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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU Arrowhead Center youth program announces open registration period

Innoventure, a core program within Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University, is holding open registration for the 2016-17 academic year for middle and high school students across New Mexico.

Innoventure fosters the spirit of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship in the state by providing new generations of innovators with skills in technical design and business savvy. The program develops teamwork and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills to solve real-life problems and gives students the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation.

Innoventure is aligned with state standards and has been successfully implemented as both a co-curricular and extracurricular program across the state. Teams who take part in the competition receive a stipend to use for materials to build their prototype and the program is offered at no cost to students and schools who participate.

This year, interested students have two options: competition and conference. The competition option is a yearlong program for teams of two to five students. Teams present their business model canvas, marketing tool and functioning prototype to a panel of judges, much like the television show, “Shark Tank.” The conference option is a shortened version of the program in which students present a product and design sketches in a video, which is then submitted online. Students who participate in both the competition and conference options will be able to attend the Innoventure Conference on May 5, 2017, in Las Cruces. This will allow students to experience Innoventure’s workshops and see what the competition option is all about.

Competition themes are based on real world issues, which provide teams a framework for designing and building the prototype. Students are given all the tools necessary to participate through a series of milestones via an online learning management system, similar to an online course.

The 2016-17 theme asks teams to create a product and prototype that assists someone with a physical disability complete an everyday task, such as feeding themselves, getting dressed, taking out the trash or going to the grocery store.

Teams also create a well-designed and attractive marketing deliverable that will appeal to potential customers. Marketing is a key concept of Innoventure and covers more than simple selling.

“Innoventure is a fantastic way for students to truly develop an understanding of skills necessary not only for entrepreneurship but also for success in many arenas of life; teamwork, communication skills, idea generation, public speaking and problem solving all play an important role and it’s all presented in fun and engaging ways,” said Marie Borchert, director of Innoventure.

Through a generous grant from the Daniels Fund, the program is currently offered at no cost to schools and teams. Students can qualify to receive free registration to the conference through participating in various milestones.

Registration deadline is Sept. 19. To register, visit arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/innoventure/registration/

To learn more about the Innoventure competition, contact Marie Borchert at mhaaland@nmsu.edu or visit arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/innoventure