Future Show Innovation Challenge is Under Armour's
Innovation competition franchise.
The Future Show Innovation Challenge is Under Armour's annual invitation-only competition. Entrepreneurs from across the globe are invited to an all-expenses-paid trip to Under Armour Global Headquarters in Baltimore. The two-day event features presentations alongside a company-wide trade show.
We held our first Future Show in 2011, back when it was called Innovation Day. We invited six entrepreneurs from around the globe for what was, in essence, an executive presentation.
Through that year's event, we found Scott Peters and DNS Designs. They brought a very rough prototype of a product that would go on to reinvent the zipper, with a magnetic component that allowed single-arm zipping of your jacket. After 18 months of further development with the Innovation Department, the UA MagZip was finished. UA MagZip debuted on more than 400,000 units in 2014.
In 2012, we brought a few new twists to the event. It evolved from Innovation Day to Innovation Challenge, and we doubled the number of participants, adding a secondary panel to weed out the best of the best.
That was also the trade show’s first year, where select individuals in the company had the opportunity to vote for what they felt was the next great Under Armour product. The winning product from 2012 is currently in development.
In 2013, the event was rebranded as the Future Show Innovation Challenge. Also, the Trade Show was opened up to the entire company, creating tremendous buzz. More than 600 UA teammates attended the event and voted for their favorite innovation.
"Our commitment to innovation originally came out of necessity, and we’ve never lost that sense of entrepreneurship and collaboration," says Haley, President of Product Innovation, Under Armour. "We look at innovation as a completely open platform. A lot of companies are afflicted with Not Invented Here Syndrome. We’re the opposite. I actually get graded more harshly if too much of what we’re making and introducing to the market is made in-house."
FUTURE SHOW COVERAGE:
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Cupid’s Cup is the ultimate entrepreneurial competition. Think you have what it takes? Just want to learn more? Click below for details on the competition.
One little known fact about Kevin Plank is that he is a lifelong entrepreneur.
The passion that would result in what Under Armour is today began as the idea to get paid to shovel snow in his hometown of Kensington, Maryland.
Once in college, Plank found some success selling T-shirts at Grateful Dead concerts. But it was while selling roses on Valentine’s Day around campus that he really made his mark.
As a member of the football team, he wasn't permitted to have an outside job, so he turned to entrepreneurship as a way to pursue his business interests. Cupid’s Roses was born, and it eventually became the inspiration for Cupid’s Cup.
Cupid’s Cup unites Kevin with the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and the Dignman Center for Entrepreneurship and will celebrate its 12th year in 2017.