Student Innovation

Showcase of Student Innovation in the Outside the Box Challenge Event

Student innovation was showcased at the Ignite Labs Outside the Box Challenge.  Business students from the NSCC Burridge and Digby Campus we challenged to solve a real-world challenge / opportunity from IMO Foods in Yarmouth.

Hundreds of wax-coated cardboard boxes used to ship herring and other fish products are disposed of weekly at numerous fish processors throughout Southwestern Nova Scotia including IMO Foods of Yarmouth.  This is a big cost to the companies and hard on the environment.  We challenged NSCC Students from Yarmouth and Digby to come up with solutions and develop a business model for the use of the boxes.  The students delivered.

When the challenge was initially presented.  Students were stunned that we were asking them to do something with normal wax-coated cardboard boxes.  They initially were stumped.  But as we worked with students and discussed some possibilities they quickly came up with innovative approaches to solving the challenge.

The boxes were, as the students put it, “an authentic piece of Nova Scotia”.  They also embraced the fact that these boxes were costing the companies a lot of money to dispose of and often ended up in landfills, compost facilities, and worse…in our oceans.  Their ideas started to take shape to prevent this from happening.  Their entrepreneurial journey was beginning and they started to look at the possibilities instead of the problems.

We heard many pitches on pitch day including environmentally friendly scented fire-starters, tourism kits to build replica lighthouses with solar lights, bohemian style biodegradable planters and baskets, Nova Scotia gift boxes with tracking capabilities to see the travels of the gift box, artistic Nova Scotia coasters, gun range targets, Lobster cards, interactive child discovery boxes, birdhouses, click-flooring, cathouses and more.  Students presented their 3-minute pitches and videos and received feedback from judges and peers.

The judges felt that many of these potential products had potential to become a real business.  With the fact that there are several thousand of these boxes available on a weekly basis to work with, we hope that some of these students will work with Ignite to develop their business ideas.

We were very encouraged by the outstanding ideas and development from the NSCC students and hope for success with their ideas.