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The kickoff: Tough Mudder Challenge

16 February 2017

Students from the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship have a new challenge: Design an obstacle that combines physical endurance and mental stamina. Oh, and make it muddy. Follow the progress of this six-week design challenge sponsored by Tough Mudder. This week: The kickoff.

We know, we’ve been talking about Tough Mudder a lot lately. The company’s Founder and CEO Will Dean is an alumnus, but that’s not the only reason. Tough Mudder is a team- oriented endurance challenge “with no winner, no finisher medal, no clock to race against.” This philosophy aligns with the Centre’s goal to be a safe place for taking risks and learning from failure. Lessons of teamwork and camaraderie are transferrable from the obstacle course to the classroom to the workplace. That’s the environment we are working to build: constructive and collaborative where transferable, real-world skills are developed and refined.

To support this goal, we have partnered with Tough Mudder Head Quarters for a mini design challenge. Students working in small teams will use the Centre’s Innovation Process to come up with a new obstacle. Starting with ‘Explore,’ they will interview Tough Mudder participants and undergo research into extreme sports, endurance and fear. Armed with that knowledge, they will ‘Ideate’ potential solutions before moving on to ‘Prototype & Test.’ The final ‘Output’ phase – or in this case, the ‘Finish line’ – will be in the form of a pitch to a panel of Tough Mudder’s Innovation Team, their CEO Will Dean and Rob Camm, an inspiring tetraplegic and 2x Tough Mudder participant post.

The Tough Mudder challenge is a unique opportunity for first-year innovation undergraduates to gain experience working on a real-world project for an external client. Through it, they are sure to meet and learn to overcome obstacles of their own. Check back for updates from the next check-in with our teams.

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