This year participants of the Innovation Rodeo have the opportunity to form teams of four and win $2,000 a day by coming up with the best idea – as selected by the provider of the Innovation Challenge – for solving a specific problem.

Innovation Challenges occur between 1:30 and 3:30 on Monday to Thursday of the Innovation Rodeo.

This year’s Innovation Challenges are:

  • Monday: How to minimize the time it takes for Alberta-based tech startups to become an established company
  • Tuesday: How can Calgary build a digital economy without leaving its vulnerable population behind
  • Wednesday: How to spur innovation and entrepreneurship in rural Alberta by making it easier for people in rural communities to travel between communities.
  • Thursday: How to get more students in Alberta’s 26 post-secondary institutions to become first-time entrepreneurs

The Innovation Challenges are a hybrid of design thinking and a business case and are documented on a paper template  (11 inches X 17 inches) provided at the beginning of the each day’s Innovation Challenge.

The steps of the challenge are:

  1. Listen to the challenge provided
  2. Identify potential sources of the challenge
  3. Select the root cause of the challenge (aka lynchpin)
  4. Come up with potential solutions to the root cause
  5. Select ranking criteria to rank your potential solutions
  6. Pick your best idea by force ranking each idea based on the ranking criteria you selected
  7. Suggest the first three implementation steps
  8. Identify the resources needed to execute your implementation steps
  9. Identify three key risks and develop a short risk mitigation strategy for each of them

The winners are announced on the final day of the Innovation Rodeo.

The Innovation Challenge template and forced ranking worksheet are available via the resources section of this web site.