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Ideas arrive at the IdeaFactory through two primary conduits.  They are shaped through discussions with students, staff and/or faculty on an ad hoc basis (usually over coffee!), or they are entered in an IdeaFactory competition.  One competition is typically run every semester.  Each competition has a theme, although any idea submitted qualifies.  Finalists are chosen to present their ideas in an informal setting to a panel at the end of the term.  Qualifying winners meet with mentors in subsequent semester(s) to advance the idea to a prototype.