Roanoke College Innovation Challenge

Presented by Roanoke College's Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurial Innovation

June 2 - July 25, 2014

Innovation ChallengeThe Roanoke College Innovation Challenge has been established with a creative partnership between Roanoke College and local businesses to form a private industry innovation engine. Each summer, approximately 16 students from Roanoke College and other top academic institutions are offered the unique opportunity to participate in this innovation challenge.

Past projects include a system that transforms the way devices are powered by eliminating the need for power cords and cosmetics and jewelry that changes colors to complement a person’s attire or mood manufactured from a photochromic compound.

The sixteen participants are divided into teams and given the task to develop a comprehensive business plan for a new product innovation. With the help of faculty and industry mentors, students will research:

  • Patent/intellectual property process
  • Organizational structure
  • Production
  • Marketing
  • Financial aspects
  • Funding
  • Product design
  • Exit strategies

The projects incorporate knowledge and concepts from many different academic disciplines; therefore, students with divergent backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to apply.

Reasons to Participate

  • Paid stipends
  • Teams compete for cash prizes
  • Housing and meals are provided
  • An opportunity to patent and market a real product
  • Incredible networking experience
  • Exposure to numerous industry leaders
  • Roanoke College students receive internship and/or IL credit
  • The possibility of ownership in successful start-ups
Passions defined: Roanoke student embraces college life

Passions defined: Roanoke student embraces college life

With a knack for business studies, Internet communications and intramural flag football, Emily Crew found interests that she never knew existed when she came to Roanoke College.

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Student & Professor Focus

On March 12th and 13th, Roanoke College seniors Samantha Sterba ‘09 and Virginia Hopkins ‘09 accompanied Dr. Alice L. Kassens to the 2009 Virginia Association of Economists (VAE) 36th Annual Meeting. This trip really began, however, during the fall semester of 2008.

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Innovation Challenge

Each team was required to create a comprehensive business plan to include manufacturing, marketing and financial strategies for their products.

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