Innovation Challenge to Begin with Pitch Night

The eighth annual Innovation Challenge is starting to take form for 2017.

The competition is open to all North Dakota State students from all areas of study. Sammy Shultz, who competed in last year’s challenge, said, “The thing that surprised me most was all the different types of majors that were involved: engineering, business, nursing.”

The competition will have four tracks consisting of agriculture, products, services and social impact.

“A total of $27,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the students with the most innovative ideas,” reported NDSU on the Innovation challenge website.

Each track will have a first place prize of $5,000, second place of $1,000 and third place of $500.

Shultz said, “The challenge as a whole is a compilation of many events spread over that time period, whether it be boot camps or presentations, or showcases, but a lot of the work is done on your own time with your team.”

There are three rounds of competition, the first is innovation proposal, then the semi-final presentation and progress review and then the final presentation.

“You send in a proposal of your idea into the panel of judges, and they decide who moves on to the project showcase. After the showcase you give the judges a brief pitch of your idea. The participants are then chosen to give a formal final presentation,” Shultz said.

She said she will be competing in this year’s challenge and already has her group together to compete.

“I enjoy being at all the events with my team, and making new connections. Everyone in the challenge (is) trying to make a difference in the world, and we all just want to improve the lives of those around (us),” Shultz said.

Registration for the Innovation Challenge ’17 is open until Oct. 28, and the winners will be announced at the award ceremony on Feb. 28. If students have any questions they can contact the NDSU Research and Technology Park.

Shultz said, “If people are really interested in joining, come check out the Pitch Night in mid-October” and to also check out “the project showcase, everyone that comes can vote for their favorite idea.”

Pitch Night will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Alumni Center. Registration is required; pizza will be provided and prizes given away.

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