ORIGINAL ARTICLE: https://newscenter.nmsu.edu/Articles/view/14397/nmsu-s-arrowhead-center-s-seeks-k-12-students-for-innoventure-challenge

New Mexico State University Arrowhead Center’s Innoventure Challenge is seeking middle and high school students who are entrepreneurs, inventors and future business leaders.

Thanks to the generous support of the Daniel Fund, Innoventure Challenge focuses on getting students to think like an entrepreneur, learning both business development and prototype design, to create a simple prototype of an innovative product. Depending on age, students will compete against their peers through independent rounds spaced through the academic year.

Students throughout the New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, area are encouraged to register. Registration opens for each round two weeks before it starts. At the middle-school level, student teams have one month to complete the challenge; for high school, it is a two-week competition. Each round will have its own theme, and teams won’t find out the theme until the day the round starts. Teachers, students and parents are all encouraged to sign up for the competitive rounds with different themes throughout the academic year.

“The surprise is all part of the challenge,” said Lydia Hammond, Innoventure deputy director, who leads the rounds with the students.

To participate, students can either work alone or create a team of up to five students and work with a teacher, parent or other adult serving as advisers. Registration for a round can be on a rolling basis, even if the participants hadn’t signed up for an earlier round. Innoventure will provide a PDF toolkit with milestones to help the team think through its product’s design and business plan.

To compete in each round, participating teams will submit a link to a video that demonstrates their prototype, explains the value added by the product, identifies their target market and a price for the product, describes distribution modes for product, and outlines how the product will be promoted. Additionally, participants will design a logo for their company. Technology prizes are awarded to the winners of each round.

For middle school students, the rounds are Sept. 7 to Oct. 2; Nov. 2 to Dec. 4; Feb. 1 to Feb. 26; and April 5 to April 30.

Registration for middle school students is available at https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/program/innoventure/innoventure-middle-school-challenge/.

For high school students, the rounds are Sept. 14-25; Nov. 2-13; Feb. 8-19; and April 12-23.

Registration for high school students is available at https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/program/innoventure/innoventure-high-school-challenge/.

For more information on Innoventure program, contact Hammond at lh@ad.nmsu.edu or 575-649-3269.