Raider Demo Day 2024

Student Entrepreneurs from Southern Oregon University Advance to Statewide Startup Competition

Two student startup teams qualified for the Invent Oregon Collegiate Challenge by earning top places at SOU’s Raider Demo Day this week (19 March 2024).

Top-ranked Sploot is building a social network for social dogs (and their owners), while second-place finisher Virtual Venue is creating a digital platform for immersive entertainment experiences such as sports and music.

Student innovators in SOU’s Creative Entrepreneurship course developed prototypes and presented them to community mentors as they prepared for Raider Demo Day and the Invent Oregon Collegiate Challenge

For qualifying teams, InventOR features an entrepreneurship bootcamp in May, 2024, and a statewide invention competition in June, 2024, where participating teams compete for $30,000 in prizes. InventOR qualifiers also receive funding, expert coaching and other resources to prepare for the statewide competition. Finalists get immersive access to a statewide ecosystem of entrepreneurs, advisors and advocates dedicated to turning student ideas into success stories.

At InventOR, SOU’s teams will work with and compete against qualifiers from almost every other college and university in Oregon.

The winning teams emerged from SOU’s Creative Entrepreneurship course, during which they brainstormed preliminary ideas, then learned how to use Design Thinking and Agile project management techniques to understand customer or audience pain points, build a Minimum Viable Prototype, iteratively improve their MVP, respond to feedback from community mentors, and pitch their final ventures.

“This course represents another way that SOU plays above its weight in providing compelling learning experiences for our students,” said Erik Palmer, professor of Media Innovation. “These learners have worked intensely at the intersection of creativity, collaboration and strategy, and they have created ideas that make a powerful mark on the community.”



Comm, Media & Cinema @ Southern Oregon University

Earn BA/BS Degrees and Certificates in Communication Studies, Social Media & Public Engagement, or Digital Cinema @SOUAshland. #ThatIsSOU