Innovation Challenge Expo highlights best new ideas

From local fresh food delivery to an eco-friendly mo-ped, the top business ideas and products competing for recognition from Trine University’s Innovation One and Fifth Third Bank will be on display at the annual Innovation Challenge expo on Friday, Feb. 15, at Trine.

Now in its sixth year, the Innovation Challenge, with prizes funded by Fifth Third Bank, Greater Indiana, aims to find the best new concepts in technology and business. Twelve 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 p.m. in the Rick L. and Vicki L. James University Center at Trine University, with the top projects receiving awards immediately following in Fabiani Theatre.

Among the ideas showcased at the expo will be “Local Fresh,” a service that would deliver meal kits comprised of same-day fresh ingredients and groceries sourced from local growers and suppliers. Also featured will be the Ecoped, a mo-ped using solar panels and power converters to reduce the vehicle’s energy use. The BackBeat, a device that attaches to acoustic instruments to use the instrument’s natural resonance as a speaker, also will be on display.

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 and second place in each category, technology and business. First-place winners will take home $3,000, and a $1,000 prize will be awarded for second. Prizes also will be given for Best High School Entry, Best University Entry and Best Community Entry.

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.