New Kensington students, ideas sought for upcoming Idea Challenge

New pitch competition aims to strengthen skill sets and offer prizes
Student draws on paper

Penn State New Kensington students are invited to participate in the upcoming Idea Challenge pitch competition. No experience needed to take part in the initiative, which is part of the campus' goal to build students' innovative skill sets. 

Credit: Rebecca Dietrich

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. - Penn State New Kensington students can turn their ideas into prize-winning pitches during the upcoming campus Idea Challenge. Led by the campus’ innovation hub, The Corner, the goal is to show how any student can harness their innovative mindset without the pressure of currently wanting or starting their own business. 

“There are problems to be solved all around us that have the potential to impact lives in positive ways,” said Joanna Sutton, innovation coordinator with the New Kensington campus and The Corner. “The Idea Challenge is a place for students to take the first step to explore innovation and entrepreneurship.” 

Students at the campus do not have to major in business or be an entrepreneur to participate.  

“All a student needs is an idea about something they would like to see improved,” explained Sutton. “It could be something in their daily routine they struggle to accomplish or a challenging social issue where they want to make an impact. All ideas are welcome!” 

Participants will have access to workshops and mentoring throughout the process to learn valuable skills they can carry with them after graduation, no matter their major. 

“Developing an entrepreneurial mindset can positively impact students both personally and professionally,” said Sutton. “The entrepreneurial mindset is one that is open-minded, collaborative and growth-oriented. These qualities are valued in every workplace and help every student find success as they work to create their own path.”   

Individual students or small teams can still submit an application to participate in the Idea Challenge. Chosen finalists will deliver idea pitches in front of a panel of judges on Nov. 15, before attending an open reception at The Corner, located at 701 Fifth Avenue in downtown New Kensington. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place idea pitches. Complete details about the Idea Challenge can be found on the program’s information webpage