Workshops and Workshop Videos

Each workshop will begin with a short talk on a subject related to the Challenge. Then there will be time to ask questions or work individually or in teams on your idea. Faculty mentors will be available to answer questions. All workshops will take place in the Schoonover Center Lobby, Fireside area from 1 to 5 PM.

January 24th: 1 PM.­ Dean Michelle Ferrier gave an introduction to the Challange.

Mr. Dan Dahlen spoke on "Introduction to Business Model Generation: Customer Relations and Market Research." Mr. Dahlen is Chief Executive Officer at Dahlen Communications, Inc. Dahlen, noted for his Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” campaign, walked students through key parts of developing a business model.

Diana Nichols, cataloger / journalism subject librarian guided students through library resources that can aid in customer discovery and market research.



Videos of Dean Ferrier's, Dan Dahlen's and Diana Nichols' presentations

February 7th: 1 PM. John Bowditch, "Mobile Development and Monetization." Director Bowditch is Director of the GRID (Game Research and Immersive Design) Lab, Scripps College of Communication.

John Bowditch, director of the GRID (Game Research and Immersive Design) Lab, Scripps College of Communication spoke on “Mobile Development and Monetization” at the Scripps Innovation Challenge Co-Working Space on Friday, February 7. His goal: To introduce students to the mobile landscape and how an app gets to a phone.

He discussed how to make money in the app stores, including what kind of resources are available.

Four different financial models are used by companies when developing an app: free, paid or premium, freemium, and subscription. There are various positive and negatives to the paid model and the freemium model. The paid model allows you to get the money upfront, but the user has a high expectation for the game. The freemium model is free to download resulting in lower expectations for the game, but with a cost to upgrade for space, speed, content or other items of value.

Bowditch touched on the four mobile markets. Apple owns 41.8 percent of the market, Google 51.5 percent, Blackberry 3.4 percent and Microsoft 3.1percent. He displayed a table of statistics of the market share per platform for 2013 and the projection for 2017. Android and Apple are projected to decline a little and Microsoft will grow a little.

Small teams generally create apps and a big budget is not needed to create an app. A producer or project manager oversees the entire project. The designer focuses on the vision of the app and user experience. The programmer makes all the software.

Some of the top resources for guidance in development include, App Annie, Apple & Android Development Center, The Digital Media Incubator at the Ohio University Innovation Center and The Grid Lab at Ohio University.

Mobile Development and Monetization Powerpoint Slides

Video of John Bowditch's presentation

February 11th, 5 PM. Innovation Challenge Kickoff/Orientation. See our event page for details.

February 21st: 1 PM. Bethany George

Talking to the Customer is the Key to Success

Bethany George, executive in residence at the Ohio University Innovation Center and TechGROWTH Ohio, presented “What’s your Value Proposition and Where’s the Money?” at the Scripps Innovation Challenge Co-Working Space on Friday, February 21. She covered the business model canvas to strategize how student teams might structure their business and how they can create a solution to a problem.

“Don’t live in a bubble” is George’s first piece of advice. “You think you know what the customer wants and that is not the case,” she warned. “You have to get behind why people make decisions.”

George reviewed the value proposition area of the business model canvas, a process developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur in the book Business Model Generation. To gain a “good” value proposition you must figure out how to find a product market fit: 

Product perspective + Market perspective= product/market fit.

First, you must talk to the customer. Discover the customers' pain points and what they most want to gain. When talking to your customer, don’t assume that your solution meets a huge problem. Also, do not bias the questions you’re asking the market. “You do not want to influence them while building your questions,” George said.

“When you are building your value proposition you have to think of who is using your product and who is paying for it, all of those things have to add up and make sense.”

Then, test your product or service. Use prototypes or online tests of what you are going to provide to your client by using tools already out there to see if it builds traction with the intended audience.

Now you have to monetize your value proposition by answering the question: “Where is the money?” George touched on the difference between a Blue Ocean Strategy and a Red Ocean Strategy. A Red Ocean is where there are lots of competitors in a space competing with each other in pricing. A Blue Ocean Strategy is where someone changes the dynamic of how things were before and creates a new space. “You have to come up with a completely new way of doing things,” George said.

“The people that had presentations last year (at the Scripps Innovation Challenge) that won didn’t live in a bubble,” George said. “They talked to people and proved there was value proposition.”

April 4th: 1 PM. Michelle Ferrier and Luke Pittaway.

“Crafting the Perfect Pitch”


Videos of Dean Ferrier's and Luke Pittaway's presentations

A “killer pitch” is delivered by a team that can articulate the business model in a couple minutes, describe the team behind the solution, dissect the competition and share a competitive advantage and closes with “the ask” or what you are looking for to move the project forward.

Dr. Michelle Ferrier and Dr. Luke Pittaway shared these insights and more on  "Crafting the Perfect Pitch" at the Scripps Innovation Challenge Co-Working Space on Friday, April 4 to teams that have made the final round in the Scripps Innovation Challenge. They discussed the five-minute pitch that the finalists will present “Shark Tank-style” to a panel of media professionals at Pitch Day on April 21 from 2-5:30 p.m in Baker University Center Ballroom at Ohio University.

Ferrier is the associate dean for innovation, research/creative activity and graduate studies for the Scripps College of Communication. Pittaway is director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio University and a professor in the College of Business. 

Ferrier started off the presentation by explaining what investors are seeking. “Venture capitalists invest in teams, not ideas. “Hacker, Hipster, Hustler” is a good mix to have on a team.”

She explained that the teams should think of themselves as startup companies, not solely as doing work-for-hire for a media company. “What can you do to take the ideas you’ve developed for one client and turn it into a sustainable business?” she asked.

The pitch deck should also include a show-and-tell, an opportunity to demonstrate your idea through various methods (demo, screen shots, video). The presentation will also need to explain your team’s market opportunity.

Last, the pitch deck should describe your solution’s business model, your solution’s customers and business metrics.

 “Judges look for authenticity of your voice, whether this is an idea you believe in and whether you will be committed to continue to move forward with the idea, whether you win the top prize or not,” she said.

Ferrier covered the content of the pitch deck, while Pittaway focused on the verbal part of the pitch.

Pittaway mentioned two important ideas that should be included in the pitch: What is the actual concept? Why is the concept being proposed an attractive solution?

“I would also want to know how your solution works in practice, how are your going to build it,” Pittaway explained. 

He continues to urge for the creativity of the pitch, “How are you going to stand out? The first thing you want at the beginning of your pitch is a hook to make you stand out.”

Ferrier said that many pitches use a story about a potential user to explain the problem their solution solves. “These real-life pain points become the basis for your solution and show judges that you understand your market,” she said.

The Ohio University community and the public are invited to attend the Pitch Day events on April 21 from 2-5:30 p.m. in Baker Ballroom. No RSVP is required. Events start at 2 p.m. and culminate with a reception with hot hors d’oeuvres .