FARGO-A ninth annual competition that asks college students to look for innovation solutions to business community problems will kick off next week.

North Dakota State University's Research and Technology Park will kick off its Innovation Challenge with a Bison Brainstorming event, which will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, at the NDSU McGovern Alumni Center, 1241 N. University Drive.

Students who attend can win door prizes and enjoy free pizza during the event, which will discuss the basics of the annual Innovation Challenge competition and help get participants thinking about ideas to pursue.

The annual competition has a grand prize of $5,000, as well as other awards. A Pitch Night is planned for Jan. 16.

Registration for the Innovation Challenge competition is required by Jan. 26. For more information, visit www.ndsuresearchpark.com/innovation-challenge.