What is the Evening of Innovation?
Here at the Annenberg Innovation Lab, we close out every academic year with a big gala event we call the Evening of Innovation. Showcased at the event are not only the student teams from that year’s CRUNCH Student Design Challenge, but many of the year's biggest projects from both the Annenberg Innovation Lab and the Blackstone LaunchPad at USC. The main spectacle of every year's event is the grand finale of this year's CRUNCH Student Design Challenge as each student team pitches their entrepreneurial ventures to a panel of industry judges.
The pitch competition is the culmination of the CRUNCH Student Design Challenge course, an intense eight-week "startup boot camp" created by AIL Managing Director and Research Fellow Erin Reilly and co-taught most recently by AIL Technical Director Geoffrey Long, AIL Research Associate Francesca Marie Smith, and Blackstone LaunchPad at USC's Lead Venture Consultant Ian Donahue, with designer/entrepreneur and friend of the lab Trevor Satterfield.
The CRUNCH Student Design Challenge is structured to enable student entrepreneurs as they aim to turn their ideas into startup successes through skill-based activities on topics such as determining your minimum viable brand and discovering ways to motivate customer.
Now in its fifth year, the CRUNCH Student Design Challenge has cultivated a thriving entrepreneurial student spirit on campus, collaborating with organizations at USC and tech industry leaders around Los Angeles and the world.
Each student team competes for the final prize: $10,000 in funding and the official title of Startup-In-Residence at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab. Each team had a demo table set up at the event to show off their creations and answer questions, and then had four minutes apiece to pitch their startups to the audience and the panel of judges.
Over three years, this program has seen two of our CRUNCH winners go on to participate in accelerators, raise additional funds and launch their startups.
In addition to the CRUNCH startup competition, the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab showcases a number of its research projects, as well as a number of student entrepreneur projects from the Blackstone LaunchPad at USC.
By bringing all of these project showcases together for the Evening of Innovation, we get the chance to share with our friends, family, faculty, sponsors, the public and each other the huge breadth of work being done here at the Annenberg Innovation Lab, and gives everyone a great chance to meet each other, celebrate each others’ work, and spark ideas for how we might collaborate moving forward. If you'd like to be a part of that, consider yourself invited to next year's event – but there's no reason to wait that long. Reach out to us here at the lab, and let us know how you'd like to come play!
Learn about the teams and projects from Spring 2015.
Prefound- Winner of the 2015 Crunch Challenge!
Prevail Games and Bridge to Solas - Winner of the Audience Choice Award
Fans.Passions.Brands. Global Music Study
The Edison Project: The New Public Spaces
World Building LA
Augmented Reality + Virtual Reality Journalism
Learn about the teams and projects from Spring 2014.
XCLU - Winner of the 2014 Crunch Challenge!