RCC and SOU team up for Innovation Jam event

JACKSON AND JOSEPHINE COUNTIES – Rogue Community College (RCC) and Southern Oregon University (SOU) are joining forces to inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers in the region’s first-ever Innovation Jam.

Slated for March 11, the Innovation Jam will challenge college students in Southern Oregon to design solutions to some of the region’s most pressing problems. The all-day event will take place at RCC’s Table Rock Campus in White City, Oregon.

Students will form teams, brainstorm and devise solutions in the fast-paced, interactive competition. Business leaders, innovators and educators from around the region and state, will serve as advisers using well-known design-thinking guidelines and techniques.

The event is co-hosted by InventOR, the intercollegiate invention and innovation competition that engages aspiring student entrepreneurs from nearly every college and university in Oregon.

“Our Innovation Jam showcases the strengths of both RCC and SOU,” said Kim Freeze, dean of science and applied technology at RCC. “Our industrial technology students from RCC bring in expertise in tools, technology and manufacturing, while students from SOU’s courses in Design Thinking and Creative Entrepreneurship bring in the multi-disciplinary communication and collaboration skills needed to launch and scale a 21st century startup.”

Students studying in any discipline at either RCC or SOU are invited to join the event by contacting event organizers on either campus. Click here for the RCC and SOU student online registration link.

Student team collaboration work will kick-off at 9 a.m. in Building A, Room 184 at 7800 Pacific Ave., White City, OR 97503. Students will work on prototypes through the day, listen to a keynote address, present their final pitches and receive feedback from local mentors and advisers. The public is invited to attend the final student presentations starting at 4 p.m.

“This event promises to become an enduring tradition that inspires students and promotes big ideas in Southern Oregon,” said Erik Palmer, associate professor of communication at SOU. “RCC’s beautiful facility is the perfect launchpad for student entrepreneurship in the region.”

For more information, contact Erik Palmer, SOU associate professor of communications, at palmere@sou.edu or Kim Freeze, RCC dean of science and applied technology, at KFreeze@roguecc.edu. For more information on InventOR, please contact Abigail Van, Gelder at, a.vangelder@pdx.edu.


  • 8:30 – 9 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
  • 9 – 10 a.m. Kickoff and Initial Instructions
  • 10 – 10:30 am. Design Thinking Module
  • 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Problem Statement Introductions and Customer Interviews
  • 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Mentor Guided Team Session
  • 1:30 – 2 p.m. Pitch Design Module
  • 2 – 3 p.m. Pitch Design
  • 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Pitch Coaching Session
  • 3 – 4 p.m. Final Presentation Prep
  • 4 – 5:30 p.m. Guest Speaker, Pitch for Judges and Awards

For general media inquiries or to schedule an interview with RCC staff, please contact Kelly Gonzales, Public Information Officer, Marketing Director, at  541-956-7525, kgonzales@roguecc.edu.