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Dr. Destler’s Health Innovation Challenge

health innovation challenge poster

Date: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Time: 8:30 - 10:00 a.m., prior to the opening ceremony of Imagine RIT 
Location: Clark Gym


Each year since the inception of Imagine RIT in 2008, President Bill Destler has challenged RIT students to compete for a top prize of either $1,000 cash or an antique banjo from his private collection.

Past challenges have involved building or modifying e-vehicles for racing; building and operating drones through an obstacle course; and creating product prototypes for better access and inclusion in society for those with differing abilities.

This year, our aim is to showcase RIT’s Greatness Through Difference by hosting an interdisciplinary health innovation challenge. In this context, “health innovation” could be anything from a lifestyle app that tracks some aspect of a person’s habits, to a tangible, 3-dimensional product that promotes health in some way.

Entry Criteria

  • The challenge is open to all current RIT students.
  • Teams should be multidisciplinary to qualify, with a minimum of two members per team.
  • No entry fee is required.
  • Register by March 1, 2017, with a written submission that meets the criteria set forth below. Email your entry submission to
  • Submissions are expected to:
    • Name your team members and indicate the anticipated year of graduation and degree program for each.
    • Describe your concept.
    • Outline a plan to develop a prototype for exhibition on May 6, 2017.
    • Indicate whether it will be a digital or a physical product prototype.
    • Define your target audience/end user(s).
    • Describe how you envision your product will meet the need(s) (unmet or in demand) of the end user(s).
    • Describe the user experience/usability as you envision it.
    • Briefly discuss the foreseeable commercial impact of your concept as well as potential challenges to creating and/or delivering this product or service to the market.
    • Inclusion of a cost-benefit analysis is not required but is a plus.

Prior to the start of Imagine RIT on May 6, 2017, 8:30 - 10 a.m., each team will set up an exhibit in Clark Gymnasium to showcase its proof of concept or operational prototype to a panel of external judges that will include RIT trustees, festival sponsors, and RIT faculty/staff. Winners will be selected and announced during the opening ceremony of Imagine RIT on the stage in Simone Circle at 10:00 a.m.

Following the competition, all contestants should plan to maintain their exhibits throughout the day for visitors of Imagine RIT to experience (10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.).

The application deadline is March 1, 2017. Email submissions to Imagine RIT program chair Heather Cottone at