Innovation in Action

Innovation in Action

Congratulations to our 2017 Competition Winners! Learn more about all of our winners and finalists.

IIA: Public Health winners:

Grand Prize, $10,000 AND Audience Choice Award, $1,000: Canopy 

Canopy facilitates the conversations about the end of life that we aren’t having, but maybe should be. It’s a simple web app that walks users through the questions and answers they might need someday. It helps to clarify their wishes with the people they love.

Team Members:

  • Ann Duong, School of Public Health and School of Information
  • Brandon Keelean, Stamps School of Art & Design
  • Elisabeth Michel, School of Public Health

IIA: Education winners:

Grand Prize, $10,000: Knowledge Village 

An online community of experience available to teachers and students worldwide.

Team Members:

  • Sid Chhatani, School of Information
  • Gabe DellaVecchia, School of Education
  • Makie DellaVecchia, EMU
  • Katy Easley, School of Education


The Innovation in Action competition harnesses the talents of Michigan students to address real-world problems. Having completed its third year, the competition has expanded from its original public health focus to include an education track. Within this framework, the program equips students with an innovator's toolkit in a supportive environment where they combine new, marketable skills in innovation and social entrepreneurship with their creativity and passion to make an impact.

Through the course of this competitive 5-month, transdisciplinary experience, you and your team will:

  • Invent, design, and steward your innovation.
  • Meet new people from across the university and beyond, encounter new concepts, and develop a greater understanding of public health and education needs.
  • Hone your innovation and entrepreneurial skills through modules--the program's experiential learning framework.
  • Gain new skills in innovation, social entrepreneurship, and public presentations.
  • Fully develop your idea and be prepared to pitch it to a panel of experts in innovation and social entrepreneurship.
  • Compete for cash prizes up to $10,000.

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Innovation in Action: The Student Perspective

Students offer their perspectives on this competitive, five-month transdisciplinary experience.

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