New Ideas and Innovation Tournament Challenge asks students for novel solutions to unsolved societal problems
A new competition sponsored by the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering asks Purdue students to propose novel solutions to important unsolved societal problems. Prof. Babak Ziaie says the Ideas and Innovation Tournament Challenge (I2TC) is open to all Purdue students and simulates the experience of being an engineer entrepreneur.
"Our goal is that through this tournament we can bring students together in small interdisciplinary teams and have them think big about major societal problems and propose innovative solutions that makes the world a better place and helps improve people’s lives,” says Ziaie.
In the first phase of the tournament, students form teams consisting of at least one ECE undergraduate student. The teams then choose a topic for the challenge (i.e., aging, food safety, smart cities, energy efficiency, etc.) and develop a proposed solution. The I2TC organizing committee will select the top 20 problem/solution statements to move on to phase two, where they are required to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges for the final selection.
“What we really want to see is at the end of the day some of these ideas become the basis for successful products and services through student initiated startups,” says Ziaie. “Meanwhile we want students have fun participating in this competition.”
The top three teams will receive cash awards: $5,000 for the first place team, $3,000 for the runner-up, and $2,000 for the third place team. In addition, the top three teams can receive an additional $5,000 to move their ideas further along the innovation path through filing for a provisional patent, participating in the Purdue Foundry FireStarter program for entrepreneurs, and staring a company. Teams that qualified for the second phase of the tournament but do not finish among the top three will also receive $500 per team.
Dimitrios Peroulis, Michael and Katherine Birck Head and Reilly Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, says ECE is excited to create this new opportunity for students.
“We truly believe that immersive learning is a critical part of our students’ education,” says Peroulis. “In ECE we are committed to support them all the way from their first innovative and entrepreneurial ideas to launching and growing their start-ups.”
Phase 1 problem-solution statements for the Ideas and Innovation Tournament Challenge must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on November 1st, 2019. More details about I2TC can be found here.
In addition to I2TC, Purdue’s College of Engineering provides many opportunities for students interested in entrepreneurship, including an entrepreneurship certificate program, an undergraduate summer internship program known as X-Celerator, and space in the Bechtel Innovation Design Center and The Anvil for students pursuing entrepreneurial projects.