The Invent Oregon Collegiate Challenge — Oregon’s only statewide invention competition — announced today a new sponsor, The Ford Family Foundation, that will provide financial support for Oregon college inventors and entrepreneurs with a focus on rural student led teams, during their participation in InventOR
InventOR, a program managed by Portland State University Center for Entrepreneurship, challenges students to think about the environmental and social issues in their own communities and develop prototype inventions to address them. Along the way, they learn design thinking skills, commercialization, and how to start a business.
“InventOR provides a tremendous opportunity to inspire students across the state to think of themselves as inventors and entrepreneurs preparing to take on the challenge of seeding the next generation of Oregon businesses and Inventions that will shape our economy” said Kathleen Flanagan, Senior Program Officer for The Ford Family Foundation. “We’re thrilled to support this effort to bring the same opportunities to college inventors and entrepreneurs across the state.”
“Our goal has always been to make sure that students everywhere are empowered to see themselves as inventors. We like to say that innovation lives in every zip code across Oregon,” said Juan Barraza, who manages InventOR for the PSU Center for Entrepreneurship.
Starting in June, 19 teams received support to develop their ideas and prototypes and participate in the InventOR finals. Each team will receive $2,500 to fine tune their prototype for the InventOR final which will be held virtually on September 18, 2020. Winning teams will receive a total of $35,000 in prizes.
InventOR has grown from just a handful of schools participating in 2017 to a truly statewide event with 18 institutions participating this year. InventOR 2020 pivoted to all virtual events and training as a result of COVID-19. Participating schools include Clackamas Community College, Eastern Oregon University, George Fox University, Lewis & Clark College, Linfield College, Klamath Community College, Oregon Health and Science University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Portland Community College, Portland State University, Rogue Community College, Southern Oregon University, Southwestern Oregon Community College, University of Oregon, University of Portland, Warner Pacific College, Western Oregon University.
InventOR is made possible with the help of sponsors including The Ford Family Foundation, The Lemelson Foundation, Business Oregon, Oregon Community Foundation, Stoel Rives and Horan Tech Media Advisors.