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Guest Blog: Innovation Drives Entrepreneurship

January 31st, 2013 by Member Contributor

Innovative Week at NDSUIt’s amazing what a new idea can do. It can result in a start-up that creates jobs and diversifies the economy. It can help an established business reinvent itself. It can make people’s lives better.

But first, there has to be a new idea.

To nurture students’ ideas and to get them thinking about innovation and where it can lead, North Dakota State University and the NDSU Research and Technology Park will host the fourth annual Innovation Week, February 26 to 28.

The week includes the second annual Innovation Challenge. Twenty-two teams will present their ideas for new, progressive tangible, intangible or corn-based innovations. The top innovation in each category will win $5,000. The best-in-show team will win an additional $5,000.

Last year’s Innovation Challenge yielded entrepreneurial ideas, including a novel dental implant, asphasia therapy for people with a language processing disorder and a coating for industrial application.

“The goal of Innovation Week is to make students aware that creating a new idea can lead to a start-up and that starting a business is a career option to consider,” said Brenda Wyland interim executive director of the NDSU Research and Technology Park. “We also want to show students the resources available and connect them with entrepreneurs who have been where they are now.”

Randal Pinkett, entrepreneur, scholar and author, will present the Innovation Week keynote address February 28 at 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Plains Ballroom. The Innovation Challenge awards ceremony will follow.

Pinkett is the founder, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar management consulting and information technology solutions firm. He is the author of several books, including Campus CEO. He holds five academic degrees and was the first and only African-American to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship at Rutgers University. He also was the winner of NBC’s hit reality television show, The Apprentice, with Donald Trump.

Innovation Week will include educational sessions and networking opportunities, which are open to the public. Click here for the schedule.

Plus, be sure to follow the NDSU Research and Technology Park on Facebook for the latest updates.


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