LAS CRUCES – When entrepreneurs are asked why they invented their product or started their business, they often explain that they saw a need in their community and wanted to provide a solution for that need.
This year, participants in Innoventure, the core entrepreneurship education program from New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center, will look to their own communities for inspiration as they identify a need they can address through their own ingenuity and entrepreneurial mindset.
Registration is now open for teams of middle and high school students from schools and organizations throughout New Mexico who want to develop a product, create a business plan and make an impact on a community – whether that’s their school, workplace, club, neighborhood, town or another group they want to help.
The Innoventure program, now in its 15th year, develops teamwork and science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM skills to solve real-life problems, giving students the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation.
Director Marie Borchert said the program teaches concepts and introduces ways of thinking that will help children on any career path.
“Entrepreneurial skills translate to any discipline,” Borchert said. “These students are learning about entrepreneurship and having fun, but they’re also boosting their future employability and developing the confidence, critical thinking and collaboration skills that will make them stand out in whatever field they eventually choose.”
The teams of two to five students, assisted by an adviser – a teacher, parent, club leader or other adult – complete milestones throughout the academic year in an online format and then present their business model, marketing tools and functioning prototype to a panel of judges at the Innoventure competition on May 4, 2018, at NMSU’s Las Cruces campus. Students will also participate in workshops, tours and other learning experiences while at NMSU.
The competition’s winners will receive technology-based prizes such as a laptop, Bluetooth headphones and wireless earbuds.
Aligned with state educational standards, Innoventure has served nearly 3,000 New Mexico students, some of whom have gone on to attend NMSU and work with Studio G, Arrowhead Center’s student business accelerator, to further develop their business ideas. Many student teams return year after year to participate. Innoventure has been one of Arrowhead Center’s core programs since its founding, and ongoing expansion efforts for the program are funded in part by a generous grant from the Daniels Fund.
The competition is part of a suite of Innoventure programs, including Innoventure Jr., an online program for elementary-age students, and Camp Innoventure, a week-long entrepreneurship-themed summer day camp that continues to expand.
Registration deadline for the Innoventure competition is Sept. 29, 2017. To register, visit arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/innoventure/registration.
To learn more about the Innoventure program, contact Marie Borchert at email@example.com or Lydia Hammond at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/innoventure.
Amanda Bradford writes for New Mexico State University Communications. She may be reached at 575-646-1976 or email@example.com
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