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Andrew Alexander, Scripps Howard visiting professional, and Jean Marie Cackowski-Campbell, executive coordinator of the Scripps Innovation Challenge, address the crowd at the Scripps Innovation Kickoff event.

Seven finalists for the Scripps Innovation Challenge have been announced

The finalists for the Scripps Innovation Challenge were announced Friday and include seven teams.

Seven teams of Ohio University students are one step closer to potentially winning up to $10,000 this spring in the Scripps Innovation Challenge.

On Friday, the university announced the finalists for this year's challenge, where students compete to create innovative solutions to communication and media problems. The Scripps Innovation Challenge is also sponsored by the Scripps College of Communication and the Scripps Howard Foundation.

This year’s challenges include "finding innovative ways to engage first-time voters and new ways to incentivize audiences to create and share content on online publishing sites," according to an OU news release.

The final teams will present their ideas at "Pitch Day" on March 14 in Walter Hall and winners will be announced later that day.

The first place winners will receive $10,000, the second place team will receive $5,000, five runners-up will each receive a $1,000 prize and a $5,000 diversity prize will be given to the team whose entries "best address underserved and underrepresented audiences," according to the release.

In total, 31 teams registered for this year’s Challenge and 13 teams submitted final project proposals.

Emily Mueting, a senior studying journalism, is doing the Scripps Innovation Challenge for the first time this year and her team, APPoint, is one of the finalists.

“We are creating a website that helps teach high schoolers about the importance of voting in local elections, but it’s focused on the seven county region of Athens and its surrounding counties so it’s very small focused,” Mueting said. “(It is about) engaging first time Appalachian high schoolers in voting and teaching the importance of voting for their mayor and not just there president.”

Mueting said she was in class when she found out her team was a finalist.

“It made a really, really, really bad class really good all the sudden,” Mueting said.

Brendan Margolies, a junior studying journalism, is also competing in the Scripps Innovation Challenge for the first time this year and his team, Info-Gator, is a finalist.

“We were elated,” Margolies said about his team member reacted to hearing they were finalists.

Going forward, Margolies said his team is going to respond to any criticism they received and continue to practice the pitch.

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Harrison Mbemba, a senior studying media arts and studies, said it was “very surreal” when he saw that his team, OASIS, was a finalist. 

"We are extremely thankful," Mbemba said. "We put so much work and time and effort into this and to see it yield results was amazing.”


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