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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Strome Partners with NATO for First Global Innovation Challenge

By Noell Saunders

The NATO Innovation Challenge and ODU's Lion's Lair Innovation Competition are collaborating to tap the minds of innovative people and teams to find more effective ways for NATO, and other disaster response organizations to stabilize troubled areas and save lives following a major event.

Ten finalists from the U.S., United Kingdom and Belgium will pitch their ideas Friday, Oct. 27 inside the Darden College of Education's auditorium. Four of the 10 finalists are from Hampton Roads, including two teams from Old Dominion University. The event is being held from 8 a.m. to 2p.m.

The pitches and awards ceremony are open to the public but prior registration, by October 23, is required. To attend, register at the NATO Innovation Challenge and ODU Lion's Lair Innovation Competition event website.

This is the first time the Strome Entrepreneurial Center is partnering with an external organization for its "Lion's Lair" competition which is held in conjunction with National Entrepreneurship Month celebrations at the University, and Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The "Lion's Lair" competition challenges entrepreneurs to put their best ideas forward in two tracks — students; and alumni or employees.

"It was a natural partnership for ODU because the Lion's Lair Innovation Competition has the same goals as NATO's Innovation Challenge," said Nancy Grden, executive director of the Strome Entrepreneurial Center.

The NATO Innovation Challenge's focus includes addressing issues in areas of security, medicine, logistics and energy that can be applied during crisis situations.

Judges will decide three winners based on pitches and detailed reports submitted by the finalists. The first winner will receive the ODU Lion's Lair - Hillier Ignite prize of $15,000, while the second winner will receive a $15,000 prize from the U.S. Department of Defense, and the third will win a fully paid trip to the NATO Allied Command Transformation's annual Chiefs of Transformation Conference in December to pitch their idea.

ODU's Center for Enterprise Innovation, through its TempO program, will offer a $10,000 service package for business model creation and validation to each winner.

"The Center for Enterprise Innovation is looking forward to working with the winners to create viable business models for executing their great ideas and helping their solutions meet these important global challenges," said Jerry Cronin, program director of TempO.

For more information, contact Steve Goad at 757-683-3272 or hgoad@odu.edu.

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