When Melinda Walls, W. Robert Stover chair for entrepreneurial leadership, began at Waynesburg University this year, she wanted to bring the entrepreneurial spirit with her.
“My hope is that we will spur creativity on this campus and that kind of is the first step in innovation,” Walls said. “That is why we are doing this through the eHive, is to build this culture of creativity and innovation.”
Walls is referring to the “Something from Nothing” innovation challenge that has been running for the first time on campus this week. Last Friday, registration was held for the competition that challenges teams’ quick thinking and creative skills.
“Teams can register to participate in this challenge. What happens when you register is that you get the challenge item,” Walls said. “The challenge is very simple. I am going to give you an ordinary item, like post-it notes or a water bottle or rubber bands. And the challenge is that in five days, you and your team of up to four people need to create something of value from it. And you can put other things with it you can buy more of [the item.] Create something of value.”
Then this Friday, teams will show off their creations in a science fair type of event. They will then be judged by their peers to determine a winner.
“You’re showing whatever it is you did, and then you’re showing the value that you created,” Walls said. “Then we will invite the campus community to come in and vote.”
The vote will have a scoring adjustment to keep it from becoming a popularity contest.
“We will also have a panel of judges that will vote,” Walls said. “The judges will have a little bit more weighted score than the community. The panel of judges will go by and their votes will count for ten and everyone else’s will count for one.”
Votes will then be counted before a winner is announced at 2 p.m. on Friday. When that team is determined, each team member will receive 100 dollars each, along with a sponsor being awarded an additional 100 dollars.
“This type of challenge is something that Stanford University has been doing for a really long time, eight to ten years,” Walls said. “To give an example of how value is created. Some people automatically think that means monetary value. But it can mean artistic value, social value; value is determined by the team and what they determine and then the voters will decide which value they like the best.”
Walls is also the director of the eHive which is also in its first year of existence. The eHive will be holding additional events throughout the year to encourage entrepreneurship across campus and attract students into the entrepreneurship hub. The eHive and Walls will also be assisting students with ideas for startups or creations throughout the year to encourage innovation within the student body. Walls would like all students with an idea to stop in and set up a time for a future meeting.