GRANT COUNTY - Teams of students tackled the issue of education in this year's I-69 Collegiate Innovation Challenge. The goal of the competition, hosted by the Grant County Economic Growth Council, is to create for-profit business plans to solve a social problem.

Students from Grace College, Huntington University, Indiana Wesleyan University and Taylor University participated in the challenge. Each team featured one student from each school and the first place team created "Gateway Holdings," which integrated school training and small businesses into one entity. Each member of the winning team won a $500 gift card.

The second-place team proposed an educational app called "T.L.D.," which stands for "Teach it, Learn it, Do it," that helps students stay engaged in their school work. The team members took home $250 gift cards. The third-place team was awarded $100 gift cards for their proposal, called "Socius," which is a company that matches college students with companies for scholarships, internships and post-graduate jobs.

The winning teams were judged based on innovation, profitability and market potential. "It is so inspiring to see how they respond to the challenges tossed at them which, from my perspective, were handled with great enthusiasm, intelligence and professionalism,” said Leslie Wagner, one of the judges of the competition.

The Grant County Economic Growth Council says the challenge aims to encourage entrepreneurship among students along the I-69 corridor and provide network opportunities for students and judges.