SOU is participating for the first time in the annual Invent Oregon Collegiate Challenge, aka InventOR, a statewide competition designed for student inventors and entrepreneurs to find funding and make their prototypes marketable realities.
Teams interested in participating in InventOR should attend the informational meeting on Oct. 17, at 12:30 p.m. in Central Hall, Room 106. Alternatively, teams can contact Rebecca Williams, an assistant professor of business at SOU.
According to its website, InventOR defines an invention as, “a new, innovative, and tangible product, process or service that affects the communities and environment in a positive way.” While there must be a physical element to the project, the invention can be in any field and teams are even allowed to compete with only an idea in hand.
The competition will start with a preliminary, school-level round. Once the two best and brightest teams of inventors at SOU are picked, they’ll move onto a semifinal competition, where they’ll be given $500 to develop their prototype as they go head-to-head against 18 other participating schools. One team from each school will then move on to the finals, where teams will be given $1,500 to improve their prototype. A total of $30,000 in prizes is up for grabs for the finalists.
Prototypes will be judged based on four criteria: the quality of the prototype, the clarity of the pitch, the environmental and/or social impact, and accomplishment of a team’s goals.
Invent Oregon is sponsored through the Lemelson Foundation, Business Oregon, The Oregon Community Foundation, the Oregon Lottery and the PSU Center for Entrepreneurship.
Story by Blair Selph, SOU Marketing and Communications student writer