WCET's 29th Annual Meeting
Welcome to the "Shark Tank"

Speaker: , Senior System Director for Educational Innovations, Minnesota State
Moderator: , Director, Curriculum, Western Governors University


Sometimes the grant applications or the funding process for innovation can be tired, dreary, and frankly not particularly innovative. Minnesota State decided to disrupt that model. Inspired by the television show "Shark Tank" Minnesota State hosted an event that balanced joyful celebration of innovation and healthy competition among prospective innovators. Administrators (CIOs, CAOs, Vice Chancellors), college and university faculty, faculty working in professional development, IT staff, students, campus academic technology teams, and business/industry leaders from across the state came together for an evening that included poster sessions and video vignettes from 11 innovations funded in 2016 and to watch 16 new hopeful participants 'pitch' innovations for new funding. This event accomplished several things simultaneously:  1) focus enterprise energy around innovation; 2) bring together individuals from a variety of roles in state higher education; 3) share outcomes from real, implemented, and funded innovations; 4) spark creativity in real-time funding pitches; 5) involve business and industry representatives on the 'investor' panel with students and educators.