New ideas in food, sports, music on display at Innovation Challenge Expo

Innovative ideas covering areas from food to sports to music will be on display — once again competing for recognition from Trine University’s Innovation One and Fifth Third Bank — at the annual Innovation Challenge expo on Friday, April 20, at Trine.

Now in its fifth year, the Innovation Challenge, with prizes funded by Fifth Third Bank, Greater Indiana, aims to find the best new concepts in technology and business. Twenty finalists will display their projects at the expo.

Everyone is invited to attend this free, family-friendly event. The public innovation expo will take place from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in the Rick L. and Vicki L. James University Center at Trine University, with the top projects receiving awards at 4:30 p.m. in Fabiani Theatre.

Among the ideas showcased at the expo will be “The Corn Club,” a startup business by two Trine students featuring a branded microwave corn popper and gourmet popcorn flavors. Also on display will be an ergonomic tuba mouthpiece that has been 3-D printed and used, and a concept that would utilize motion capture to convert body movement into rhythm and sound, making the human body and instrument.

Two ideas focus on the sport of lacrosse. A device called an A6 Donut allows lacrosse players to get a better grip on their stick, while the Lax Strong business concept is a lacrosse training facility for those looking to improve their skills.

Several of the finalist ideas grew out of projects from the Venture Planning course taught in Trine University’s Ketner School of Business.

Unrestricted cash prizes will be awarded for first through third place in each category, technology and business. First-place winners will take home $2,500, with a $1,000 prize for second and $500 for third. Prizes also will be given for Best High School Entry, Best University Entry and Best Community Entry.

Fifth Third will provide “goodie bags” to all finalists.

The Innovation Challenge, introduced in 2014, is open to students and residents of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. Awards and scholarships are funded by a $100,000 gift from Fifth Third Bank, Greater Indiana.

About Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $141 billion in assets and operates 1,254 full-service Banking Centers, including 95 Bank Mart® locations, most open seven days a week, inside select grocery stores and 2,639 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third also has a 18.3% interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of December 30, 2015, had $297 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $26 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC.