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Innovation Week to showcase students' innovative work

Posted on 2/21/2014

North Dakota State University and the NDSU Research and Technology Park will host the fifth annual Innovation Week on March 3-7, to showcase and encourage students' innovative work.

The week includes the culmination of a year-long student innovation competition, educational sessions and networking opportunities. The events are free and open to all NDSU students, faculty, staff and the public.

The highlight of Innovation Week is the third annual Innovation Challenge. Student teams have competed throughout the school year, and the top 20 will present their ideas for new, progressive products, services or corn-based innovations. Judges award the top innovation in each category $5,000. A total of $20,000 will be awarded to winning teams. The North Dakota Corn Growers Association is a major sponsor of the competition.

"The innovative ideas of the NDSU students are truly phenomenal," said Chuck Hoge, interim executive director of the NDSU Research and Technology Park. "Innovation Challenge is an organized way for students to present their ideas, earn prize money and learn more about the process of turning ideas into commercial ventures."

Past Innovation Challenges yielded numerous entrepreneurial ideas, including a test for contaminates in a widely-used blood thinning drug, a novel dental implant and an encapsulation material used for cancer drug delivery.

The purpose of Innovation Week is to:

--Encourage students to be innovative thinkers
--Enhance student awareness for innovation as a precursor to entrepreneurship
--Empower students to pursue entrepreneurship as a career choice
--Expand student access to resources available for innovators and entrepreneurs
--Engage the current entrepreneur and business communities with students

Innovation Week Events


James Burgum of Arthur Ventures, LLC, is scheduled to talk about finding the right investor for a project on Tuesday, March 4, noon to 1 p.m., in the Memorial Union Century Theater.

The presentation titled "Show me the money with angel investing" will illuminate what angel investors are looking for in a project and what it takes to quickly raise the capital needed to grow and build a start-up business.


On Wednesday, March 5, Innovation Challenge teams will give their oral presentations beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Memorial Union Prairie Rose and Hidatsa rooms.


The week will culminate with an awards ceremony for the student innovation competition and keynote address. The event is scheduled for Thursday, March 6, with at social starting at 5 p.m. and the program starting at 5:30 p.m., in the Memorial Union Great Plains Ballroom.

Keynote speaker André Taylor will draw on his 35-year career as a business leader to discuss what makes today's innovators influential and how they will define our future.

Taylor regularly appears on television, radio, in print and online as an expert in entrepreneurship, and he is a regular contributor to "ABC News' Money Matters." Taylor started his first venture as a teenager, and has written several books, including "You Can Still Win!" He also produces a weekly newsletter titled "Flourish!" Through his company, Taylor Insight Worldwide LLC, he provides leadership development, management consultant services and coaching for clients in multiple sectors of the business community.

To register for the Innovation Week awards ceremony, visit

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

The NDSU Research and Technology Park is home to exciting, technology-based, high-growth companies. The companies provide high quality jobs, diversify the economy and compete in the national and international markets. The Research and Technology Park operates a Technology Incubator to assist startup companies in developing and taking their product to market. Incubator companies typically have strong ties to NDSU by commercializing technology originating in NDSU labs or by having a strong working relationship with university faculty and students. The companies work in the fields of material sciences, biosciences and life science technology, information technology, nanotechnology, and advanced manufacturing and sensors/micro-electronics.

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