And this year’s Challenge iiiiiiiiis

Today Entrepreneurship Week at Stanford University started with the premier of the “Imagine it” movie about last years innovation challenge. In the challenge student teams have to come up and attempt to create as much value as possible out of giving an everyday object an innovative use. Last year they chose POST-ITs, which is a really good one, because they have become synonymous for jotting down an idea, and they have been invented in truly entrepreneurial fashion. Value in this case is not measure in money alone, but can be everything, from entertainment to aesthetic… A film team documented what Stanford students and their peers participating in various universities around the globe came up with. For those of you who do not want to watch the who movie (which is available for free download)

I will give you a short wrap-up below. But before i do, let me tell you about another challenging learning project Tina Seelig (the brain behind the competition) came up with:  In another Stanford entrepreneurship course she gave the students an envelope that the students knew contained some money and told them to increase their capital as much as possible by taking entrepreneurial action. It is truly incredible what the students came up with: One group sold their 10 min in class presentation time to a local business to make promotion for them. Another team positioned themselves at one of Stanford’s busy bike lanes and offered to measure the passbyers tire pressure and pump them up for one Dollar (after a while they stopped asking for a dollar realizing that folks tended to be more generous with their tip). But the coolest idea she mentioned was implemented by a team that made reservations at several very poplular local restaurants and then sold these reservations in the long cue of hungy clients who didn’t find the time to reserve a spot. Respect Tina – this is how to learn about entrepreneurship!But now to what happened at last year’s Innovation Challenge (in punch line format):

First team – used the post-its to have peers order fast food while they used the post-its as ordering slips. They gave the money they made to

Second group – used the post-its to go to a create inspiration value by having elementary school kids think about the inventions they would like to make happen and draw and write them on the post-its

Third group – used the post-its to have disabled people draw on them and then made collages out of them with which they were campaining on the streets. They also created one very big picture with post-its where folks were putting up whishes.

Fourth group – created a myspce for Peter Post-It – and then had him collect donations and be a connector/networker for people

Fifth was the collaborative music group – they had 25 students write one measure of music notes and then used a computer to recombine them – they actually played one song which was pretty audible. They created entertainment value.

Sixed group used post-its in a funny video where a guy was suggested to manage his girlfriends using post-its. To be honest i didnt really get that one.

Seven was environmental awareness – they put post-it on all the electronic devices in a “normal persons” room – then they showed how much energy can be saved when you unplug your devices when you go vacation etc.

Eight  – they asked the Stanford nobel laureates and other eminent scholars to share a piece of wisdom – they then created two frames with the post-its and donated one to an NGO and the other to Stanford museum

Nine – organized a collective pledge where participants had to stick the post-it to their chests and promise to live a healthier life and inform their friends about heart diseases

Ten – posted messages on the windshields of passing cars to make them more aware and have them stop at pedestrian crossings

Eleven – used viral marketing with the post-its as donation form for, and to campaign to educate people about, – they also setup a website that used the post-it theme and had people donate to kiva – 300 donors gave 3000$

After the movie this years challenge was announced. It is RUBBERBANDS.

I am really looking forward to what the students come up with this time. I think its substantially more difficult.

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