The Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University will host its annual Innoventure competition for middle- and high- school students across the state on Friday, May 2, at Corbett Center Student Union. The public is invited to the student showcase at 2:15 p.m.
Innoventure encourages students to use science, technology, engineering and math to solve business problems. With Innoventure, students have the opportunity to create something new and innovative that may have true marketability. This year’s theme is water conservation.
“We frame it in the form of a challenge to the students,” said Marie Borchert, education specialist for the Entrepreneurship Institute at Arrowhead Center. “It has grown considerably since it began 11 years ago. We have developed different aspects of the program and made it something really worthwhile for the students.”
Borchert said the event is a cross curricular program that helps the students understand the process of developing technological products from the idea phase to production. It also gives them a foundation of understanding the business concepts as they relate to developing a product and marketing it.
Each team gets a budget of $150 to develop a product designed to address the theme. The device might be designed for household use, municipal systems, agriculture or even food manufacturing. The students are expected to design and create a functional product prototype, a strong marketing plan and a well-written and well-organized business model canvas.
More than 40 teams from around New Mexico are participating in this year’s program. Each student team will present projects and will be judged on various components, including general idea, feasibility and presentation.
First place winners at the middle- and high- school level will receive a touch-screen laptop. Additionally, students who win in the high school category will receive a $350 scholarship to NMSU.
This year’s competition lead sponsors are Wells Fargo, AT&T and the McCune Charitable Foundation. The event is also sponsored by the Marriott Springhill Suites, FirstLight Federal Credit Union and ByteWare Apps, which developed an app for competition judging this year.
In May 2012, the Innoventure program received a $100,000 boost from a two year grant awarded by the Daniels Fund. The grant provided the opportunity to grow the competition to include additional students and school participation. The funding will also sustain the programmatic activities of Innoventure throughout each academic year.