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Scripps Innovation Challenge kickoff events to connect speakers, competitors

Jan 21, 2014

Scripps Innovation Challenge kickoff events to connect speakers, competitors

Highlights include Feb. 11 kickoff, biweekly co-working sessions

By Erin Roberts

ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 21, 2014)—The Scripps College of Communication announces a series of events that will connect speakers and students on the topic of innovation as part of the Scripps Innovation Challenge (SIC). A SIC Kickoff, featuring a panel of four professionals, is set for Tuesday, Feb. 11. The first of four biweekly co-working sessions is slated for Friday, Jan. 24, in the lobby of the Steven L. Schoonover Center for Communication.

Registration for the contest in which students innovate solutions to actual challenges from the media industry is open to all Ohio University students and will award $25,000 in prizes. Teams or individuals must register by Feb. 28 to compete.­

Associate Dean for Innovation, Research and Graduate Studies Michelle Ferrier said these events were planned to facilitate team-building and creative thinking among student teams.­

"We want to create a startup environment where individuals and teams have the opportunity to be around other like-minded individuals."

On Feb. 11, a panel of media industry and higher education experts will provide an overview of the media industry. This event will also allow Scripps College­faculty and staff to provide an overview of the competition and answer questions.

The event, titled “Understanding the Media Innovation Space Online and in Public Media,” will be held in Baker Center Room 240, from 5-7 p.m. Panelists include:

  • Doug Mitchell, co-director, NewU Incubator/National Public Radio
  • William Crowder, managing partner, Comcast DreamIt Ventures
  • Andy Alexander, Scripps Howard Visiting Professor, Ohio University­
  • Michelle Johnson, associate professor of the practice, journalism, Boston University

Ferrier also noted that the co-working space events will help to ensure that student teams, both those formed in classes and outside of the classroom will have the resources to succeed.­

“The co-working spaces are designed to provide assistance to teams outside of the classroom environment to help individuals find team members and help teams learn about crafting a successful business idea,” she said. “Our goal is to ensure all teams have the knowledge necessary to compete for the prize money."

On Friday, Dahlen, noted for his Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” campaign, will walk students through key parts of developing a business model. Diana Nichols, cataloger / journalism subject librarian and Chad Boeninger, head of reference, both of the Ohio University Libraries, will discuss the resources that aid in customer discovery and market research. Their presentation will be followed by an open working session to refine students’ ideas and help them to meet potential teammates.­

"With these speakers and events, we're trying to expose students to the widest possible range of experts in media innovation," said Alexander, who helps to facilitate the contest and will be part of the panel on at the Feb. 11 kickoff. "These are people who live in the startup world. They understand the brainstorming process that leads to innovative ideas. They also know how to turn those ideas into commercially viable products."

Additional co-working space events are planned as follows (UPDATED 2-6-14):

  • Feb. 7: Mobile Development and Monetization, John­Bowditch, Director GRID Lab, Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University,­Schoonover­Lobby Fireside 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
  • Feb. 21: Innovative/Disruptive Communication Technologies, Dr. Julio­Arauz, Assistant Professor, J. Warren McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems, Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University,­Schoonover­Lobby Fireside 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Formal SIC entries are due March 17. Finalists will be announced during Communication Week March 24-28, and final presentations will presented to a panel of judges made up of media professionals on April 21.­

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