Ladies and gentlemen, JagStart your engines!

Promotional signage for this year's JagStart.View print quality image
This year, JagStart comes to you. Photo courtesy of the Department of Undergraduate Education Office of Communications

Even though there aren't any live sports right now, there's still some fierce competition on the horizon. Get ready for a virtual "Shark Tank"-style event that's almost as old as the TV show itself.

Its name? JagStart.

Its game? Helping innovative IUPUI students showcase their ideas for changing the world we live in.

This year, the field consists of more than 20 students, mostly doing solo projects, from a plethora of schools across campus. They've been working since February, meeting for a handful of workshop sessions to learn from mentors across a variety of backgrounds.

"It's a collaborative effort," said Christian Rogers, associate professor of computer graphics technology and JagStart program manager. "We have faculty from Herron, the O'Neill School, Kelley, and Health and Human Services. It's a real collaborative effort all across campus to convey a cohesive message of innovation from all perspectives."

"All the schools on IUPUI's campus have classes that are focused on innovation from some perspective," said Barb Cutillo, a visiting lecturer in the Kelley School at IUPUI. "With the current challenges of COVID-19, we need more innovative, problem-solving and creative ideas to help get us through."

What's on the line? The creators of the innovations that shine brightest will not only leave with some prize money but will be able to network with experts in the field of aspiring entrepreneurship.

The winners will get into Elevate Origins, a jumpstart program from Elevate Ventures, a private venture-development firm on the north side of Indianapolis.

"Not only are they getting prize money, but they're going to get access to a network of entrepreneurs," Cutillo said. "That's a big part of Elevate's job, to invest in startups and other new initiatives to further economic development in Indiana."

"We believe IUPUI students are innovators; they have great ideas," Rogers said. "We want to help promote them and give them the resources and expertise to help them succeed."

The virtual event goes live at 5 p.m. April 29. You can find more information about JagStart and access the live event online.