The Apex Systems Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Apex CIE) in the Pamplin College of Business, in partnership with Union Bank & Trust, is accepting entries for the third annual Union Innovation Challenge.

The challenge is a chance for students and faculty from all colleges and departments at Virginia Tech to compete for $10,000. Union created this challenge in 2015 to inspire student entrepreneurs to develop innovative ideas and to compete for startup services and funding.

“The Union Innovation Challenge showcases the incredible technology that students and faculty are developing to solve big problems,” said Derick Maggard, Apex CIE executive director.

This year’s challenge is focused on sports and fitness products, services, and/or technology, spanning a spectrum of industries that includes equipment, fan engagement, stadium experience, security and safety, services, training, food and nutrition, wearables, and wellness applications and technologies.

“We are very excited to partner with VT Athletics and Union, which has provided generous support to our two organizations, to bring new innovations to the sports and fitness industry,” said Maggard.

Entries are due March 3. The top five proposals will be chosen to present before a panel of judges on April 6 in Lane Stadium.

Final pitches should include the following components:

  • A clear concept of the proposed solution.
  • A basic business case and possible limitations/considerations to your proposed solution.
  • A summary of future steps necessary to bring the proposed solution to life.
  • A presentation of the proposed solutions’ features and functionalities.

The use of a prototype and design mock-ups are highly encouraged.

Last year’s winning team, Illumi[neo]nate snagged $7,500 for its polymer catheter that illuminates under fluorescence, which eliminated the need for X-rays in babies. 

Apply online. Contact Brittany Lester at Apex CIE with questions,