I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge celebrates its Sixth event with five new student winners!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Marion, IN - The Grant County Economic Growth Council celebrates its sixth annual I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge on February 10-12 with five new student winners: Keegan Hazen from Anderson University, Leisha Sigler from Ball State University, Rachel Osterholt from Huntington University, Santiago from Indiana Wesleyan University, and Joshua Key from Taylor University. The winning students were awarded an iPad2 for their first place business concept, Backbone Digital. Backbone Digital's mission was to provide computer development services to businesses through local student interns from surrounding universities in East Central Indiana and provide a center for innovation through Think Tank Fridays, where businesses could come and have their entrepreneurial ideas expanded.

This year's winning team was one of the five teams that competed at the I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge this past weekend at the Ramada Inn in Warsaw, Indiana. Each team was made up of one student representative from each of the participating universities. The students were placed into teams Friday afternoon based on the Basadur Creative Profile, a problem-solving assessment and collaborated for less than 24-hours on a for-profit business solution to a provided social problem that dealt with the retention of college graduates in East Central Indiana.

"The I-69 Challenge was a rare and unique opportunity for me to interact with talented students from neighboring universities." shared student winner, Santiago Jaramillo, "Having such high concentration of creativity and talent in the intimate format of I-69, it led to some of the most interesting and innovative conversations I have had."

Saturday afternoon, student teams presented their solution to a panel of designated judges from the following companies: Indiana Municipal Power, Purdue University, Vistage, and Pro Prints Gear. Following the presentations, judges selected the winning teams following specific criteria that measured items such as: innovation, profitability, and market potential.   

The I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge's purpose is designed to encourage entrepreneurship among students along the I-69 corridor, provide networking opportunities for students and judges, generate creative ideas, and allow for collaboration between the five universities. The Grant County Economic Growth Council's event was sponsored by: the five participating universities, AT&T, Duke Energy, Vectren, IEDC, IMPA, and Indiana Michigan Power.

The first I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge began in 2006.

winning sapphire