UO students hit the track running at innovation summit

A first-of-its kind "innovation summit" at the University of Oregon gave students a chance to share their business ideas in a unique way.

Posted: Oct. 29, 2017 6:07 PM
Updated: Oct. 29, 2017 6:07 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A first-of-its kind "innovation summit" at the University of Oregon gave students a chance to share their business ideas in a unique way.

It was the Olympics meets "Shark Tank."

Called Quack the Track, students pitched their business ideas while running on the Hayward Field track. Listening through microphones, judges graded the idea, the pitch, and the pace of the runners.

Nick Capaldini is a product design major at UO. He and his teammate, Rihika Krishna, a biology major, pitched their idea for a new firefighting technology.

"It's a nano-based chemical sensor for firefighters, and so one of the things we did to prep was practicing articulating how the technology works," Capaldini said.

He and Krishna won first place, earning them $500.

Quack the Track was just one of 80 sessions that made up the inaugural innovation summit on Friday. The event grew out of an undergraduate class, where students read a book from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, and also learned ways to think more like an entrepreneur. 

Second place took home $300, and third place took home $200.

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