The 2018 Innovation Challenge: Up to $10,000 on the Line!


April 9: Decker Center Forum. Mixer at 5 p.m., general admission at 6 p.m., and judging start at 6:30 p.m.

The Encompass Distinction and the Innovation Challenge are made possible with the generous support of Dennis Sisco ’68 & Alexine Lesko, through the The Sisco Fund for Enterprise Management.

Lights. Cameras. Questions!

Innovative approaches to solving real world problems. New products. Responding to 21st-century markets. The 2018 Innovation Challenge will give teams the chance to win big cash rewards with their pitches:

  • $10,000 grand prize
  • $3,000 second-place prize
  • $2,000 audience-choice prize

+ more prizes and business consulting with alumni and area professionals. 

Big Wins!

Three teams will win top prizes--everyone will walk away with the experience of a lifetime.

The Innovation Challenge finalists propose their ventures, live, on Monday, April 9th. Doors open at 6 p.m., after a 5 p.m. mixer hosted by Launch Carroll and Encompass Distinction faculty.

Everyone is invited to attend this exciting event! Cheer on the teams, network with like-minded people, and be the first to find out who wins big with their nonprofit or business proposal.

Innovation Challenge 2018 Finalists

This year's finalists were chosen by the President's Advisory Council, a group of highly successful entrepreneurial alumni of the College. The students were judged based on creativity/innovation, clarity of purpose, market potential, financial plan and overall strength of application of their entrepreneurial idea or product.

Click below for short video descriptions from the teams:

  • Loyl: Matthew Meagher and Ben Schipper. "We support communities all across small town USA by connecting local businesses to loyal customers thus growing local economy and satisfying the customer with superior hometown service."
  • ZenZen: Kelly Edullantes and Kris Gibb. "Green events made simple."
  • Sertified, LLC: Owen Long and Justin Arter. "Sertified., LLC is committed to providing top quality and affordable first responder training, from the American Red Cross, to the Northern Maryland and South Central Pennsylvanian area."
  • Stylish Thrift: William Martin. "We aim to provide reasonably priced new and vintage clothing, without sacrificing quality and give everyone the opportunity to support their team or show their style."
  • Show Your Hero: Sarah Pennington. "Inspiring confidence in young adults."


Honorable mentions include:

  • Roadrunna: Libby Gwynne Dougherty and Breon Herbert
  • Smart Home Services: Wade Slatniske
  • Skiease: Matthew Lugat
  • Stat Stadium: Robbie Mays, Ben Stapleton, and Zach Fortuna
  • Scholapply: Jordan Davis
  • Colton and Friends: Savannah Dawson
  • Spice: Matthew Allen, Paritosh Palkhivala, Daniel David, and Maia Hanlon


This year's panel represent decades of highly successful entrepreneurship:

The application period for the 2018 Innovation Challenge is now closed. To read more about this year's pitch requirements, click here