2019 - The Inaugural Community Changemaker Challenge

In the summer of 2019, the University of Evansville’s Center for Innovation & Change teamed up with WNIN to launch Evansville’s first ever Community Changemaker Challenge. Teams submitted pitches for ideas to “Make Evansville More Fun and Exciting!” If the idea made it past a first round of judging, teams had the opportunity to pitch to a group of potential investors. 

The final round of the competition was broadcast live on WNIN as four teams competed for a share of $15,000 in funding. Those teams were: 

  • Culture Fest – An annual festival celebrating many of the international cultures represented in our community.
  • Adaptive Rowing – An initiative dedicated to providing rowing opportunities for individuals with disabilities. 
  • Small City, Big Eats – A food blog and social media platform dedicated to highlighting the best in local foods.
  • Team Self-E – Human-sized giant letter E-shaped sculptures composed of materials relevant to the neighborhood they are placed in.

Their pitches were evaluated by a panel of three judges: Coach Walter McCarty, Sister Jane Michele McClure, and Ms. Amy Word.

In the end, three teams were awarded part of the $15,000 prize pool. Small City, Big Eats received $1,500 to start their blog, Team Self-E received $3,500 in funding for the first of their E-shaped sculptures, and the Adaptive Rowing team received $10,000 to establish their company in Evansville.

But the journey for all four of these finalists didn’t stop with the 2019 show. Each moved forward, using the feedback and/or funding they received during the Challenge to implement their ideas.

See where last year's finalists are now!

Culture Fest

Adaptive Rowing

Small city Big Eats

Team Self-E