Innovation Challenge

The Elms Innovation Challenge is an experiential learning opportunity for all first years students to collaborate on innovative ways to tackle the big problems.

This years challenge teaches students design thinking, the innovation process and team building skills.


Monday 9/5
Elms Essentials- 9:00am -6:00pm
• Innovation Challenge Brainstorming Activity
• (1:30-3:00pm)-Berchman Gym
• Large Brainstorming & Team Breakouts
• Escape Room-Team Building (on campus)-
7:00pm (Berchman Gym)
Tuesday 9/6 Elms Essentials 8:30 am – 3:15 pm
• Peer Diversity Training, Part 1- 9:30-10:15am in classroom
• Design Thinking Workshop- 12:45pm-2:30pm (Cafeteria)
Wednesday 9/14 Guest Speaker on Revenue Models
Monday 9/19 Group Presentation on “How to Pitch”
Wednesday 9/21 Pitch Madness- Veritas (12:30pm-2:45pm)
Monday 9/26 Mentors meet with classes to provide feedback to teams


10:00am-12:30pm Round 1- Presentations
(Top 3 from each group move to finals)
• Teams 1-10 (Library Theater)
• Teams 11-21 (FDR)
• Teams 22-32 (Veritas)
12:45pm-2:00pm- Lunch
Final Presentations (Veritas)
● Final Presentations
● Judges’ Deliberations and Awards

6:00pm-7:30pm- Food Truck & Music in the Quad

What is the Innovation Challenge?

Students will be placed in teams of 5-6 students with their first-year seminar
course. These teams will work together learning about brainstorming, design
thinking, innovation and problem solving. Student teams will use this process to
create a new “innovation” and pitch that innovation live to a panel of judges.
Individuals can win money if their team is selected by the judges. See the prize
information and judging criteria later in the workbook.

The Objective
• Develop students’ professional and networking skills
• Approach problem solving and innovation in a systematic way
• Provide authentic leadership and teamwork experience
• Increase the sense of belonging to the Elms Community
• Integrate more experiential learning activities into the curriculum

Student Outcomes
Outcome #1: Students will demonstrate critical and empathetic analysis of
a problem linked to Catholic Social Teaching.
Outcome #2: Students will be able to articulate the importance of
developing a deep insight into customer needs, desires, and aspirations
Outcome #3: Students will discover their personal leadership styles
Outcome #4: Students will be able to apply specific tools and
methodologies to enhance creativity and enable innovation

View past Innovation Challenges