American Greetings Sponsors Innov8athon III: #BestCardEver Hackathon

Blackstone LaunchPad collaborative event to be held on Nov. 15 at Kent State’s School of Art

Rethinking the greeting card is the theme of this year’s Innov8athon, an annual event that promotes entrepreneurial thinking, creative prototyping and interdisciplinary collaboration among all Kent State University students. Sponsored by American Greetings, “Innov8athon III: #BestCardEver” will provide the unique opportunity for students to learn about innovation in the context of commercial business applications.

“Creativity and innovative thinking are values that American Greetings believes in, so we are thrilled to be sponsoring this event,” said David Mayer, creative director of creative innovation at American Greetings. “We are grateful for the exciting opportunity to inspire creativity and encourage collaboration in young talent – especially right here in Northeast Ohio where American Greetings was founded and has remained for over 100 years.”

The “#BestCardEver” Hackathon event will take place over two days at Kent State, with a pre-event workshop on Nov. 5 from 7-9 p.m. on the 4th floor of the University Library, and the main event on Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the School of Art. Students from all majors and backgrounds are invited to participate and will have the opportunity to learn from American Greetings’ team members on what constitutes engaging and creative products.

“We are excited to have American Greetings’ support in sponsoring this creative, cross-campus event that will provide our students with the opportunity to ideate, collaborate and build their respective skillsets in a fun, competitive environment,” said Julie Messing, executive director of Kent State’s Blackstone LaunchPad program.

“This will be an exceptional opportunity for all of us, and we'll increase our understanding of how interdisciplinary teamwork and fast-paced creative thinking come together,” said Jessica Barness, assistant professor in Kent State’s School of Visual Communication Design and lead faculty mentor for the event. “Our students have been invited to consider the nature of a current retail product, and then ask themselves, ‘How can we design beyond existing solutions?’ and ‘What might this be instead?’ Once they start thinking beyond what they already know, things will get interesting—and I'm excited to see what our students come up with.”

Winning teams may have the opportunity to have their ideas translated into American Greetings’ products. For more information about “Innov8athon III: #BestCardEver” hackathon, visit

For more information about American Greetings, visit

For more information about the Blackstone LaunchPad program at Kent State, visit

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Media Contacts:

Julie Messing,, 330-672-6781
Robert J. Burford,, 330-672-8516

POSTED: Monday, November 3, 2014 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Friday, April 24, 2015 - 4:31pm
University Communications and Marketing