LaunchPad and American Greetings to hold competition for most memorable card


A representative from American Greetings spoke to students on Nov. 5, 2014 in a pre-event for the upcoming Innov8athon III: #BestCardEver, co-sponsored by Blackstone LaunchPad. Students will try to create a new, memorable greeting card for the company.

Jenna Kuczkowski

Blackstone LaunchPad is helping develop and guide the ideas of Kent State artists and creative innovators at its third annual Innov8athon event. Sponsored by American Greetings, Innov8athon III: #BestCardEver Hackathon will be held Saturday, Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the School of Art.

“At LaunchPad, we can help students through the steps to make their idea into a reality, but we also do events like this where it’s still business-like but also more on the creative side,” LaunchPad’s Senior Marketing Manager Zach Mikrut said. “I think these kinds of events can really bring students out of their comfort zones and having students of different majors work together to come up with these new concepts and ideas”.

This is the first time Inov8athon is being sponsored by American Greetings, a company known for its elaborate and unique greeting cards for all occasions.

Kate Harmon, associate director of LaunchPad, said that after meeting with representative from the company in May, she and her co-workers approached them with an idea.

“(We threw) this idea out there that wouldn’t it be great for them to come and work with our students? And they were psyched about it, so here we are,” she said.

Through the partnership, LaunchPad and American Greetings will offer students the opportunity to let their creativity flow while also offering the challenge to innovate the run-of-the-mill birthday card into something extraordinary — something people will talk about for days after receiving it.

“We’re looking to get students excited and interested in innovating and creating. We have this opportunity to work with this international company and see how they innovate and are creative with things,” Harmon said. “I think it’s a great learning experience for students to participate in an event like this”.

Not only does this give students the chance to work with peers in a creative way, but Harmon said it also gives them the opportunity to have their work commercialized by American Greetings and have their ideas actually translated into a card that would be sold in stores.

To get the minds of students into the card-creating mindset before for the main event, a pre-event workshop was held in the University Library Wednesday, Nov. 5, to preview what the actual event is going to be like.

American Greetings team members were there to give a presentation that touched on team building skills for students to think about before the main event.

In addition to chance to win cash prizes, students this year are competing to create the “#BestCardEver” in hopes that American Greetings likes their card idea enough to consider mass producing it.

“I’m excited to see if there are potential ideas that American Greetings would like to see commercialized. That would be a huge opportunity for the student to see something they actually came up with be made a reality by American greetings,” Harmon said. “If it’s nothing more than a great event where students learn from these experts and have fun than that’s all the best as well too.”

Contact Jenna at [email protected]