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Lycoming College to host America250PA Direct Effect Innovation Challenge; Students to compete for spot at state final

Lycoming College to host America250PA Direct Effect Innovation Challenge; Students to compete for spot at state final

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Lycoming College will play host to six other Pennsylvania colleges and universities for the regional round of the America250PA Direct Effect Innovation Challenge, a collaborative competition initiated by Gov. Tom Wolf to help kickoff a six-year, statewide celebration of America’s 250th birthday in 2020. The final presentations of the day-long competition will take place in the Trogner Presentation Room in the Krapf Gateway Center on the Lycoming College campus, Thursday, Oct. 24, at 4 p.m., and are open to the general public for observation.

America250PA, the Pennsylvania Commission for the U.S. Semiquincentennial, was established to plan the commemoration of Pennsylvania’s role in the founding of the United States, and its impact on the nation since then and into the future. America250PA has partnered with academic and industry leaders to offer Pennsylvania college students this once-in-a-lifetime experiential learning opportunity to help launch the initiative. Marshall Welch III, the Sloter Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship, will lead the Lycoming College team in competition against teams from Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, St Francis University, Messiah College, Lebanon Valley College, and Shippensburg University.

“This competition represents an unmatched opportunity for Lycoming College students to exercise their knowledge of entrepreneurship, marketing, and design, and couple it with their other areas of study,” said Welch. “Lycoming places a strong emphasis on experiential learning, and this Challenge goes one step further by placing students in a new kind of situation where they are on a stage, directly competing with others. Our students are inspired and motivated for this contest!”

The teams face three rounds of competition, which began with the campus round, where student teams developed initial concepts and judges selected one team to represent them in the regional round at Lycoming. Later this month, the Lycoming team will compete with other area colleges and universities to convince a judging panel of Wolf’s cabinet that they have designed, developed, and pitched the best concept to serve as the integrated marketing strategy for the America250PA launch in January 2020. The regional winner will advance to the state final on Nov. 19, to pitch their campaigns to Wolf and officials from the United States Postal Service.

Wolf invited students from every institution of higher education in the Commonwealth to participate in this three-round competition that will give them the chance to turn their integrated marketing campaign strategies into viable campaigns for the America250PA launch.

“We will honor our country’s founders by inviting students from across the state to come together and share their ideas about how our state can educate, preserve, inspire, and celebrate Pennsylvania’s proud traditions with every citizen,” said Wolf.

Each round of the competition provides students with exciting, progressive learning opportunities, taking them from idea to concept to a polished pitch. The America250PA Commission will receive all of the concepts student teams generate in the first round of the challenge to fuel the America250PA effort — with the help of students — over the next six years.

The America250PA Innovation Challenge is a collaborative effort between the America250PA  Commission, the Administration of Governor Tom Wolf, Wilkes-Barre Connect, and marketing industry leaders.

About USA250 and America250PA

In 2026, the United States will honor and celebrate the 250th anniversary (the Semiquincentennial) of American independence. As the home to Independence Hall, the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, Pennsylvania will play an integral part in honoring this national milestone. The Pennsylvania Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial (America250PA) was established by the legislature and Governor in 2018 to plan, encourage, develop, and coordinate the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States, Pennsylvania’s integral role in that event, and the impact of its people on the nation’s past, present, and future. America250PA is one part of a broader, nationwide commemoration effort, USA250.

About the Direct Effect Innovation Challenge (DEIC)

The Direct Effect Innovation Challenge is a fun, immersive, and interactive educational event for college students that aims to create results for a live client(s) through the students’ development of integrated marketing campaigns. Innovation Challenges create educational impact and awareness that will benefit students from all academic disciplines as they prepare for their respective careers. The Direct Effective Innovation Challenge is conducted as a public service of the U.S. Postal Service and with support from educators and marketing industry leaders. For more information on Direct Effect Innovation Challenge eligibility requirements, registration deadlines, and other information needed to confirm student participation, visit:

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