Innovation Challenge

Welcome to the Innovation Challenge

Watch this video to learn more about Innovation Challenge Program.

About the Innovation Challenge


The Innovation Challenge encourages students to bring their best ideas forward. Knowing that innovations come in all shapes and sizes, we encourage you, as students, to be innovative thinkers, enhance your entrepreneurial awareness, empower you to pursue entrepreneurial careers, expand your access to resources available for innovators and entrepreneurs and help you engage with business leaders in our communities.

NDSU Innovation Challenge Sponsors


Innovation Challenge is made possible in part through the generous financial contributions of many companies and individuals. The Innovation Challenge sponsors underwrite awards, invest in our technology and contribute toward the costs of running the competition.


On behalf of the NDSU Provost’s Office and NDSU Research & Technology Park, we’d like to extend our thanks to the many individuals who have generously contributed time, talent and resources to Innovation Challenge. We cannot do this without you.


If you are interested in learning more about Innovation Challenge and would like to know how you or your company can help, please contact us.


You can donate now for the Fall 2019 Innovation Challenge. Your donation will help Innovation Challenge teams use their ingenuity, enthusiasm and skills to make a positive difference in the world. To donate, please email Paul Tefft, paul@ndsuresearchpark.com.



We are especially grateful to our Spring 2019 Sponsors.

Premier Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Congratulations to the following Innovation Challenge Spring ‘19 winners:


Social Impact


1st Place: Wind Turbine Guys – Team members Myles Duval, Ryder Belgarde, Peyton Beehler and Samuel Beatty focused on reducing carbon emissions by bringing wind energy to urban environments that have low sunlight. They created a wind turbine with small axis turbines and a new base design that can be mounted directly to the sides and tops of buildings.

2nd Place – EcoTex – Mariah Billadeau created a new environmentally friendly textile using wax that eliminates micro-plastics.

3rd: REEL – Team members Charlie Carlson, Hayden Teruya, Jeffrey Ostlund and Ryan Morff created a new photo sharing social media platform that provides real world authenticity and reduces the issues around “likes, shares or filters”.


Graduate Research


1st Place: ILluminate – Logeeshan Velmanickam is working on a fundamentally different technique that can be used for the early detection of cancer by using micro DNA as a biomarker.

2nd Place: Silk-cath – Pranothi Mulinti is coating catheters with silk biopolymer that will reduce the threat of infections on catheter use.

3rd Place: Hydro-Healers – Team members Amir Darabi, Chad Rehovsky, Ghazal Vahidi and Jamileh Shojaeiarani are making bandages that are custom 3D printed for size with custom, targeted drugs to improve healing on skin cuts and abrasions.




1st Place: Push Receipts – Team members Kristian Rue and Matthew Solem are developing a software residing at the point of sale terminal that sends receipts directly to the phone and eliminates the need for a printed receipt, enabling the data to be easily gathered, utilized and stored.

2nd Place: ElboRoom – Grayson Klein created an online platform linking professionals requiring office space with those that have unused space within their residence or commercially available space.

3rd Place: HotBike – Team members Colin Schulte, Jordan Thielman, and Kyland Ziegler created a detachable fairing, windshield and dashboard combo, for a bike that will allow it to be heated with propane for use in cold weather. The cab will be light weight and easily detachable when not required in warmer months.


NDSU’s Innovation Challenge


The NDSU Research and Technology Park hosts the Innovation Challenge each year, an idea competition for students. They come with any ideas, things that have the potential to become a business or are a cause for future research. The student participants are encouraged to develop their ideas over the course of a semester long competition and compete for prizes up to $4,000.


Teams can compete in one of three innovation tracks. The social impact track consists of projects related to the overall improvement of community, regional, or world issues. Graduate students interested in competing with an innovation related to their research, thesis, or dissertation may compete in the graduate research track. All other students with innovative products or services unrelated to a graduate’s research, thesis, or dissertation will compete in the entrepreneurship track.



Teams will compete over three rounds of competition with only select projects advancing to the next round. Round One consists of a proposal. Round Two Semifinals will entail a business pitch and Q and A. Round Three Finals is a formal visual presentation and final elevator pitches in the form of the Project Showcase, a trade-show style half-day event followed by Final Awards.


The Innovation Challenge is an excellent opportunity for students to find practical applications for their academic knowledge, develop their skills and add to their resume an event that provides them with talking points for interviews. Many students will take their ability to present a technical or detail-oriented idea in a way that is simplistic and easy to understand and apply it directly to their careers. The Innovation Challenge provides life skills that instantly make students marketable and give them a way to stand out when applying for jobs.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Shelby at 701.499.3604 or shelby.krech@ndsurtp.com.


Check back for more information about Registration!


Questions or interested in participating?
Call the NDSU Research and Technology Park at 701.499.3602.

The Innovation Challenge Process

By advancing your innovative ideas through three rounds of competition, you’ll be eligible to win enticing prizes.


The three rounds of competition include:

Innovation Proposal

Semi-Final Pitches and Q & A

Final Project Showcase

August 2019

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  • 1 Million Cups Fargo
  • 1 Million Cups Fargo
  • 1 Million Cups Fargo
  • 1 Million Cups Fargo

Want to know more about the Innovation Challenge?


If you have questions about Innovation Challenge,

contact Shelby at

701.499.3604 or shelby.krech@ndsurtp.com