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
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Prescription for the economy: Roanoke students-turned-economists put knowledge to the test

Students in the Fed Challenge have a mere 20 minutes to present a well-researched summary of the current economic situation. They also propose actions that the Federal Reserve Bank should take to help improve the economy.

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Robinson has had a lot of callings. The Eagle Scout and economics major served in the U.S. Army and the administrations of Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. As special advisor to Secretary of State George Schultz, he was named “Ambassador” in 1983. Now he is launching a new career, planning a book, and heading up a national organization.

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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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