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With a $3,000 prize pot, annual Scripps Innovation Challenge kicks off Jan. 31

Michaela Fath | Jan 25, 2018

With a $3,000 prize pot, annual Scripps Innovation Challenge kicks off Jan. 31

By Michaela Fath

ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 25, 2018)—The kickoff for the 6th annual Scripps Innovation Challenge will be held Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. in Schoonover 145 with students invited to compete for a prize pot of $3,000.

The competition gives any Ohio University student, regardless of major, the opportunity to propose innovative solutions to real-world media and communication problems.

This year’s challenge focuses on finding ways to improve high school graduation rates in Appalachia. Students will work in teams or individually to create a solution in the form of a strategy, tool or product.

“When employers are looking to hire college grads, they take a special interest in students who participated in the Scripps Innovation Challenge,” Scripps Howard Visiting Professional Andy Alexander said. “That’s because it shows employers you take initiative and are eager to come up with innovative solutions to actual media and communication industry problems.”

Winners of the Scripps Innovation Challenge will share the $3,000 prize pot and will be able to present their solution to executives of this year’s sponsor, the AT&T Foundation.

The featured speaker at the kickoff will be Ohio University alumnus Michael Clay Carey, MS ’12 and PHD ’14, author of “The News Untold: Community Journalism and the Failure to Confront Poverty in Appalachia.” Carey will discuss storytelling and the empowerment of young people in rural Appalachia, as well as the impact social institutions can have on people’s perceptions and how encouraging change in the community can be effective.

Known as one of the country’s best student innovation competitions, the Scripps Innovation Challenge allows students to challenge themselves creatively, while providing a great resume-builder for internships and jobs.

“I’m continually impressed by how many students tell me that entering the Challenge was one of the best learning experiences they’ve had at Ohio University,” Executive Coordinator Jean Marie Cackowski-Campbell said. “They value using their skills to solve a real-world problem, usually as part of a team. It’s something they can put in their resumes and talk about it in an interview.”

Throughout the semester, students interested in competing in the Challenge can attend workshops that will help guide them as they work on their proposed solution.

Teams will need to submit a one-page summary of their proposed solution, a descriptive outline of the solution elements and a Business Model Canvas. Finalist teams will pitch their idea to a panel of industry professionals on Mon., April 9 during the Scripps College of Communication’s Communication Week. The winning team will receive $1,500, the second-place winner will receive $750 and three honorable mention winners will each be awarded $250.

For more information about the Scripps Innovation Challenge, visit