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  5. On May 10, first Innovative Minds prize to reward market-ready student innovation

First Innovative Minds prize to reward market-ready student innovation

The Madison office of law firm Perkins Coie LLP will give a lucrative kickstart on May 10 to aspiring student entrepreneurs ready to take their idea to the next level.

The firm is sponsoring the first-ever “Innovative Minds” award of $10,000 for a University of Wisconsin-Madison student innovation team that demonstrates the year’s most market-ready innovation. The ceremony will be held on Friday, May 10, at 3:30 p.m. in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery Town Hall.

Judges will choose from more than a dozen winning entries from the university’s signature competitions: Innovation Days, the Qualcomm Wireless Innovation Prize, the Wisconsin Energy and Sustainability Challenge, and the G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition. The $10,000 winner will have demonstrated the most work and strongest commitment to commercializing their idea.

Patrick Heaney, who earned master's (2007) and PhD (2009) degrees in materials science and turned his dissertation into a successful local company, NCD Technologies, will give a keynote address. Judges for the prize include Craig Christianson, general counsel at Promega Corporation; and Perkins Coie partners David Anstaett and Christopher Hanewicz. 

UW-Madison is the fourth campus, along with the University of California-Los Angeles, Arizona State University, and Northwestern University, to serve as home to an Innovative Minds competition. Perkins Coie launched the program in 2011 to help advance creative thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Brian Mattmiller