FAQ

 

What is the Scripps Innovation Challenge?

Who may compete?

How much are the cash prizes?

When does the competition open and close?

How will winners be selected?

How will I submit my entry, and what will it include?

How fully developed must my entry be? Can I enter if all I have is a good idea?

Where can I turn for guidance in crafting my entry?

What are some examples of innovation "challenges" posed by those in the media and communication industries?

What if I'm a journalism student and I need a team member who has technical expertise (or, the other way around)?

Can I receive academic credit for participating in the Challenge?

If teams have any additional questions, feel free to email us using the "Contact Us" links.

What is the Scripps Innovation Challenge?

It is a competition among Ohio University students to come up with innovation solutions to challenges posed by media and communication professionals. The goal is for students to provide creative ideas that solve actual innovation problems from the media and communication industries. Winners will receive substantial cash prizes.

Who may compete?

The Scripps Innovation Challenge is open to any Ohio University student, regardless of their major or status (graduate or undergraduate). You may compete individually, although teams are most common. This campus-wide competition recognizes the reality that solutions to many of the media and communication industry's needs may come from aspiring engineers or business majors, not just journalists or communication majors. In the past, some of the best entries have come from teams with members from different disciplines.

How much are the cash prizes?

A total of $18,000. Ten entries will win $500 each and have a chance to become a finalist. The First Prize is $7,000; Second Prize is $2,500. There will be two "Honorable Mention" awards of $1,000. An additional $1,500 in prize money will be awarded for entries that also provided a diversity strategy to reach underserved or underrepresented communities/audiences.

When does the competition open and close?

The competition for 2016-2017 opens with the Kickoff on September 21. Entries will be due the last day of classes fall semester.

How will winners be selected?

Media judges will pick ten winners of the first round, who will have the chance to become one of four finalists. On Pitch Day in March 2017, the finalists will present their solutions to a panel of industry judges, an event on campus that will be open to the public.

How will I submit my entry, and what should it include?

The Scripps Innovation Challenge website will provide a link to the registration and entry submission, which will be done through Reviewr. This year the initial entry is streamlined and consists of

  • A three-page paper explaining the solution,
  • A visual representation of the solution – either a short presentation slide deck (max 7 slides) or an infographic explaining the idea,
  • A separate short explanation of how the solution incorporates a new technology (an app is not a new technology!) or the application of specific knowledge from outside the fields of communication, media, and journalism.

 

For the finals, entries must be more detailed and address the business aspects of the solution (e.g. How much will it cost to develop and implement? What is the potential revenue stream?). This is because there is always an up-front cost to innovation and it underscores the importance of innovative ideas contributing to an organization's bottom line.

How fully developed must my entry be? Can I enter if all I have is a good idea?

Yes. You won't be expected to submit tested software or an approved app. Your entry should spell out not only how your solution will work, but also why your approach is best. It should be informed by data and research to support your conclusions. If your solution will require software or technological development, your entry will stand a better chance of success if you seek expertise in those areas so you can authoritatively explain what will be needed. Most of all, your entry should be innovative in the sense that it takes full advantage of the many new platforms, tools, technologies, processes and applications being used today. These might include things like interactive design, gaming, geo-based media, informational graphics, all aspects of social media, etc.

Where can I turn for guidance in crafting my entry?

You can get help in several ways. The Scripps Innovation Challenge website lists a number of one-hour videos of “boot camps” where expert speakers have addressed some aspects of the challenge.

By request, the Alden Library staff will work with individual student teams to find marketing data and research that might enhance their entries. They have also compiled an information guide that will help teams get started with Alden Library resources.

What are some examples of innovation "challenges" posed by those in the media and communication industries?

A newspaper might be searching for ways to use social media to sell tickets to live events co-sponsored with advertisers. A nonprofit group may need a way to engage the public in reporting environmental problems like toxic spills or water contamination. A radio station with a hard rock format might seek ways to use mobile devices to grow its audience. A public relations firm might need a way to use social media to target fundraising appeals for a nonprofit client. A television station might need a way to identify and attract a teenage audience with a new mobile app. A government agency may seek an innovative way for members of the public to anonymously report suspected child or spousal abuse.

What if I'm a journalism student and I need a team member who has technical expertise (or, the other way around)?

You can seek teammates on your own, of course. But the Scripps Innovation Challenge will also seek to provide meet-up opportunities, such as during the Kickoff.

Can I receive academic credit for participating in the Challenge?

Some schools have independent study and reserve credits that could possibly be used for this purpose. Check with your academic advisor or your school's director to learn whether you can use these or other options to gain course credit.

 

 

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