The Innovation Challenge encourages students to develop innovative ideas with the chance to compete for over $21,000 in cash and prizes. Teams compete in the social impact, graduate research or entrepreneurship tracks.
This year, The Nice Center is excited to help develop the competition and prepare students for sharing their ideas. Sign up to learn more about the Innovation Challenge here. When you’re ready, apply here.
What’s New in the Innovation Challenge
We have a few big updates this year:
- The boot camps will be available online. We hope this encourages more people to participate and helps create teams from students working on their own.
- The Innovation Challenge is available to the entire Tri-College, which means students from NDSU, MSUM, Concordia, M-State, and NDSCS are welcome to participate
- The Innovation Challenge will be entirely in the fall. This will allow professors to use the program in their fall courses.
- Scott Meyer, Ozbun Executive Director of Entrepreneurship (me), will be leading the boot camps.
- We will be matching participating teams with business mentors to help them improve their ideas. Let us know if you are a potential mentor!
Key Dates for the 2019 Innovation Challenge
All events are optional unless noted.
Hype Night — September 24th from 5:30–8pm at the Alumni Center
Come learn about the event, practice pitching ideas, and meet potential team members in this fun, social event.
Boot Camp #1 — October 3rd in-person from 6–8pm at the Alumni Center; October 4th at 1pm online
Join Ozbun Executive Director of Entrepreneurship, Scott Meyer, to learn how to generate and test ideas. This boot camp will prepare you to submit your proposal. If you can’t make it in-person on October 3rd, register here to join us online on October 4th or any time after that to watch the replay.
Proposals Due — October 17th; Required
Submit your Innovation Challenge proposal here. You will answer five short questions about your idea and team.
Boot Camp #2 — October 22nd in-person from 6–8pm at the Alumni Center; October 23rd at 8pm online
Join Scott Meyer to learn how to iterate and pitch your ideas in a compelling way. This boot camp will prepare you for the final pitches.
Project Showcase — November 4th from 4–6pm at Great Plains Ballroom in the Memorial Union; Required
Participants in the competition will display their innovation for the community and judging will take place. The Creative Destruction Award will be also presented at the end of the evening via the Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise. The top 10 innovators will advance to the Final Pitch/Awards Night on December 3.
Boot Camp #3 — November 19th in-person from 6–8pm at the Alumni Center; November 20th at 8pm online
Join Scott Meyer to complete your business model canvas and use your forecasts to create the story for your innovative idea. This boot camp will prepare you to create the poster you will use for the project showcase.
Final Pitch and Awards Night — December 3rd from 4–6pm at the Great Plains Ballroom at the Memorial Union, Open to the Public
The top 10 innovations will advance to the Final Pitch and Awards Night. The top three winners in each category will receive $2,500, $2,000, and $1,500 with a peoples’ choice category win of $1,000.
Join Us and Spread the Word
We are excited for another big fall of Innovation Challenge. We hope that you will join us if you are a student. Even if you don’t have an idea or a team, we will help you both generate ideas and find other students to work with. You can get started by joining The Nice Network where we will share key events and connect you with collaborators and mentors.
For faculty and community members, join us and spread the word. We will be looking for mentors, sponsors, judges, and attendees for the project showcase. We invite you to help students create big ideas and watch them as they develop those ideas into action.