Still time to join: Boeing Challenge kicks off at WashU

Now that the fall semester is in full swing, new and returning students alike can choose from many co-curricular options in addition to their new classes. For those who are entrepreneurially inclined, the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship has rolled out the Boeing Patent Challenge in partnership with Boeing Phantom Works Ventures. Emre Toker, Skandalaris Managing Director, hopes the challenges will “increase engagement from as many WUSTL colleges as possible in entrepreneurial and innovative activities.”

In interdisciplinary teams of three or more, interested WashU students will translate Boeing patents into plain English and rich media, including videos, animations and graphics to explain the technology to the lay person without degrading the original content. Finally, the students will build a new venture based on the intellectual property.

After three information sessions with 105 attendees, 54 students have formed 13 complete teams. Another 40 students have signed up and are still looking to consolidate their groups. Toker expects the final number of participating teams to be around 23, which would be substantially above their original expectations.

Sophomore Michael Kramer and his two suitemates are among the 13 complete teams. “I want to flex my creative muscles and see what happens if I put my mind to something,” says the marketing and entrepreneurship major.

Steve Epner, Senior Manager at Boeing Ventures, hopes that WashU students will “see opportunities that we will never see.”

Interested but still looking for team members? Come to Lopata Gallery today or Friday at 5 pm to find your partners in crime via speed dating. Wondering what you can gain from the challenge? On top of hands-on experience, students will visit Boeing Phantom Works Ventures and everybody taking on the challenge will receive mentorship. A total of $5,000 will be awarded to the top three teams, who will also have the opportunity to put their idea into practice with Boeing’s agreement.

The last day to register a team is this Friday, September 4th. Missed the information sessions? Here is a slide show with all the relevant details.