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Boise State launches student contest for homebuilding ideas

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Boise State University’s Venture College launched a new homebuilding contest it hopes can help come up with new solutions that help housing affordability.

Hacking for Homebuilding is a program that will allow students to work together to innovate and solve housing-related problems. The program is open to students at any Idaho college or university.

“This program removes barriers and helps students see that entrepreneurship starts with problem-solving,” Nic Miller, the executive director of the Venture College, said. “A problem has been identified and now we are asking: can you think of a solution? If you can do that, then convince someone to pay you for it (no small feat there), and repeat that process, you have a business.”

[‘Feedback loop:’ Boise State’s Tromp, Jones to teach 2-way course on leading in the time of COVID]

Working together for solutions

Partners including, Boise Cascade and Weyerhaeuser will present different challenges they face and students will select a problem. From there, students will work together to solve a problem and learn business and research skills along the way.

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ICCU: Business Unusual

Miller says the program is important because what the students learn is applicable to various industries. 

“This is a pivotal time for Idaho businesses,” Miller said. “If we can engage different industries with Idaho students who have an inclination for new ideas to solve their challenges—everyone stands to benefit from that. The businesses get new ideas, as well as introduced to a talented workforce. And the students can potentially create new businesses or build a professional network that could lead to career opportunities here in Idaho.”

Students will not receive a certificate or credit, but there are cash prizes. The first place prize is $10,000, second is $5,000 and third place gets $2,500. 

Boise State will host the program via Zoom. Some hosts and prototyping rooms will also be available to students in-person.

The week-long event is taking place on October 15- 22. People interested can find more information under the event tab on the College of Innovation and Designs website. 

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Autum Robertson
Autum is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Ketchum, McCall and general news. Contact her at autum@boisedev.com.

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