Win Money, be Innovative

Collin Anderson/News Editor

Embry-Riddle will host the first annual Student Innovation Awards next spring. The Student Innovation Awards is a competition for ways to improve ERAU and its community within a budget of $5,000. Individuals or teams of up to three people are eligible to compete. An individual has the potential to win $1,000, and a team can win $2,000. The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students and consists of two rounds.

The first round comprises writing a proposal that is between 250 and 1000 words. In this plan, students must state a summary of why the innovation is needed, the proposed innovation, the benefits of the innovation and a brief explanation of how the $5,000 budget would be spent. The judging criteria for the written proposal will be clarity, value, feasibility, innovation and persuasiveness. The written proposal must be accompanied by a video proposal that is less than three minutes. In the video, the student or team must introduce themselves, explain the need for the innovation, provide an innovative idea and explain what the benefits of the solution would be. The video will be judged based on clarity, creativity, persuasiveness, professionalism and ethical use of media. These submissions are due Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.

For the finalists who make it to round two, a poster and live pitch session will be scheduled. The individual or team will be paired with a Digital Studio tutor and a member of the Humanities and Communication Department faculty to assist them. The poster will be ranked on the grounds of first impression, readability, visual design, and professionalism. The live pitch session will be scheduled for the end of March and could best be compared to the television show “Shark Tank.” Like the video, the pitch will be no longer than three minutes with a discussion lasting for an additional ten minutes afterward. This final hurdle’s judging criteria is persuasiveness, innovation, professionalism and responsiveness to questioning.

The Task Force on Innovation and the Dean of Students’ office hope that this inaugural competition snowballs within the coming years. In addition to winning money, this competition aims to help students build confidence in proposal writing, public speaking, digital literacy and poster presentation skills. In addition, these goals will be accomplished by having students utilize resources they would have otherwise not known existed like the writing center and Digital Studio. In today’s digital age and with Google being a finger tap away, it should be no challenge to come up with an innovative idea that can benefit Embry-Riddle.

For more information, or to enter the contest, please contact Lori Mumpower at