Sprint to Innovate – The Innovation Challenge

The Sprint to Innovate event was brought together by Tech Manitoba, Faculty of Science – University of Manitoba and Red River College (RRC) Polytech.  The purpose of this event was to bring together post-secondary students from varied disciplines such as technology, business, entrepreneurship, and more to learn about innovation while collaborating in a fun and exciting challenge to build a minimum viable prototype in two days.

Each team was comprised of between 4 to 6 students and had to choose from a list of available business challenges that were provided by industry.  Each team worked together with support from mentors as well business representatives from each challenge, to create a solution that included developing a prototype to be presented to judges on the final day.

CIPS Manitoba team consisting of Gary Craven, Suvojit De, Linda Hunter and Kerry Augustine submitted a business challenge that could be considered by any one of the teams.  The challenge was as follows:

  • How might the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) develop a program focused on enhancing and supporting the careers of students and early-stage IT professionals

Further details to support this challenge were provided to all the teams and 4 teams decided to take on this challenge: 3 & 3, Change Champions, Better Safe Than Sorry, and The Matrix.

There was a networking event on Thursday, February 1, 2024 to kickoff the weekend with some general hints and tips on the expectations plus a Design Thinking and Pitch Presentation by Al McLeod and Leanne Jones to help the teams get started.  The teams were given the opportunity to meet with the business representative and mentors to ask any questions later in the day on Friday as well as on Saturday morning.  And they were off and running, putting together their proposed solutions and presentations and pitches for Sunday. 

Because there were 4 teams that had taken on the CIPS Manitoba challenge, the Manitoba reps had to judge them and determine which one would go to the finals.  The work that all teams completed in 48 hours to understand the problem and the process and then to come up with a proposed solution and presentation was amazing and made the job of determining which team to choose from extremely difficult.  Team Better Safe Than Sorry was chosen based on their understanding of the challenge, approach and solution to the problem and the engaging presentation.  Then they competed against the winning teams from the other 5 challenges.  Each team was allowed 7 minutes to complete their presentations to four judges who had 3 minutes to ask questions. 

CIPS Manitoba was extremely pleased that Better Safe Than Sorry won 2nd place.  Congratulations to Team members Anthony Phung, Edward Phung, Tal Podsosony and Mariia Vakulenko for a fantastic job.  This is one team that has an amazing future ahead of it.  Thanks to each of them for making our presence at this event so special!  

RRC Sprint to Innovate 2024 Event Recap (Feb 1-4th, Winnipeg, Manitoba)