WarriorsINNOVATE Challenge

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, student groups will compete for a chance to win a share of $10,000 toward jumpstarting their ideas!

Pre-register for the kick-off at Warriors Innovate to be entered into $100.00 gift card drawing.

At the kick-off, students will eat pizza and partner with mentors to build their ideas of change into a 100 word summary for the competition and to be entered into a $100 gift card drawing.

The WarriorsINNOVATE Challenge seeks to:

  • Provide students an environment to grow their idea supported by businesses and mentors
  • Provide an opportunity for student groups to form and create innovate solutions
  • Provide Alumni with mentorship opportunities


Benefits to Businesses (Return-On-Investment): 

  • Connects businesses with high quality, but often overlooked, innovators
  • Allows for a more relaxed conversation that is conducive to a meaningful exchange
  • Provides a no cost opportunity for an innovative and creative solution presentation in April¬†
  • Requires less resources and time

Benefits to Mentors (Return-On-Investment)

  • Build relationships with the next generation.
  • Recruit talent.
  • Create a lasting impression and legacy.

What Mentors Need to Do

  1. Identify an idea or team that is of interest.
  2. Commit to mentoring students throughout the WarriorsINNOVATE Challenge.
    a. Help team to create and submit an executive summary.
    b. Help team to prepare for pitch presentations in front of an expert panel of judges.
  3. Support your team and attend pitch presentations (approximately 30 hours over 12 weeks).

Benefits to Students

Groups will compete for a chance to win a share of $10,000 toward jumpstarting their idea! Participating in the WarriorsINNOVATE Challenge three-phase process including idea generation, idea development and idea readiness. Mentors will assist students in developing business plans and pitch presentations.

  • Helps students participate in idea formulation activity in a positive environment
  • Helps businesses to recognize the talents of students by discussing real world problems
  • Helps Alumni network with area businesses and young professionals

Entrepreneurial Homecoming of Winona State University will serve as an innovative event that will bring entrepreneur alumni back to their alma mater to display their achievements as well as network with and inspire current entrepreneurial students. 

Lan Party eSports Bar - Zach Finch '18 and Abby Wichman '18

The Lan Party eSports Bar (LPSB) is a facility that offers casual gamers, eSports athletes and super fans an environment to socialize and level up their skills. Gamers can often be stigmatized and corralled as social escapists and shut-ins, when in fact a lot of gamers have thriving online social lives. LPSB looks to address this problem by bringing this social world to life in a way that will positively shape our physical and online communities. The bar will give access to the high performance computers and consoles that competitive gaming demands while giving college age students the opportunity to interact with younger players to help establish a strong sense of community and mentorship.

Prime Time Filmz - Christopher Schroeder '20

Prime Time Filmz is a video production business that creates entertaining and interactive videos for YouTube and website platforms. Videos are focused around video games, music, promotion and vlogs. The business strives to entertain people through showing creativity, talent and skills through their content.

Zip Winona - Nathaniel Smith '18

Zip Winona will offer an exciting zip-lining experience for tourists and locals. With the launch tower being located atop Bluffside Park and the terminus near Holzinger Lodge, this strategic location will not only be a beautiful view for riders as they zip down the bluffs, the line will be highly visible. The goal is to develop a community of adventure that will draw in tourists and extra money to the Winona area.

College Bound Student Labor Services - Jordan Lagness '19

College Bound Student Labor Services (CBSLS) will hire and train high school and college students to perform a wide variety of jobs. By hiring and training high school and college students who are just entering the workforce or are early in their careers to work on low to medium skilled trades jobs, CBSLS will be able to offer services for less money than other businesses in the area and provide flexible scheduling that other businesses cannot.

Adulting 101 - Lea Steele '18

This project will create a central location for students to easily access the variety of resources, seminars, workshops and events offered to them as Winona State University Students. To reach the most number of students and to efficiently cater to each of their needs, which depends on what year they are, it will host the resources, seminars, workshops, and events on Desire2Learn, D2L, and will make a variety of changes to the AskWSU system to make it more interactive for students to be able to easily get their questions answered.

Board Rack - Calvin Johnson '18

Board rack is a longboard and skateboard rack designed to help solve a campus problem. Similar to a bicycle rack, students will no longer need to carry boards around buildings.

With the help of this competition, my improved board rack design will be patented and marketed to every university campus and school in America, and maybe even internationally.

2018 WIC Challenge Awardees 

$10,000 - Calvin Johnson '18 - Board Rack
$5,000 - Zach Finch '18 - Gaming Venue