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UNLV competition offers $1M for safety innovations during pandemic

Updated July 23, 2020 - 12:41 pm

More than 250 entrepreneurs and inventors are competing to create a solution that can help the hospitality, entertainment and travel industries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, with the potential of seeing their idea brought to market.

The global contest, founded by the Greg and Ernest Lee of the Ted and Doris Lee Family Foundation in partnership with UNLV’s Lee Business School, has received applications from entrepreneurs and innovators from 32 states and nine countries

According to a Tuesday news release from UNLV, the Lee School Prize for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is meant to “spark immediate, creative solutions to urgent issues facing the hospitality, entertainment, and travel industries resulting from COVID-19.”

Multiple investments totaling $1 million will be awarded this fall.

“We are pleased with the response to the call for ideas,” Leith Martin, executive director of UNLV’s Troesh Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, said in the release. “Spearheading the development of solutions is what universities do through research and education, so it only makes sense that we are part of this initiative that will help our city and the hospitality, entertainment, and travel industries recover.”

The Lee School Prize Committee, which includes industry experts and the deans from UNLV’s business, sciences, engineering and hospitality units, is reviewing submissions and will recommend ideas for funding. Prize recipients will be announced in September.

After the winners are announced, they’ll begin work with the Troesh Center to develop their concepts and bring them to an investor marketplace that includes leading corporations, private equity firms, and angel investors.

Products and solutions must be brought to the market within 12 months, according to the release.

Those interested in becoming investors can contact the Troesh Center at entrepreneurship@unlv.edu.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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