Students will create solutions to serve community

Groups have until March 8 to work on their solutions; students from several other universities can participate



Teams can have up to four students. Entrepreneurs will speak about what it is like to take an idea and bring it to life during a kickoff event.

ANDREA GONZALEZ, Evergreen reporter

WSU students have the opportunity to participate in WSU Creative Jam+, a virtual ‘design-a-thon’ where groups come up with solutions that will serve the community in response to COVID-19.  

The kickoff for the event is Feb. 10. Teams have until March 8 to work on their solutions, said Elysia Syriac, senior program manager at Adobe Creative Jams. 

Entrepreneurs will speak about what it is like to take an idea and bring it to life, Syriac said. There will also be a software boot camp where students learn how to use Adobe XD.

Over the next few weeks, students will work on their project, present their business idea, create their value proposition and a mobile app, she said. Students participating will create a mobile app or digital service that is central to a business idea or vision. 

Another option for students is to create an app or digital service that brings in profit for a cause, said Chris Cooney, clinical assistant professor for the Carson College of Business.

Judges look for two things when evaluating projects: the design and the product’s financial viability, Cooney said. The design has to be user friendly, easy to understand and visually appealing.

Cooney said teams can have up to four students. Faculty members and WSU staff can register to attend the event if they want to participate as an audience member. Interested students can register through Eventbrite

“The best teams are multidisciplinary. So, having a variety of different backgrounds in your group will often produce the best results because you’re not coming at it from the same point of view,” Syriac said. 

Syriac said the event is open to students from several other universities, including the University of Idaho, Gonzaga University and Whitworth University.

Access to a computer and the ability to download Adobe XD is necessary, Cooney said. Students will be given a 90-day license to Adobe XD as part of the experience.

“Willingness to expand their educational knowledge and willingness to learn, their willingness to contribute creatively to a team; I think those are also things that students would want to bring to this,” he said. 

On March 8, students will submit their project to a panel of judges, who will then review all the projects and narrow it down to the top six finalists, Syriac said. 

The final six teams will present their concept and prototype to the judging panel, she said. Judges will give feedback to each team before selecting a winner on March 16. 

“Having a creative jam on your resume and as part of your portfolio, regardless of whether or not you win, definitely sets you apart,” Syriac said. 

Syriac said the finale judges are leaders in the business industry, including an Adobe software expert, WSU professor Ray Combs and a business owner. 

The first-place team will win a coaching session with a business leader, who is to be determined.

All of the final six teams will win prizes. Each member of the winning team will be awarded a $250 gift card and Adobe merchandise. Participants in second place will win a $150 gift card and Adobe merchandise, Syriac said. 

The team in third place will win a $75 gift card and Adobe merchandise, she said. The other three teams will get a $50 gift card.