University of Rochester

University of Rochester Team Wins Innovation Contest

December 10, 2009

Video Created by Students Was One of 22 Winners out of About 1,000 Worldwide Entries

A team of University of Rochester students was among only two teams from the United States and 22 teams worldwide to be named global winners in the 2009 Stanford Global Innovations Tournament.

The nearly 1,000 teams that entered the contest were asked to come up with creative ideas on how to "make saving money fun," and then convey those ideas through short videos posted to YouTube. United States colleges and universities, including Northwestern, Stanford, and Boston University, were joined by hundreds of others from 31 countries in the competition. To further test the students' abilities to mobilize quickly and effectively, the theme of the contest was not revealed until eight days before the due date, giving the teams little time for production.

After making it through preliminary regional judging, a group of finalists was judged by a panel that included Stanford professors, members of other university faculties, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and senior executives from companies such as Intuit, Deloitte, and Logitech.

"I'm proud that the talent, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of our students have again been recognized by an international competition of outstanding universities and colleges," said Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship Duncan Moore.

Three teams from the University of Rochester entered the competition, and the one that was named a global winner submitted a video called "Pass the Pig," in which they promoted a Web site of their own design where people could share their ideas for saving money.

The five-member team was composed of four undergraduates from diverse disciplines–studio art, neuroscience, political science, and economics–and one graduate student who is enrolled in the University's Technical Entrepreneurship and Management master's program. The undergraduates are Jennifer Burger, Elaina Stover, Eric Wisch, and Dan (Eva) Xie, and the graduate student is Justin Peczkowski.

The winning University of Rochester video can be found at and more information about the contest is available at