USFSP to Host First-Ever “Innovation Overnight”

USFSP will host its first design-a-thon on April 10 and 11.

USFSP will host its first design-a-thon on April 10 and 11.

USFSP’s Kate Tiedemann College of Business, in partnership with the student chapter of Tampa Bay Technology Forum, will host “Innovation Overnight,” a 20-hour design-a-thon during which college students from throughout the area solve real-world problems pitched by local business leaders. The event will be held at the University Student Center on Friday and Saturday, April 10 and 11. Sponsors of the event, which will provide the problems for young entrepreneurs to solve, include Jabil, Valpak and the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Michelle Royal, CEO and Founding Visualizer at RIDG (Royal Innovation Design Group), will be the keynote speaker.

“Students will work to solve problems in four phases of design thinking: Explore, Ideate, Build and Test,” explained Dr. Alison Watkins, associate dean of the Kate Tiedemann College of Business and a creator of “Innovation Overnight.” “Design thinking refers to aprocess. It’s been studied and popularized by major academic institutions, and is particularly useful in terms of defining multifaceted problems and providing innovative, multidimensional solutions to complex business challenges.”

“Only the most talented and brave students will commit their energy and brain trust to solve these important business problems in novel and unique ways,” said Royal. “Curiosity begins with the sponsor companies exploring the core needs of their audience defining the problem statements to be solved.”

The theme of “Innovation Overnight” is sustainability. Students may register individually or as a team. The event includes numerous periods of play, mixed with dedicated problem-solving. For more information, or to register for the event, please visit

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