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Blackstone LaunchPad Explores the Wearable Technology Industry With First Ever Collegiate Fashion/Tech Hackathon

Posted Jan. 27, 2014
24-hour event open to all college students attending a U.S. university
hackathon icon
Kent State University’s Blackstone LaunchPad will host
the nation’s first collegiate wearable tech hackathon
for students across the United States, from Jan. 31
through Feb. 1
at Rockwell Hall.

Product innovation around the growing wearable technology industry will be the focus of Blackstone LaunchPad’s second annual “Innov8athon” event running Jan. 31 through Feb. 1 at Kent State University’s Rockwell Hall.  

The 24-hour event will provide students from varying disciplines across the United States the opportunity to come together and build physical prototypes that combine fashion and technology in the nation’s first collegiate wearable tech hackathon. Student teams will pitch their business concepts in front of an illustrious group of Northeast Ohio business leaders, including members from NorTech, JumpStart, FlashStarts, Tiny Circuits, MOVABLE, Kent Displays, Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute and the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising.

“There’s tremendous potential for the wearable tech industry, and Northeast Ohio is positioned to take advantage of it,” says NorTech President and CEO Rebecca Bagley. “Our region has some of the most innovative companies developing flexible electronics technologies that will re-interpret the way we interact with our electronic devices.”

‘‘Blackstone LaunchPad thrives on supporting collaborative, cross-disciplinary investigation of new ideas and industries,” says Julie Messing, executive director of entrepreneurship initiatives at Kent State. “Given Kent State University’s unique resources, including a nationally ranked Liquid Crystal Institute, Fashion School and Computer Science department, our program saw a timely opportunity to focus our signature startup event around the wearable tech industry to propel student business investigation.”

Sponsored by Blackstone LaunchPad, in partnership with Kent State’s TechStyleLAB and the student organization, Hacksu, “Innov8athon II: Fashion/Tech Hackathon” is expected to draw up to 100 participants with the potential to create 15 student ventures. Student teams will have the opportunity to compete for more than $3,500 in various cash awards. The final presentation is free and open to the public to attend. Find more information on how to register or attend the event.

About Blackstone LaunchPad:
Kent State University’s Blackstone LaunchPad promotes entrepreneurship as a viable career path. Through mentoring, workshops and events, and connecting entrepreneurs to resources, Blackstone LaunchPad helps Kent State students, faculty, staff and alumni to create new startups or grow existing businesses in Northeast Ohio.

About NorTech:
As an organization focused on technology and innovation, NorTech is strengthening Northeast Ohio’s economic vitality by accelerating the pace of innovation in the region. NorTech is using its industry expertise in emerging industries to foster an innovation environment that provides small, medium and large companies, colleges/universities and disconnected populations with collaborative opportunities that create jobs, attract capital and have long-term, economic impact. NorTech also connects with government leaders and other influencers to raise the visibility of Northeast Ohio’s technology assets, position the region as an innovation hub and attract resources.