The BYU College of Engineering hosts an annual event called the SIOY, or Student Innovator of the Year Competition, in conjunction with the BYU Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology. Students from any major across campus who have a groundbreaking idea they want to share are invited to participate in the event.
The competition allows students to design and develop a prototype to showcase to judges, along with other students and community members. Those who participate are eligible to win large cash prizes which they can put towards funding new ideas as they move forward with their projects.
The seven finalists chosen will automatically receive $4,000 and will be able to advance to the Final Competition, on Feb. 26. Additional cash prizes will be awarded at the finals. The finale will feature a Shark Tank style of judging, with the winners of previous years (who have themselves been on Shark Tank) coming back to help decide who the overall winner should be.
Scott Chapple, a Manufacturing Engineer for Boeing, is one of the judges of this year’s SIOY Competition. “I think it’s huge for engineering students … because it gets creative juices going, it gives an opportunity to build a platform, gives an idea for them to start their own business,” Chapple said. “I think it’s a big deal and it creates innovation.”
The SIOY competition is a great opportunity for ECE students to get their feet wet with engineering design and entrepreneurship. It is never too early to get started on a project for next year’s competition. Those interested in more information can visit sioy.byu.edu.