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QuackCon Ushers in New Era of Sports Innovation

Hundreds of students from around the United States will be converging on the University of Oregon from October 14-16, 2016, to develop the next great sports product in a 36-hour prototyping competition known as QuackCon.

QuackCon, the first collegiate sanctioned sports and technology hackathon in the United States, will challenge student teams to create product prototypes around the themes of athletic enhancement and fan engagement. College students from any university are invited to compete and winning teams will earn cash prizes.

The sports technology industry consists of technology products and services for sports players, teams, organizations and fans and is expected to grow to become a $74 billion market by 2019. QuackCon participants will benefit from having the support of IDEO, the global design and innovation firm, in the lead up to and during the event weekend to assist them in the process of problem solving and prototyping.

QuackCon highlights and brings together the talent and academic excellence of multiple University of Oregon departments that have a direct link to the technology, sports, and outdoor industries. Cross-campus partners include the UO Lundquist College of Business's Sports Product Management Program and Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, the College of Architecture and Allied Arts's Sports Product Design and Product Design departments, and the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Computer and Information Sciences.

“With our increased presence in the areas of product creation, design, and management, it makes sense for the Lundquist College to host this event," said Bruce Blonigen, interim dean of the UO Lundquist College of Business and host of the QuackCon competition. “We welcome all these creative minds to Eugene and can't wait to see what they produce."

During the weekend-long event, QuackCon participants will benefit from the expertise of industry mentors on site to assist teams in the technical and business development of their projects. Additional highlights of the weekend include an appearance by two-time Olympian and UO alumnus Ashton Eaton, who will be serving as a QuackCon judge. The Portland Trail Blazers are providing each participant a free ticket to the October 16 home game against the Denver Nuggets.

Organized by Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship at the Lundquist College of Business, the UO computer science student group HackTownUSA, the UO Entrepreneurship Club, and the University Innovation Fellows, with the generous financial support of UO alumni Dr. Richard and Allison Sudek, QuackCon will be hosted in McArthur Court (1601 University St, Eugene, OR 97403) on campus at the University of Oregon.

The public is invited to attend the final day where teams will be presenting their projects to the event judges.

“Being able to bring students, university faculty, and industry leaders in the sporting and technology spaces together provides a unique opportunity for students to collaborate and apply what they have learned in the classroom to a project-based challenge that mimics what they might experience in the real world," said Kate Harmon, QuackCon co-organizer and undergraduate program manager of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship. “QuackCon may even see the launch of the next great sporting company. This campus is ripe to inspire such innovation."

QuackCon builds on the success of last January's QuackHack, a gaming hack-a-thon hosted by the Lundquist College that drew more than 115 college students form six states and 14 universities.