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Second Big IDEA Challenge gearing up

Those with an idea for a new product or technology can enter Patrick Henry Community College’s (PHCC) second Big IDEA Challenge for a chance to win a prize package valued at over $5,000. In this 30-day challenge, participants are guided through the product development process and compete for the chance to see their idea become a reality.

Information sessions: November 16 at 6 p.m. or November 17 at noon

Deadline to apply: December 9 at 5 p.m.

Big IDEA Challenge: January 16 – February 10

“Our fall 2016 Big IDEA Challenge was a great success for both the IDEA center and the participants,” says Community Development Coordinator Tiffani Underwood. “We’re ready to offer another set of creative community members a chance to develop the great ideas that have been stuck in their heads.”

Up to ten entries, made up of individuals or teams of two, are chosen to participate. Those accepted receive one-on-one mentoring, specialized training, free access to the Fab Lab (a fabrication laboratory is a space equipped for product prototyping and visualization), and design assistance.

At the end of training, participants pitch their product ideas to a panel of judges. The winner receives three months of free access to the Technology Accelerator, a space designed to help anyone develop an idea into a marketable product or business. Winners also receive a 3D prototype of their product, additional mentoring, and media and promotional opportunities.

Those interested can attend an information session on November 16 at 6 p.m. or November 17 at noon at the Dalton IDEA Center, or they can contact the IDEA Center (276-656-546; ). Applications are available online at www.patrickhenry.edu/wf/idea-challenge or at the Dalton IDEA Center at 26 Fayette St. in Uptown Martinsville. Entry and participation in the challenge is free. All intellectual property and equity remain with the entrepreneur teams and individuals.

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