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PSU students invited to innovation challenge

Startup Genius, a company in California’s Silicon Valley that was created to generate, develop, and communicate new ideas, is giving Pittsburg State students the chance to submit their innovative ideas and develop them with the help of industry advisers.

Ever have an idea for a new business or a new product? Ever wanted to pitch that idea to professionals to see how far it could go?

Startup Genius, a company in California’s Silicon Valley that was created to generate, develop, and communicate new ideas, is giving Pittsburg State students the chance to submit their innovative ideas and develop them with the help of industry advisers.

And they could also win some money in the process.

On Friday, Dec. 9, Startup Genius will open a five-day Innovation Challenge for students at Pittsburg State University and Independence Community College. Students are encouraged to submit their ideas for a new product or new business, and those ideas will be judged by a pool of industry professionals and advisers.

There is no fee to enter. 

The winning idea will receive $500 from Startup Genius. Second place will receive $300, and third place will receive $200.

Dan Benveniste, founder and CEO of Startup Genius, said the challenge is aimed at sparking innovative thinking on college campuses.

“We’re very excited and happy to put up the prize awards as well as the platform to help entrepreneurs move forward in a meaningful way with their ideas,” Benveniste said. “We look forward seeing the many great ideas come to life in the process.”

Participating in the challenge is easy, according to Startup Genius. Each day will have designated tasks, all of which can be done online.

“The innovation challenge is designed to take you on a step-by-step journey through the process of developing a great idea — from identifying the problem, to sizing the market, to designing your solution,” the Startup Genius website states. “You will also be provided a pool of industry advisers who will provide feedback and support as you begin the process of refining your idea.”

Sydney Anselmi, small business adviser at Pitt State’s Center for Innovation and Business Development, said students shouldn’t be shy about entering the competition.

“We’ve all had ideas swirling around in our heads about a new product or business that we think could take off,” she said. “This challenge gives our students the chance to see just how far they could take it. It’s easy to enter, and Startup Genius walks you through the whole process.

“Also, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t take very long to do,” she said. “So even though finals week is coming up, students shouldn’t have to be concerned about this taking up their study time.”

The challenge is made possible through a partnership between Startup Genius, Pitsco, Pittsburg State University and the Fab Lab at Independence Community College.

At 2 p.m. on Dec. 9, Startup Genius will host a webinar to officially begin the challenge. For more information and to sign up to participate in the challenge, visit http://www.startupgenius.org/innovationchallenge/.

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