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 $25,000 will be offered in 2015-2016. First Prize is $10,000. Second Prize is $5,000. There will be several "Honorable Mention" awards. An additional $5,000 in prize money will be awarded for entries that also provide a diversity strategy to reach underserved or underrepresented communities/audiences.

When does the competition open and close?

For 2015-2016, the deadline to Friday, Nov. 20. The competition closes on Monday, January 25 when Round I deliverables are due. Finalists will be announced Friday, Feb. 12. They must present their ideas on Pitch Day on Monday, March 14, 2016, which is during the annual Scripps Communication Week. As a condition for entering the competition, you will need to give the Scripps College permission to make your contest submission publicly available without restrictions.

How will winners be selected?

A panel of judges will narrow the entries to finalists. On Pitch Day, the finalists will present their solutions to a panel of industry judges, an event on campus that will be open to the public. By the end of that day, the judges will decide how to split the total of $25,000 in prizes, which will be announced then.

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 Pitchburner. The details will be posted soon. The form and content depends largely on the nature of the challenge being posed. Each entry must 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. In broad terms, your entry should be roughly 75 percent innovation and 25 percent business.

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. But your entry should be as fully developed as possible with any prototype designs for your concept. The concept should be explained in detail. It should spell out not only how your solution will work, but also why your approach is best. It should include 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. There will be one credit course offered in the fall semester to help guide you on how to prepare the best possible entry. It meets every Monday from 10:45-11:35 a.m. in the Radio-TV Building, room. 265. Deadline for class registration is Sept. 4. The title is COMM 2900 “Special Topics in Communication” and the class number is 11940.

The Scripps Innovation Challenge website will also list a number of one hour “boot camps” at which expert speakers will talk about various elements of preparing an entry. These boot camps will be held at the same time and in the same place as the one credit course, but you don’t have to be registered for the class to attend any or all. Just show up.

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 pair teams after the student sign-up has opened and during boot camp sessions.

Can I receive academic credit for participating in the Challenge?

Credit will be given for those who complete the “Special Topics in Communication” course listed above, of course. Beyond that, academic credit is awarded by individual schools and departments. 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.