This CardDeck links to a variety of innovation challenges developed by Saint Louis University.
The goal of the innovation challenges is to promote the entrepreneurial mindset through multiple exposures to innovation process in a competitive, multidisciplinary, team-based, creative environment.
Just as everyone is encouraged to exercise everyday to keep the body fit, innovation challenges are designed to keep the mind fit. It’s a mind workout. The Innovation Challenges help participants to exercise their creative side, work in multidisciplinary teams, and experience the team dynamics. They learn to tackle a novel situation under intense competitive time pressure, while networking with others outside their disciplines, and most importantly, fine-tuning their entrepreneurial skills.
In this CardDeck, each of the challenges are linked in folders below. At the bottom of this card you will find a link to the entire pdf and ibook that features all the challenges in one place.
Note: The pdf does not contain rich media like videos and scrolling images. All assets have been uploaded to the individual cards and can be downloaded/viewed.
There are specific learning objectives related to each of the challenges. Follow the links in the folders below to review them.
Market the Challenge
The challenge becomes a real challenge only when many teams seriously compete. Promoting the challenge is therefore a key to success. Advertise and incentivize the competition to encourage initial participation. Use flyers, banners, newspapers, student groups, and social media to promote the challenge. Positively push the challenge as an opportunity to not only win prizes, but also to network and develop their personal skill set. A sample pitch for the challenge is shown in the video above. Give T-shirts and other items to spread the information about the challenge. Once the competition begins, the word-of-mouth becomes the best marketing tool.
Time and Location
We recommend conducting the challenges regularly at the same location. For instance, it can be held each week or each month on a certain day from Noon to 1:00 pm. As it is held at the same location and time, the challenges can easily be integrated into the participants’ weekly or monthly routine. A typical challenge runs for one hour from start to finish. Promote the challenge time as a creative break from the busy daily routine work for the participants.
While selecting the location, look for the following features:
• Central space – a central location which can attract a number of participants and readily accessible.
• Open space – an open area that can accommodate the participants. Anticipate growth in the numbers as the challenges become popular.
• Public space – a place where a number of people will pass through. As people pass through the challenge location (while leaving or entering the building during lunchtime), it attracts attention. It attracts passers-by to participate in future challenges or watch the final stages. These students bring intense competitive spirit by cheering their peers. Further, the public recognition is an ultimate incentive for any team.
Open the challenge to the teams of exactly three members. To encourage multidisciplinary collaboration, require the team members to be from different disciplines. Enforce the multidisciplinary requirement for an effective team learning experience.
Depending on the culture of the institution, some participants form their teams ahead of the challenge time and come to the challenge. Several participants come to the challenge without forming their teams. The organizer’s role is help them to form teams. The team member may get to know each other briefly before the challenge.
Demonstrate constant curiosity about our changing world
Explore a contrarian view of accepted solution
Integrate information from many sources to gain insight
Assess and manage risk
Identify unexpected opportunities to create extraordinary value
The logos for the innovation challenge, weekly innovation challenge, and monthly innovation challenge are available for use by others upon request. Additional resources include templates for blade banners, banners, flyers, table clothes, T-shirt designs, the team check-in forms, winner certificate, and problem statements. Contact Dr. Sridhar Condoor (author of this card) for permissions or additional resources.