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Second annual Go@CMU event draws students, faculty and community businesses

Real-world challenges were presented to CMU students during the Go@CMU event. It is now up to the students to find solutions to the presented challenges.

Go@CMU is a community-wide collaboration where sharing ideas and finding solutions come together during two days at the Maverick Innovation Center.  

“It’s a fabulous event that involves faculty, community members and students,” said Innovation Center Director Tom Benton.

Go@CMU is where local businesses, entrepreneurs, students and faculty can ask students for help on projects. Benton says the purpose of the event and the Maverick Innovation Center is to push technological creativity “that will create solutions for some of the community’s most pressing challenges.”

This event gives students from a diverse set of programs an opportunity to come together to learn and problem solve, and to work directly with the local business community.

"The event provides an opportunity for dreams to become a reality,” said CMU student Cody Maynard. Trusting students to take on difficult tasks and innovate “really goes to show that a student truly matters at CMU."

On Friday, around 20 pitches were presented to students. The projects ranged from smart phone apps to agriculture.

“A topic that is pretty hot here in the community is hemp. What do we do with spent hemp? What are the opportunities? So two fellows with Colorado Hemp Solutions are here pitching about that,” said Benton.

After listening to the pitches, students majoring in business, marketing, computer science and engineering chose what projects interested them. They will work on these projects throughout the semester or academic school year, depending on the size of the project.

Instructor of Chemistry Andrew Wolff, PhD, and Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Chris Penick also pitched projects to students.

“Rock starch is a unique solution that actually has been provisionally patented here on campus. It works to remove graffiti on rocks in the Colorado National Moment, forest service and BLM land,” says Benton. The inventors need engineering students to figure out a creative way of applying a solution that can handle heavy starch.

The Maverick Innovation Center and Cyber Security Center opened last January, and this was the second annual Go@CMU event. Many students work on solving these problems all year-long and present them at the Student Showcase in April. 

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Written by Kelsey Coleman