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HU students take home top prizes at I-69 Challenge

HUNTINGTON, Ind. Huntington University students took home first, second and third place for their teams' marketing plans at the eighth annual I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge held Feb. 14-16.

The challenge, hosted by the Grant County Economic Growth Council, was created to encourage entrepreneurship among students along the I-69 corridor, provide networking opportunities for students and judges, generate creative ideas and allow for collaboration between universities. The teams are charged with the responsibility of "solving" a given social or economic problem using a for-profit business model that they create.

Isaiah Stephenson, a senior economics & finance and business management major from Louisville, Ky., took first place with his team for "Connective," an innovative placement firm that infiltrates small universities to link students with hiring companies.

Alivia Walker, a senior marketing, business management and entrepreneurial small business management major from Columbia City, Ind., took second with her team for "Educational Financing," a literacy program for employees of targeted large companies.

Jacob Stone, a senior business management major from Topeka, Ind., took third with his team for "Impact Source: Gateway to Growth," a payroll outsourcing service.

Sam Thompson, a junior business management, history and entrepreneurial small business management major from Brownsburg, Ind., also competed.

A total of five teams competed. Each team was comprised of a student representative from each participating university.

The first place winners were each awarded an iPad air and smart cover. The second place team members each won $100 gift cards, and the third place team members were awarded $50 gift cards.