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News & Press: Student News

New Focus on Entrepreneurship and Innovation at National Collegiate Conference in 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kevin Jetton, NCC Coordinator

Innovation and entrepreneurship will play a major role at the AITP National Collegiate Conference in 2014. Building on the success of collaboration with startup groups from Tucson and St. Louis in 2013, a new IT innovation track is being added to the 2014 AITP National Collegiate Conference schedule. As part of this focus on innovation a new event dubbed "Code: 24” is also being added to the conference. Code: 24 is a 24 hour event during which participants will come up with an idea for a new product or service, implement a prototype of the system, and pitch their idea to potential investors. Representatives from the IT startup community will lead breakout sessions to help students understand what it takes to take an project from idea to market and will mentor them through the development process.

Code:24 is part of a trend of "Hack-a-thons” that have been growing in popularity with startup organizations around the country. Justin Williams, founder of Startup Tucson, has organized several of these events in southern Arizona over the past three years. "Events like Code:24 are an increasingly important tool for the tech-startup community. Setting aside a small amount of time from other work to build a prototype can be the first step toward turning your idea into something very real. And by following the 'Lean Startup' methodology, you'll have a 'minimum viable product' to help you illustrate your idea when talking with possible customers.”

The event will being at 2:00 on Friday afternoon with a breakout session describing the innovation process including how to identify funding sources, how to build a team, and brainstorming ideas for projects. At 3:30 participants will brainstorm ideas with feedback from a panel of startup experts, form teams and start building. The event runs overnight with participants free to come and go as they like, with startup mentors available to help guide the projects to success. The event will culminate with product demos and pitches to representatives of the Startup Atlanta community. Top projects will be showcased at the Saturday night awards banquet.

"The point of Code:24 is not to win or lose, but to collaborate with other students to come up with a great idea and build a prototype - we want people to get excited about the projects being developed at NCC. We are definitely encouraging collaboration between students from all universities and with all types of skills” said NCC Contest Coordination Mark Grimes. "We hope to see some really neat projects out of this!”

Participant in Code:24 are not required to attend all of the breakout sessions and may come and go to participate in other NCC events. Teams may be made up of students from the same school or may have students from multiple schools – individual participants are welcome!

For questions concerning the event, please visit or contact NCC Contest Coordination Mark Grimes at

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