Second Franklin Innovation Challenge Gearing Up

  • Justin Thacker ’11 (l.) and Eric Feinberg ’11 (r.) present their winning proposal in the Open Category of the Franklin Innovation Challenge in the Great Room of Brooks College House.  

The Entrepreneurship Club at Franklin & Marshall College is inviting students with innovative ideas to submit proposals to the second annual Franklin Innovation Challenge (FIC), a contest open to all F&M students with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Students should register for this year’s competition by Friday, Feb. 10, at the Franklin Innovation Challenge website. The final presentations will take place on campus on Friday, April 20, during Leadership Council/Parents’ Council Weekend at F&M. The goals of the contest are to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among students and to encourage students to think about how to bring their projects to the market.

Keith Jones, executive in residence and Harris Center Fellow, created and organized last year’s inaugural contest with Trex Proffitt, assistant professor of organization studies, and Bryan Stinchfield, assistant professor of business, organizations and society. This year, F&M’s student-run Entrepreneurship Club is taking a lead role in organizing the competition.

“The first annual Franklin Innovation Challenge was a tremendous success,” Jones said. “We had 89 submissions from more than 150 students, representing 20 different F&M majors, eight countries and 10 states. The most rewarding aspect of the FIC, for me, was the passion and innovation the students exhibited.”

After declaring their intent to participate, students must submit business plans to the FIC evaluation panel by March 9. The panel will announce the finalists on March 26. Throughout the process, students will be encouraged to work with F&M alumni volunteers in developing their business plans.

This year’s contest has two categories: the Open Category, for any innovative business idea that will add value to the community; and the Environmental Sustainability/Social Entrepreneurship Category, for ideas that either advance the environmental sustainability of communities or address pressing or persistent social problems.

The prizes for the competition are $1,500 for first place, $1,000 for second place, $500 for third place and $250 for fourth place in each category. For more information on the competition, visit the FIC website.

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