Alaska Airlines (Seattle/Tacoma) is sponsoring the University of Washington Foster School of Business’ Environmental Innovation Challenge. The airline issued this statement today:
Today, the University of Washington Foster School of Business announced Alaska Airlines as the naming sponsor of its annual Environmental Innovation Challenge.
In the Environmental Innovation Challenge, approaching its seventh year, student teams must define an environmental problem, develop a solution, produce a prototype, and create a business summary that demonstrates the commercial viability of their product, process or service. Teams are judged on their prototypes, the market opportunity, and their pitch to an audience of nearly 200 industry experts from the Seattle environmental and entrepreneurship communities.
“We’re thrilled that Alaska Airlines has chosen to sponsor the Environmental Innovation Challenge. With their history of innovation, Northwest roots and steadfast support of education, Alaska Airlines is a perfect sponsor for one of the region’s most elite student challenges,” said Connie Bourassa-Shaw, director of the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. “Their commitment to environmental responsibility aligns perfectly with the spirit of the competition.”
Alaska’s 10-year sponsorship commitment includes a reduced travel rate for out-of-state teams to Seattle to participate in the April competition and flying guest faculty instructors from other universities in the Pacific Northwest to observe or judge the challenge. The airline will also host the challenge at the Seattle Center House next April. More information about the 2015 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge can be found at http://www.foster.washington.edu .
“As a proud supporter of the University of Washington and industry leader in environmental stewardship, we’re thrilled to support the next generation of innovators whose ideas and concepts will no doubt improve our communities for years to come,” said Joe Sprague, senior vice president of communications and external relations for Alaska Airlines.
To date, the chance to compete in the Environmental Innovation Challenge has attracted hundreds of student teams from Washington and Oregon. Prize money is one draw; so are the opportunities to hone an idea through interaction with peers, prototype development and conversations with industry experts.
A number of teams have gone on to launch their companies. One such example is HydroSense. The team won the inaugural Environmental Innovation Challenge with a water-usage monitoring technology that screws onto a single valve in a home and can detect water use down to each specific toilet, shower and faucet. HydroSense was acquired by Belkin in 2010.
Alaska Airlines has supported the state’s largest university in various ways for more than five decades. The UW’s on-campus basketball arena, the “Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion,” is named after the carrier and is part of a multi-year agreement to sponsor the UW Athletics program. Last year Alaska Airlines donated nearly $1.4 million in cash and in-kind contributions to almost 100 youth and educational programs and schools in the greater Puget Sound area and throughout Washington.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Horizon Air’s Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) N435QX (msn 4232) is painted in the special University of Washington Huskies college livery. N435QX taxies to the runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub. Today N435QX wears Alaska Horizon titles.