Calling All Entrepreneurs

The Innovation Competition at Dickinson will launch during the spring 2015 semester.

The new Innovation Competition at Dickinson or IC@D is organized by, from left, Eddie Finocchiaro ’15, Alex Torelli ’16 and Philip Velez ’15.

Innovative ideas sought for  new student-organized competition 

by Christine Baksi

Competition is no longer exclusive to athletics, thanks to three student visionaries who are issuing a campuswide challenge: propose your best innovative idea—a process or service—for the opportunity to gain insights and knowledge from fellow students and faculty, network with alumni and maybe win the $1,500 grand prize.

The Innovation Competition at Dickinson (IC@D) offers a competitive platform for entrepreneurial students to pursue an idea about which they are passionate, according to Eddie Finocchiaro ’15, IC@D organizer. Working in interdisciplinary teams and in collaboration with the alumni mentors, students will develop their idea over three rounds of competition: idea round, description round and public-pitch round.

Mirroring Dickinson’s core values, the IC@D seeks ideas that are sustainable in nature and local or global in scope. Throughout the process—from concept development and refinement to proposal presentations—Finocchiaro says teams will have access to Dickinson’s ample resources, including student groups like the Idea Fund and Student Investment Group (SIG), as well as alumni feedback and mentorship.

The inspiration

The inspiration for an interdisciplinary competition came from Finocchiaro’s recent internship with a New York money-management firm, which focused on long-term investment growth in innovation. “They hired analysts from almost every field but finance in order to bring together a unique team that brought investment ideas that otherwise would not be been possible,” said Finocchiaro, who was inspired to return to campus and pursue his vision for an innovation competition.

He founded IC@D with the Idea Fund’s Alex Torelli ’16 and SIG member Philip Velez ’15 and guidance from Associate Professor of International Studies, Business and Management Michael Fratantuono and Associate Professor of International Business and Management Helen Takacs. “We had lunch together every other week and discussed how the competition would work,” says Finocchiaro. “We hashed out every detail. Without all of them, IC@D would not be a reality.”

The details

The IC@D is will take place during the spring 2015 semester. Organizers are planning a mixer where students can learn more about the competition and find other interested students to build their teams. The deadline to submit initial proposals is Jan. 31. The Idea Round begins Feb. 9.

For more information, criteria and access to the evaluation rubrics, visit: The Innovation Competition at Dickinson.

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Published December 15, 2014