Two of the University of Delaware’s innovation-based programs, UD MakerGym and Horn Entrepreneurship, have come together to launch the Make It Happen Challenge, an academic year-long competition that will turn student ideas into early-stage startups. The program promises grant money and resources for students with the most innovative, feasible and sustainable ideas.
At least five award packages with a total value of over $25,000 will be awarded, each including a monetary grant of up to $3,000 to cover supplies and materials, and up to 20 hours of hands-on training and design consultation.
For the MakerGym, an on-campus makerspace that first opened in March 2020 just before UD classes moved online, this will be the first year its 3D printers, laser cutters and advanced manufacturing research center will be available for in-person and hybrid learning. Participating students will have the chance to determine the feasibility of their idea through ideation, proof of concept, prototyping or small batch production. Throughout the process, students will also receive financial support, training, tools, materials and mentorship.
Although 2021-2022 cohort is the first to include an in-person component, it’s the second cohort so far. The first all-virtual cohort finished in spring of 2021 and culminated with grant packages for UD startups UP Cycle Design, Hydra Cultivation Network and Coral Connectors.
The current cohort will end in May 2022, and a new one will begin next fall, as the competition becomes an annual event.
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