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2017 Innovators Prize

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The 2017 - 2018 OU Innovators Prize
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Thank you to those who participated in the 2017-2018 Innovators Prize! Updated information for the 2018-2019 competition will be posted in Fall 2018. To receive updates, please email asking to be added to our contact list.

What's Your Big Idea?

We're Using Technology to Make OU a Better Place

The 2017-2018 OU Innovators Prize will offer OU students the opportunity to collaborate with OU faculty and staff to produce innovative solutions that improve the university experience at OU and in higher education generally.

The prize this year is a cash award of $10,000 presented to the winning team or individual.

This year’s competition theme is “Community.” This theme focuses on using an innovative technology solution to improve the experience for students, faculty and/or staff on campus or in the community.  Examples could include, but are not limited to:

  • A site or app to help present discounts available to faculty, staff, and student
  • A system to help students manage required and optional trainings throughout their college career to help track relevant skill for resume building.
  • A mobile app to better connect students to relevant student organizations

Each person's experience with OU is different and you should draw from yours when coming up with your project. This is also a tremendous opportunity to work with others. We encourage you to reach out to students around campus when building your team.

Innovators Prize Calendar

There are several events this Fall leading up to the winner selection and award ceremony in the Spring. In order to be eligible for the OU Innovators Prize, you'll need to attend and check in to at least one of the events listed below. Topics and dates might get added or changed during the course of the semester, so be sure to check back from time to time and make sure you're up to date.

Innovators Roadshow

These events will be in various locations around campus and each will focus on a different aspect of technology projects. These interactive events include time to collaborate with fellow OU innovators and provide an opportunity to build your team. Food will also be provided at each event.  

Date / TimeTopicLocation
August 29, 2017
4:30 PM
Innovators Prize KickoffOneU Store - OMU
September 5, 2017
4:30 PM
Managing People When You're Not the Boss - Greg Higgins / COO NextThought
Price Hall 2065
September 26, 2017
4:30 PM
Cyber Security: Internet of Scary Things: My Toaster is (Not) Spying on Me - Rob Pope / Co Founder and CTO Dogtown Media
OU Carson Engineering Room 100
October 17, 2017
4:30 PM
Prototyping & User Testing: Tools and Tactics for Designers and DevelopersOU Dunham College A128
October 19, 2017
5:30 PM
The Innovators Matching EventOU IT Store
329 W. Boyd St
October 30, 2017
4:30 PM
Design for Impact: Product Vision and User Experience 
OU Library LL123
November 14, 2017
4:30 PM
Goodnight Moon, Good Morning InnovationOU Gaylord Hall Rm 2020
December 5, 2017
4:30 PM
Brand Identity: The Impact of Design on PerceptionOU Dunham College A128

"How Do I?" Workshops

There are also several hands-on training events at the OU Innovation Hub. Each of these events will cater to a separate technical aspect of building a technology solution.

September 14, 2017 - 5:00 PMSoftware DesigniHub Classroom - 3 Partners Place Room 0132
October 2, 2017- 5:00 PMIBM Watson 101iHub Classroom - 3 Partners Place Room 0132
October 9, 2017- 6:00 PM
iPhone App Crash CourseiHub Classroom - 3 Partners Place Room 0132
November 15, 2017- 6:00 PMHTML 5 for Web & Mobile Apps
iHub Classroom - 3 Partners Place Room 0132
December 7, 2017- 5:00 PM
How to Pitch an IdeaiHub Classroom - 3 Partners Place Room 0132
Upcoming - TBD
Android App Crash CourseiHub Classroom - 3 Partners Place Room 0132


Participating Students will have the opportunity to learn skills from OU’s experienced staff at the recently opened Innovation Hub. Located on OU’s Research Campus, the Innovation Hub is a creative space available to all OU students and faculty and provides access to technologies, equipment, training, opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, industry mentors, and inspirational spaces in support of invention and entrepreneurship.

There are several campus departmental resources available as you work through your idea that might help you out. There are also individual campus innovators interested in working with you. We've listed a few of them here.

ResourceDescriptionContact Information
Innovation HubA collection of innovative resources on the OU Research Campus
Home Page
Fab Lab
Makerspace within the OU Innovation HubHome Page
Aaron BiggsExecutive Director of Technology
Ron BolenEntrepreneurship and Economic Development / Sooner Launch PadWebsite
Will Drover, Ph.D
Management & EntrepreneurshipWebsite
Milos Savic, Ph.D.
IT Product Design TeamDesigners who worked on the new ONE portal

Contest Rules and Structure

There are a few rules you'll need to follow in order to submit a qualifying project and you can read them all (and our FAQs) here. However, they mostly boil down to the following bullet points.

  • The Prize is $10,000 cash.
  • The Prize will be awarded to the team or individual selected as the OU Innovators Prize winner.
  • You (each team member) have to be a current OU student (undergrad or graduate student).
  • You can submit either as an individual or as a member of a team.
  • Each member of your submission team must attend (and check into) at least one of our eligibility events (on this page).
  • Your submission must include a demonstration of your working prototype. Wireframes or graphic representations are not sufficient.
  • Your submission will require a written report, a 5-minute video, or 10-minute in-person presentation to the selection committee about your idea. This video or presentation must include a demonstration of your technology in action.
  • The competition will take place over two rounds with the winner being selected from the group of finalists in round two.

You'll also need to keep in mind the following submission deadlines and dates for your project.

January 22, 2018Round One Submissions are Due
January 29, 2018Finalists are Announced
February 12, 2018Finalist Presentation; Selection of Winner

Contact Us

If you have questions about the Innovators Prize that aren't answered here or just want to talk about really cool technology or ideas, shoot us an email.

You can also call us at 405-325-3926

And we'd love if you'd follow us on Instragram and Twitter: @innovatorsprize