Monday, December 5, 2016

Follow SDSU  Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook Follow SDSU on Google+ SDSU RSS Feed

Students work with the 3-D printer in the Zahn Innovation Center. Students work with the 3-D printer in the Zahn Innovation Center.

Zahn Center Competition Encourages Innovation

The SDSU community is invited to participate in a competition hosted by the on-campus business incubator.
By Hallie Jacobs

The San Diego State University Zahn Innovation Center will host the second annual Zahn Challenge this semester.

Teams comprised of members of the SDSU community are tasked with creating commercial or social enterprises, such as businesses or phone applications. Ideas of all stages are accepted.

Building on momentum

The success of the inaugural challenge led to this year’s expanded repertoire of prizes and opportunities for applicants.

“We’re building on momentum,” said Cathy Pucher, director of the Zahn Center. “We currently have 17 teams in the center, and we’re looking to grow to around 40 by the end of the year.”

The challenge is open to all members of the SDSU community; however, only one active SDSU student, faculty or staff member needs to be a part of the team for eligibility. Winners receive automatic admission into the Zahn Center and a $50,000 worth of cash and prizes. Prizes are courtesy of the Zahn family beneficiaries and SDSU alum, Rich Kerr.

Teams must apply online by Oct. 6, and all applications will automatically be considered. Applications will be reviewed in October, then reviewed by a final panel before in late November.

“This is a fantastic way to get involved,” Pucher said. “There’s no risk, but there’s so much to gain. The center is here to help everyone on campus.”

About the Zahn Innovation Center

The Zahn Innovation Center is a commercial and social incubator that supports SDSU innovators and aspiring entrepreneurs — students, faculty and staff from any major or department on campus — as they transform their ideas into companies. 

These individuals are organized into teams working on commercial and social enterprises as well as projects resulting in positive social impacts.

Members of the Zahn Center are able to access a multitude of resources once admitted into the program.  The resources are pro bono, and a large portion of them are courtesy of SDSU alumni.

Sparking innovation

Projects that have been launched from the Zahn Center include:

  • Jobioz, a comprehensive digital portfolio students can take advantage of to help them get hired after college
  • B-TrackS, a balance system to assess recovery from concussions
  • Grow Energy, a cause-driven company that seeks to revolutionize the way the world is powered by freeing society from its dependency on polluting energy resources

More information

There will be information sessions hosted by Pucher to answer questions relating to the challenge. Applicants will receive an acknowledgment from the Zahn Innovation Center when their application is received.

For more information, contact Pucher.