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2021 Shark Tank Open

St. Cloud State faculty to present innovative ideas at Minnesota State Shark Tank Open

Six St. Cloud State University teams are preparing to present their ideas in an effort to receive up to $25,000 in innovation funding at the 2021 Minnesota State Shark Tank Open on April 8. 

The Shark Tank Open is Minnesota State Educational Innovation’s premier innovation event, drawing educators from across 37 colleges and university for a day of reimagining education. Faculty and staff innovators will have seven minutes to virtually present their innovate project ideas to a panel of judges – known as the sharks – in an effort to receive up to $25,000 in innovation funding.

This year, the six teams pitching ideas from St. Cloud State will be Dr. Theresa Estrem from Communication Science and Disorders, Dr. Kurt Helgeson from Environmental and Technological Studies, Dr. Kathryn Johnson from Special Education, Dr. Lindsey Vigesaa and Dr. Mary Clifford from Criminal Justice Studies, Dr. Maninder Singh from Computer Science and Information Technology and the duo of Drs. Matt Davis and Matt Julius from Biology.

The topics those six teams are pitching their ideas for funding on include:

  • “Supporting Autistic Student Success Initiative (SASSI)” – Dr. Estrem
  • “St. Cloud State University Mobile Make It Lab” – Dr. Helgeson
  • “Center for International Disability Advocacy and Diplomacy” – Dr. Johnson
  • “Interdisciplinary Applications of Artificial Intelligence Emphasizing Public Safety: A Multi Campus Collaboration to Develop and Offer a Minnesota State System Wide Course on Applications of Artificial Intelligence across the Criminal Justice System” – Drs. Vigesaa and Clifford
  • “An intelligent feedback generation and content recommendation system for students to improve their learning experience” – Dr. Singh
  • “Innovating the Science Classroom for Widespread Engagement” – Drs. Davis and Julius

In addition to those presentations on April 8, there will be four innovation workshops held on April 9 conducted by a total of three St. Cloud State faculty. Those workshops include the topics of Virtual Reality featuring Mark Gill from the College of Science and Engineering and Digital Badging featuring Dr. Kannan Sivaprakasam from Chemistry and Dr. Plamen Miltenoff from University Library.

The Shark Tank Open also features an innovation exhibit room dedicated to previously funded innovations. Attendees have a chance to compete for up to $10,000 in Pay it Forward funding that can be used to replicate an innovation project on another campus.