Regional Bobcat Innovation Launch Pad Competition Proves Successful


innovation launch pad whole group最近, 70 students applied to participate in the regional Bobcat Innovation Launch Pad competition Sept. 22-24 hosted by Frostburg State University in partnership with TEDCO's Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII), Deloitte’s Innovation Lab and the University System of Maryland Launch Fund.

“The Bobcat Innovation Launch Pad was an unqualified success,” said Mr. Al Delia, vice president for Regional Development and Engagement at Frostburg State University. “All students learned a lot about themselves, about working in teams and about how to find innovative ways of solving tough issues.”

This unique program combined the best aspects of a hackathon with those of a business pitch competition and allowed multidisciplinary teams of students to work quickly and collectively to develop business models and technology-based solutions to real world problems.

“Each student was placed on a team, with teammates they just met, to develop a real-world solution to a real-world challenge – in 2 ½ days – and then pitch that commercially-viable idea to a panel of expert judges,迪莉娅说。. “That is a difficult, pressure-filled test that every student passed with flying colors!”

Dr. 迈克尔Flinn, FSU Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Information Technologies echoed those sentiments. “At the Bobcat Innovation Launch Pad event, we witnessed a diverse array of students from various disciplines and levels brilliantly demonstrating substantial growth in their pitch and communication skills and aptly managing stressors like positive friction.”

The focus of the Bobcat Innovation Launch Pad was on distributed energy resources, 虚拟电厂, climate change and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors. Student teams were advised and mentored by FSU faculty, staff and subject matter experts, including advisors from Deloitte, as they worked through a variety of 问题陈述 与主题相关.

Over the course of this event, teams were asked to design or build a prototype and create a business plan that they pitched to the audience and the panel of judges. “I really enjoyed watching FSU’s students pitch such fresh and innovative solutions to difficult real world challenges and expect this experience will not only spark their entrepreneurial spirit but show them a path to creating commercially viable technologies,詹妮弗·沃尔什说, one of the competition judges for the event.

获胜的队伍, 黑钻石, was awarded a cash prize of $2,500 to support further exploration and development of their solution. Members of 黑钻石 included Courage Tikum, 罗伯特Knottsill, Stephen Springsteel, Melvin Weeks and Zaniah Kwaw.

“The Bobcat Innovation Launch Pad event was completely different from what I had expected,” said Courage Tikum of 黑钻石. “It was a challenging yet enjoyable experience to be able to work with my team to come up with solutions to real-world problems.提库姆接着说, “We learned how to dig deeper into problems and also realized that failure is the most critical step to success.”

Coming in second was team De-Lite, earning a $1,500 prize. Team De-Lite consisted of Annie Martz, 诺亚Schlager), 谢尔比桑德斯, Laurence Andrews and Aiden Hemling. Placing third in the event and receiving $1,000 was the Deep Thinkers. Team members included Fernando Vasquez-Carino, 瑞安·迈尔斯, 尼日利亚代表Yalew, Abenet Seifu, Junhu Yuan and Ire Maboudou.

“The Launch Pad changed the way I perceive and deconstruct problems, and I’m so much more confident and feel more able to solve problems outside of my comfort zone,” noted De-Lite team member 谢尔比桑德斯.

迪莉娅说, “用他们赢来的现金, and with the help of additional resources from FSU, 超声电机, TEDCO's MII and others to guide and support them, these teams now have the opportunity to create a real business.”

Flinn was impressed by all the participating teams, not just those in receipt of funding. “It was a panorama of learning where everyone emerged a winner, enhancing their salary negotiation potentials and adding invaluable layers to their future selves.”

Volunteering their time to serve as competition judges, mentors or subject matter experts included Steven Kennedy, Xinliang郑, Dr. Benjamin Norris, Stefanie Boggs, Rebecca Flinn, Jennifer Walsh, Nooh A. Bany Muhammad, Tim Pelesky, Dr. 迈克尔·马蒂亚斯博士. 马克·迈克尔, 芷江陈, 乔迪•布罗德沃特, 斯泰西Wassell, 特洛伊LeMaile-Stovall, 审视米尔本, Dr. 迈克尔Flinn and Al Delia. 另外, thanks go out to Chartwell’s catering service, FSU housekeeping and campus police for their part in ensuring a successful event.