UR Innovation Challenge: Community Health Crisis

Event Date: 
Monday, January 11, 2021 - 8:00am to Friday, January 22, 2021 - 2:00pm
Add to calendar
Event Location: 

Work with community health partners to make the City of Rochester Ever Better!

We are excited to announce the second iteration of the UR COVID-19 Challenge,
UR Innovation Challenge: Community Health Crises which will be held from January 11th, 2021 to January 22nd, 2021 and is open to all UR students (undergraduate & graduate students).

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to social, economic and emotional devastation all around the world. Here in Rochester, organizations, families and individuals are facing long term hardships due to social isolation, financial constraints, and health concerns. More than ever before, the people of Rochester are affected by community health crises including mental health, housing evictions, safe public transportation, and sourcing sustainable food. We are urging you to join our community health partners in Rochester to address their most pressing needs!

Our Rochester partners are addressing community health with resilience, caution and creativity, testing out innovative solutions and thinking outside the box to continue their service during and after the pandemic. Some of these innovative businesses and organizations have opened their doors to University of Rochester students to collaborate, co-create and implement some new solutions that will come out of this challenge.

Each of our community partners will provide a problem statement that will be addressed by you, the student teams, through collaboration and innovation. You get the opportunity to attend workshops, interview and brainstorm with your community partners, as well as devise solutions and prototypes that you will pitch to a panel of judges at the end of the challenge.

Registration is now open! https://bit.ly/UR-Innov-Health


The Challenge

In this two-week-long innovation challenge, University of Rochester students will work in virtual teams to develop solutions for addressing various parts of the Health and Community Crisis in the City of Rochester. At the end of the challenge, they will present their solution to their community partner and a panel of judges.

For example, you might be paired with a food pantry to work on marketing, fundraising, or distribution strategies. Over the course of the challenge, you will be provided workshops, tools, mentorship, and one-on-one time with your community partner to develop the best solution.

The Challenge is open to all majors and class years in both undergraduate and graduate programs (incl. URMC, Simon, Warner and Eastman)! It will take place between January 11th - 22nd during the afternoon (exact times TBD).

1st place: $1500
2nd place: $1000
3rd place: $500

Additional benefits:

Certain workshops will count towards competition of the Medallion Program.
The challenge could be used as a part of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program to fulfill entrepreneurship or service requirements. It ties in with the Health and Security themes.
Aside from the support you are giving the community partners, this is a great opportunity to build relationships with them that could eventually lead into internship and mentorship opportunities.

The Rules:

  • Teams may contain up to four team members.
  • Your team’s community partner and challenge question will be emailed to you at 9 am EST on January 11th, 2021.
  • By submitting a solution, participants agree to all of the submission requirements, including confidentiality, selection, and reviewing process.
  • Community members will have ownership and access to all ideas at the end of the challenge, including those that weren’t selected.
  • You may use any outside expertise to create your solution. However, we ask that you acknowledge your sources in your final presentation.
  • Teams are expected to abide by the University’s Code of Conduct at all times.

Deadline to sign up is January 5

For questions, contact Joshua Batres from the organizing team at jbatresw@u.rochester.edu

This challenge is co-hosted by Barbara J. Burger iZone, Center for Community Engagement, The Greene Center for Career Education & Connections, Ain Center for Entrepreneurship and Hajim School Grand Challenges Scholars Program.