Roanoke College

Fifth Annual Innovation Challenge


SALEM, Va. -Roanoke College announces the successful completion of the fifth annual Innovation Challenge with the development of four outstanding innovations. The program, a partnership between Roanoke College and The Egg Factory, provides a unique opportunity for students completing their junior year in college. Sixteen students from four disciplines - business, engineering, industrial design and liberal arts - participated in the eight-week summer intern program. Four teams were formed with a member from each discipline and challenged to develop a new innovation, patent it and write a business plan. Each innovation had to meet four criteria: to be available in the market within three years, to be a global idea with revenue of a billion dollars within five years of commercialization, provide a benefit to society and to be patentable.

Participating students, selected from over 800 applications, were from six colleges and universities: the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami University (Ohio), Duke University, North Carolina State University and Roanoke College. The program concluded with each team presenting its business plan to a panel of judges from the business community. Each member of the winning team received $1,000.

This year's winning innovation was a new dental hygiene product. Kristen Schaeffer, a Roanoke College student from Dulles, was a member of the winning team. The other innovations included a food storage device, improved cookware and a personal health monitor. Other Roanoke College students participating in the challenge were: Andrea Blackwelder of Limon, Colorado; Alex Tuck of Richmond; and Robert Hull of Roanoke. Laura Braaten, a Roanoke College senior from Chesapeake, was a participant in last year's Innovation Challenge and served as a peer mentor this year.

The Innovation Challenge provides multiple opportunities for the participants: their innovations are presented to Fortune 500 companies; they are mentored by The Egg Factory entrepreneurs; each has an ownership stake in their invention and each will receive a percentage of the profit if the innovation is commercialized; the program is a paid internship by The Egg Factory with housing, resources and meals provided by Roanoke College; and the students interact with industry experts having a broad range of experiences and backgrounds to assist in the process of creating their innovation.

About the Egg Factory (TEF)
The Egg Factory, LLC, is an organization dedicated to the creation and development of significant consumer and industrial innovations. The company creates transformational technology and global innovative solutions and then sells or licenses them to Fortune 500 companies, and private equity firms for their commercialization. Since its founding, The Egg Factory (TEF) has provided anumber of significant innovations to large global companies and private equity firms including: e-Vision, (electro-active focusing optics technology for the correction of presbyopia) to Johnson & Johnson; AgroShieldTM , (polymer technology that protects crops against loss due to freezing temperatures) to a private equity group. TEF recently formed an alliance with Avery Dennison to develop PocketMate™, a product intended to provide a unique, hassle-free means for carrying and storing personal or valuable items, such as identification and money, and for secretly storing tracking devices to protect children and loved ones. Today, TEF has more than two-dozen innovations at various stages of development. For additional information about TEF, and its innovations visit

About Roanoke College
Roanoke College, the country's second oldest Lutheran-related college, is an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college. Its 1,850 students represent Virginia and 41 states across the U.S., along with 25 foreign countries. The college offers 33 majors, including professional preparation in business and education and pre-professional programs in law, medicine, dentistry, engineering and ministry. The college is listed in U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges Guide as a national liberal arts college. Roanoke is one of just 270 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. Roanoke is featured in Colleges of Distinction, a new college guide profiling some of America's best bets in higher education.

For further information, please call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office, (540) 375-2282.