On November 9 through the 13, the Entrepreneurial Residential Learning Community (ERLC), sponsored by the Wisconsin School of Business, hosted its annual 100-Hour Challenge, a signature innovation contest on UW-Madison’s campus.
The event challenges participating students, the majority of whom are undergraduates, to create a new product with either revenue or social value over a long weekend. The only materials they can use in constructing their prototype is cast-off salvage from UW-Madison’s Surplus with a Purpose (SWAP).
The contest kicked off Thursday in the main lounge of Sellery Hall where participants “shopped SWAP.” With quirky items like discarded test tubes, junked bicycle wheels and vintage plastic Christmas wreaths at their disposal, students used the experience to help generate new product ideas. Then, after picking the “treasures” they wanted to work with, contestants spent a long weekend transforming their items into ideas they pitched to School of Human Ecology Faculty Associate, Lesley Sager, an expert in design and innovation. The entries were evaluated in three categories: most potential revenue value, most potential social value and creativity.
This year’s winners once again prove that with a little ingenuity and a lot of passion, great ideas can come to fruition over a long weekend.
And the winners are…
Most Potential Revenue Value: Safe Bracelet, Nicole Rosenbaum
Contest judge Lesley Sager: “Impressed by the creativity and polish of the finished prototype. I felt not only that the product could be extremely popular on campuses, but could be a hit among other target markets, as well. Wearables are a big business and this capitalizes on that.”
Most Potential Social Value: Portable Refugee Tent, Mahima Chawla
Sager: “Product has extremely important social implications as it provides an efficient and affordable way to give access to shelter to some of our most vulnerable populations, displaced refugees and the homeless.”
Most Creative: The Hot Seat, Oluwabusola Ruth Ola Osundairo, Adjua Nsoroma
Sager: “This concept was just plain clever and seemed a very new and fresh solution to significant social problem.”