InnoVision Recognizes Pee Dee Idea Challenge and Coker University Student for Outstanding Innovation
InnoVision awards businesses and organizations yearly for positively developing their respective industries. This year, a Coker University student from the School of Business will receive the Ibrahim Janajreh Young Innovator Award. This distinction recognizes programs that engage, encourage, and acknowledge young people in science, technology, math, and innovation. Coker’s focus on student excellence and achievement through various business plan competitions, idea challenges, and the University Enactus team's success were cited as contributing factors when considering recipients.
How it started
Last summer, Coker business professor Dr. Andy Burkemper applied for an InnoVision Award. He referenced many educational experiences students receive at Coker, including involvement in Coker’s Center for Leadership & Entrepreneurship (CCLE). Led by Dr. Burkemper, students have the opportunity to participate in events like executive round tables, innovation fellowships, Kooper Leadership Academy, and the $10,000 Pee Dee Idea Challenge.
The Pee Dee Idea Challenge is a pitch competition in partnership with multiple colleges and universities across the Pee Dee region.
- Coker University
- Francis-Marion University
- Coastal Carolina University
- Florence-Darlington Technical College
- Northeastern Technical College
Dr. Burkemper praises the program, "I see the Pee Dee Idea Challenge as a great way for our students to get ideas out of their heads and to investigate what it takes to be successful. The competition pushes students to evaluate the problem, solution, target market, competitive advantage, and business model to enhance their entrepreneurial mindsets and other core business skills for the real world." Coker student Greyson Johnson won the 2022 event - leading him to receive the Young Innovator award from Innovision.
“A bit of fun and a bit of stress”
According to Burkemper, Greyson has taken full advantage of the Coker experience. For Greyson, that started before he enrolled at Coker. He interned with the marketing department, received the Business Fellows Scholarship leading to the creation of Lochwood Studios, a member of nearly every club on campus, became a resident assistant at the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, joined the Enactus team, and finally the Pee Dee Idea Challenge.
Greyson was familiar with the challenge after filming previous events. Dr. Burkemper encouraged him to enter and helped Johnson describe his business in simple terms. He described the event as “a bit of fun and a bit of stress. The competition was filled with really great ideas and people passionate about them. In my opinion, there were more creative ideas for a business than Lochwood Studio, but mine won because I had been keeping with this idea of a media company for about five years. I also really care about the business and have sunk hours upon days into it. It was a rewarding experience and helped me think through parts of the business that I had previously not.”
Johnson continues to work and build Lochwood Studios with his brother Seth. Lochwood Studios is a Multimedia company focusing on video and photo services for businesses and non-profit organizations. We are based in Hartsville, SC. We have served over 80+ different organizations and produced hundreds of videos and tens of thousands of photos.
“I am humbled though that others were impressed enough with my work to award me this, and it is something that I will be proud of for the rest of my life,” Greyson reflected.
InnoVision will host a virtual awards ceremony on November 15, and the University plans to host a watch party. Since 1999, InnoVision Awards has recognized organizations and individuals for their outstanding leadership, innovation, and technology efforts. For more information about the InnoVision Awards and mission, visit https://www.innovisionawards.org/