Mike Contreras

Co-Founder & Director, SensisChallenges
Michael Contreras

Co-Founder & Director



Michael Contreras is the Co-Founder and Director of SensisChallenges, a crowdsourcing practice that builds innovation programs for organizations such as US Army, JPEO-CBD, HHS, CDC, NIH, KaBOOM!, and Project Paradigm. Through intelligent audience targeting and proven co-creation methods, SensisChallenges helps organizations collaborate more effectively with the crowd. The practice has enabled 10+ innovation challenges in tech, public health, sustainability, design, education, and science discovery awarding over $3MM in prizes and winning PM360’s Most Innovative Division of 2016.

Prior to Sensis, Mike co-founded and managed the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Catalyst Energy Innovation Prize, a $1MM program funding scalable energy software startups. The program received several awards including the Edison Innovation Award from Challenge.gov, the DOE Energy Rock Star Award, the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) 2015 Grand Prize, and IdeaScale’s Open Innovation Award. His work has been highlighted by the White House and covered by Forbes, TechCrunch, and the book Delivering on Digital: The Innovations and Technologies That Are Transforming Government.

In another life, Mike was a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico City and a spacecraft structural engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Caltech. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering and a Master’s degree in MechanicalEngineering from Rice University.