across GRAY’s platforms

  • Valuable insight! Live feedback from a prestigious panel of judges

  • Next-level competition! The opportunity to compete against the best of the best in the Championship Round, held on the GRAY Stage during IDS — the largest interior design show on the West Coast!

The CHAMPION receives:

  • Prizes! Cash and goods from GRAY and our HOT NEW NEXT collaborators!

  • Mentoring! 1 hour of one-on-one with each judge on the Championship panel.

  • Press! The Champion will be featured in GRAY magazine, on GRAY’s digital and social media platforms, and in a press release to other media and to our enews subscribers.

  • ​Prestige! The Champion is publicly anointed the next big thing in design.

Event locations + dates

Join us in person! Each event includes a pre-program networking cocktail with presenters and judges.

Dates and ticket info to be announced.

April 28, 2022
at Seattle Design Center
May 2022
date and location 
June 2022
date and location 
July 2022
date and location 

First Round

One winner from this event moves on to the Championship Round
One winner from this event moves on to the Championship Round
One winner from this event moves on to the Championship Round
One winner from this event moves on to the Championship Round


September 24, 2022
on the GRAY Stage at the Vancouver Convention Centre West during IDS

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.

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 can present a dynamic personal pitch.


You will benefit the most from HOT NEW NEXT if:

How to apply

1. Enter

Enter your product or concept via our online entry portal between March 4, 2022 - April 4, 2022. Here, you will indicate which First Round Event city (or cities) you are available for. 

If your entry is selected, you will be contacted via email and invited to make your pitch at one of the First Round events. Confirmed presenters will be posted on this website.

**NOTE** Anyone who applies must also be available to attend the Championship Round in Vancouver, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2022, should they win in the First Round. First Round winners will be provided passes to attend IDS Vancouver, any guests will need to purchase tickets to the show. We will add a link here as soon as tickets become available. 


Entry fees collected help us cover travel stipends for the Championship Round presenters. Travel stipends are not provided for First Round events.

2. Pitch

At each event, presenters will have 3 minutes to pitch to the judges in front of a live audience using images and/or video to illustrate their ideas. Judges will then have 5 minutes per pitch to ask questions and/or provide feedback.


Once all contestants have completed their pitches, judges will deliberate to determine the design they believe has the most potential and was pitched most successfully. Each First Round winner — heeding the feedback from the First Round judges — will move on to pitch at the final round in Vancouver, B.C., where on design will named the 2022 HOT NEW NEXT CHAMPION.






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