The Koch Innovation Challenge, sponsored by Koch Industries, is an annual competition that will support the WSU College of Engineering in fostering a culture of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and teamwork among students. Cross-disciplinary teams of new freshmen and transfer students studying engineering, art and design, business, and other disciplines will compete for funding and scholarships to invent products and technologies via a freshman introductory course. The grand champions of the competition will compete nationally at a collegiate entrepreneurs’ conference. The goal is to immediately begin preparing students the moment they join WSU to become real world-ready graduates with an entrepreneurial mindset.
The annual Koch Innovation Challenge will emphasize teamwork and entrepreneurship. In addition to a technically feasible and potentially profitable prototype, competing cross-disciplinary teams will submit a basic business plan or opportunity statement to determine market size, profitability, and potential for commercialization.
Winning entries will have:
The College of Engineering will organize the Koch Innovation Challenge from its Engineering 101 Introduction to Engineering course and Introduction to Technology & Innovation Freshman Seminar general education course that includes access to a project innovation laboratory. Lectures, lab assignments, and team building activities supporting the ideals of the competition will be provided to all cross-disciplinary student team members. Guest speakers from WSU Ventures and Ablah Library have coached the students on patent searches, business models, and intellectual property protection.
From this competition, five Angel Competition Team winners will be selected to advance to the Spring semester. Each of the five winners will be provided up to $1,200 in investment capital to pursue their big idea ventures during their second semester. Additionally, students on the five winning teams will be awarded a $1,000 Koch Innovation Challenge scholarship for their second semester. Further, each winning team will be paired with a faculty innovation mentor as they pursue their big idea ventures.
At the end of the second semester, a final competition will take place during the annual Engineering Open House in order to identify the Grand Champion Team. The members of the Grand Champion Team will be awarded a travel grant at the Open House Awards Banquet to attend the national Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) Conference during their third semester. At the National CEO Conference, they will compete in the National Elevator Pitch Competition.
Grand Champion Competition:
Angel Competition Winners:
Grand Champion Winners:
5/15/2017. Student team wins Koch Innovation Challenge with 'Out Cold' pillow design. Retrieved from WSU News.
5/12/2017. “Out Cold” pillow wins Koch Innovation Challenge at WSU. Retrieved from Wichita Business Journal.
12/3/2016. Innovative ideas get a boost at WSU competition. Retrieved from Wichita Eagle.
12/7/2016. Five student teams win inaugural Koch Innovation Challenge. Retrieved from WSU News.
12/16/2014. $11.25 million Koch pledge advances Wichita State University. Retrieved from WSU News.
Samantha Corcoran, Engineering Educator and competition organizer, firstname.lastname@example.org.