Skip Navigation

Indiana Tech Engineering Innovation Challenge fosters student entrepreneurs

December 17, 2021

Indiana Tech recently held the university’s first-ever Engineering Innovation Challenge competition, designed to encourage and support students in turning innovative ideas into viable business opportunities. The competition and the grants awarded to the winning student entrepreneurs were made possible through grant funding provided by the Elevate Nexus program of Elevate Ventures.

A total of seven teams of Indiana Tech students submitted projects as part of the inaugural competition. While this first competition focused on innovation in engineering, many of the student teams included members from across Indiana Tech’s three colleges – engineering and computer sciences, business, and arts and sciences. During the first round of competition, students presented their business plans to a panel of faculty and staff members from across the university. Two finalists were then chosen to present their business concepts to Indiana Tech’s Board of Trustees during their quarterly meeting on Dec. 3. Board members heard each business pitch and took part in Q&A sessions with each student entrepreneur, and then convened to vote on the first-place and second-place winners.

Chosen by the board as the first-place winner was Zollner Motorsports. Indiana Tech engineering student David Roach presented to the board on behalf of a team of students from a variety of academic programs, pitching their idea to start an Indiana Tech student motorsports team, to be named Zollner Motorsports. The motorsports team received a $2,000 grant for being selected first.

Earning second place was engineering and computer science student Alex Forsythe. Ms. Forsythe presented her business plan to develop, license and sell fully functional Star Wars Mouse Droids to Star Wars collectors and robotics enthusiasts. She received a $1,000 grant to support her work in launching the business.

Indiana Tech President Karl Einolf commented, “All of us at Indiana Tech are proud of the students who entered the Engineering Innovation Challenge, and we appreciate the support of Elevate Nexus in making this new opportunity a reality for our students. Our faculty and staff were highly impressed by all of this year’s entrants, and our board members had a difficult challenge choosing a winner from our two finalists. Congratulations to both Zollner Motorsports and Alex Forsythe for a job well done. I’m confident even bigger things await them both.”

Indiana Tech plans to continue expanding the Innovation Challenge to encourage even greater participation from students across the university in the years ahead.

Learn more about Elevate Ventures and the Elevate Nexus program here.