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Pitch Competition to Award $160,000 to Fund Student Success Innovations


Photo Credit: University of New Mexico

Campus leaders are used to seeking funds for new ideas.  But venturing into a shark tank like environment to find financing is a risky venture for even the boldest campus innovators.  Still that’s what leaders from six public research institutions will do when the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU) present Innovation Challenge Pitch:Student Success 3.0, on Tuesday, November 17,from 9-11:30 AM (EST) at the APLU Annual Meeting, Delivering the Future, in Indianapolis, IN.

At stake is $160,000 in innovation funds to be awarded that day, by a panel of judges, before a live internet audience and conference participants.  Conference attendees will have the chance to vote and award their favorite pitcher $5,000 using the conference app.

Judges include philanthropy, higher education and advising experts.  The format is based on the popular reality show Shark Tank.  Pitchers will have five minutes to make their case.  Any pitch that goes beyond the time limit will be disqualified.

The event will be livestreamed

Schools and leaders making pitches for student success and advising initiatives are:

Jacqueline Smith, Executive Director of University Initiatives, Arizona State University, pitching “me3: Meeting high school students where they are.”

Peter Meiksins, Vice Provost of Academic Programs, Cleveland State University, pitching “Dual Campus Advising System.”

Isis Artze-Vega, Associate Director of Center for the Advancement of Teaching, Florida International University, pitching “UPASS@FIU.”

Melissa Welker, Executive Director of Student Success Programs and Initiatives, Northern Arizona University, pitching “Building a Rapid Response to Risk (R3) System.”

Sona Andrews, Provost, Portland State University,pitching “Hey Siri, Where is MY Degree Map?”

Alan Houston, Director of Academic Strategic Initiatives, University of California, San Diego, pitching “Engaged Learning Tools.”

The pitch competition is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, and Lumina Foundation.  Mark Becker, President of Georgia State University, will facilitate the session.

Watch and join the conversation at #aplu2015.


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