Provost’s Innovation Challenge now accepting applications

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Applications for the 2021 Provost’s Innovation Challenge are due Jan. 24.

Formerly called QuackHatch, the Provost’s Innovation Challenge is a business idea competition for UO students of all majors organized by the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship. Participants from past competitions have gone on to launch companies, join accelerators and raise additional funding for their ventures.

The competition also serves as the campus qualifying round for the annual statewide Invent Oregon competition.

Applicants are encouraged to pitch business ideas that address major issues related to the environment, energy, global health, agriculture and food systems, inclusion and equity, literacy, and smart cities.

Winners of the competition will receive seed funding to advance their ideas and additional mentorship for their venture development. First-place winners will receive $5,000, second-place winners receive $3,000, and third-place winners get $2,000.

Virtual information sessions will be held on Jan. 11, 13 and 18 at 5 p.m. and Jan. 12, 14 and 18 at noon. Interested students can visit the competition website for details on how to attend the information sessions.

The application involves a brief, one-page, written executive summary describing the concept, feasibility, market opportunity and team members, and a short 60-90 second video pitch of the idea.

Finalists will be notified of their acceptance to the competition by Jan. 27. Each team will then be matched with an expert mentor who will help them prepare for their final pitch presentation March 10.

For more information, visit the competition website. Questions about the challenge and complete applications can be directed to Kate Harmon at