UWF students pitch creative concepts at Da Vinci Innovation Celebration

The UWF Center for Entrepreneurship will host the inaugural Da Vinci Innovation Celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 5 in the Great Hall in the University Commons, located in Building 22.

As part of the event, undergraduate and graduate students from across the University are invited to submit creative concepts, competing for one of 20 cash prizes totaling $5,000.

Dr. Robert Perkins, assistant professor of management, and Renan Serafim, a graduate assistant at the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship, designed the event.

The event was created to generate excitement about innovation and entrepreneurship early in the academic year and to award students on their concepts.

According to Perkins, the celebration was created in part as a precursor for the next Elevator Pitch Contest in Spring 2018, where students give presentations that promote a novel idea. The goal of this event is to get students thinking creatively.

“A lot of people say they aren’t creative, but they’re wrong,” Perkins said. “Everyone has imaginative ideas and we want students to reconnect with their imaginations and show us something innovative.”

Each student will have a table and 2-3 minutes to showcase their concepts to the judges. Concepts may be presented in any format, including poster, video, prototype and more. Online students are encouraged to participate by sending material in early and directing attendees and judges to a web link with their presentation on it.

All concepts will be judged according to feasibility, originality, creativity and overall presentation. Cash prizes will be awarded to four students from each of the following five categories: clever concept; artistic appeal; targeted market; commercial potential; and viral contender. There’s an additional People’s Choice award, which is a special category with a single winner chosen from one of the public’s favorite submissions uploaded to the UWF College of Business Facebook as photo posts with hashtag #UWFDaVinci. All students must submit an application for their concept by Sept. 21.

Students, staff, faculty and community members may also attend the speaker series at 4:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the UWF Library Idea Space, located on the first floor. These events will be used as preparation sessions leading up to the Da Vinci Innovation Celebration. Food and refreshments will be served at each session.

Upcoming speakers and topics are “Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Success” by Pensacola businessman and philanthropist Quint Studer on Sept. 20, “What’s Your Story?” by Dr. Mona Amodeo, founder and president of idgroup, on Sept. 27 and “Presenting Like a Champion” by Glenn McDuffy, business consultant at the Small Business Development Center at UWF, on Oct. 4.

To learn more about the speaker series and watch a video from the first event, visit the Center for Entrepreneurship Speaker Series webpage.

For more information about the Da Vinci Innovation Celebration, visit