Knowledge@Wharton, the online research and business analysis journal of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, along with Wipro Technologies, has identified 15 confirmed finalists for the second global Wipro-Knowledge@Wharton Innovation Tournament. The finalists have proposed bold new ideas and implemented solutions, ranging from using hair to clean up oil spills to using software to track students’ progress. Four subcategories will serve as the final themes: new ideas in the area of sustainability; implemented solutions related to sustainability; new ideas in the area of customer-centric innovation; and implemented customer-centric solutions.
Karl Ulrich, professor and Vice Dean of Innovation at the Wharton School, said, “An innovation tournament begins with a large set of opportunities. The ideas and solutions the finalists are proposing could have, or already have had a major impact on business and society as a whole” he added. Wharton professor Christian Terwiesch agreed, saying, “Sustainability and customer-centric innovation are two of the most important topics of concern today. We’re looking forward to the final presentations and evaluating their potential contribution.” Terwiesch and Ulrich co-authored the book Innovation Tournaments: Creating and Selecting Exceptional Opportunities.
“We are pleased with the range of entries that the tournament received. This year, we had over 160 submissions stretching from all corners of the globe, from America to Tanzania. Forty semifinalists were selected, and now we have drilled down to the most promising submissions,” said Mukul Pandya, Executive Director of Knowledge@Wharton.
Judges from Wipro and Wharton selected finalists based on the novelty, feasibility, track record for established solutions, and overall potential. “Judging the semifinalists was challenging due to the vast number of high-quality entries. We are excited for the final presentations, and believe that society will benefit from the ideas and solutions generated from this year’s Innovation Tournament,” Pandya added.
On Wednesday, April 27th 2011, during a live event at the Wharton School in Philadelphia, USA finalists will conduct presentations before a panel of judges. The event will be streamed live on Wipro TV beginning at 8 a.m. EDT. Five cash prizes will be awarded — $20,000 for the grand prize, and $5,000 for each of four innovation subcategories.