AU students win at I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge

Fri, 2008-02-08 10:24 -- univcomm
February 8, 2008

Five Anderson University business students, Jonah McDonough, Peter Odren, Perry Childs, JinAyla Sexton, and Chad Schubert recently participated in the second annual I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge at Swan Lake Resort in Plymouth, Indiana. They joined students from Ball State University, Huntington University, Indiana Wesleyan University, and Taylor University.

The students were given a social problem dealing with health care and were expected to work in teams to create a for-profit business solution to the problem. The teams consisted of one student from each of the represented universities. Students were placed in teams Friday night after taking a problem-solving assessment.

Jonah McDonough was the Anderson student on the winning team, FlexMed. His team created a company that used the Internet and kiosks to provide video conferences between patients and doctors. Each member of the winning team received a gold coin valued at $500.

“Creating a business plan from scratch in 16 hours is not an easy task, said McDonough, a senior at Anderson University from Seymour, Ind. “I didn't get very much sleep, but it was worth it.”

Anderson students Perry Childs from Churubusco, Ind. and Peter Odren from Cedar Springs, Mich. were on the second and third place teams and received gift cards valued at $100 and $50 respectively.

On Saturday, students presented their solutions to a panel of keynote judges from companies such as Raymond James Financial Group, KPMG, Marion General Hospital, the Grant County Affordable Housing Corporation, the Entrepreneurship Center at Ball State University, Bingham-McHale Attorneys at Law, and the Flagship Enterprise Center. The judges selected a winner based on criteria that considered innovation, profitability, and market potential.

The purpose of this competition is to encourage entrepreneurship along the I-69 corridor, foster collaborative market solutions through team building, promote cross-pollination, and generate creative ideas.

“The Challenge is a fantastic next step in fostering entrepreneurial collaboration among the public and private institutions in the I-69 corridor,” said Mick Bates, the director of the Innovative Enterprises Program at Taylor’s Center for Research and Innovation. “It is my hope this event stimulates our undergraduate students to consider new venture possibilities right here in East Central Indiana.”

The first I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge was held in November of 2006. This year, the competition expanded to include Huntington University.

Each university, Duke Energy, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Michigan Power, Bingham-McHale, Attorney at Law, Indiana Municipal Power Agency, KPMG, the Grant County Economic Growth Council, and the Innovative Network were the key event sponsors.

The Grant County Economic Growth Council has a sole mission of facilitating business investment and reinvestment for job retention and creation in Grant County, Indiana. The Growth Council sees entrepreneurship, especially on the college level, as a key part of their mission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.