The Griffith Innovation Challenge is a 10 credit point course that provides students with an environment to develop and discuss ideas for innovative new products and services, with the potential to make a real difference in the world. Students, in groups of 2-4, spend the 12-week trimester developing, testing and building their idea. This course is not discipline-specific and all Griffith University undergraduate students are welcome to participate.

In collaboration with Making Good Alliance, this trimester the challenge for our students was to come up with a creative business idea for the Centre for Regenerative Arts, located in Mt Tamborine. But not so easy! This idea also must find a way to get everyone involved in the climate crisis and sustainable development. Each group had a $5000 budget to solve this challenge and they had to conduct market research to show the potential of their ideas.

The final competition was held in the second week of February. Prof. Rosemary Stockdale led the opening of the virtual event. Then, 55 students (17 groups) pitched their solutions to the challenge to an experienced external panel formed by: Susan Rallings (Director, Making Good Alliance), Ariana Magretts (General Manager, CoSpaces), Vanessa Tomlinson (Director, Creative Arts Research Institute – Griffith University), Will Banks (CEO, Challenger Capital), Sam Bruhn (co-founder, Hightro) and Jenn Kemp-Smith (Learning Advisor, Griffith University).

The students not only competed for the most creative, well-presented, and feasible ideas, but also for an amazing prize pack sponsored generously by Making Good alliance, Outland Denim, Cohort Spaces, and Amazon.

We nominated a winner and two runner-ups, but we congratulate all the students for their great effort, consistency, and professionalism.  They have demonstrated they have a strong understanding of what it means to be innovative, how to use creative thinking techniques to develop ideas for innovative new products and services, being able to assess the sustainability of new business ideas, diagnose and analyse the feasibility and viability of a new business idea and to critically evaluate and pitch that idea to an experienced external panel.

A big thank you to Prof. Rosemary Stockdale and Sue Rallings for their support in organizing the challenge and the event. Another big thank to the jury/panel that gave their time to engage with the pitches and provide feedback to our contestants, and finally to the amazing team (Gunaro Setiawan and Lisa Smith) that helped manage the event.

Carla Riverola

Course convenor