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Idea Launch Pad 2013

1 May

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Last week we had our final four ideas compete for the grand prize of $500.00 to put towards making their idea a reality. There was a panel of three judges consisting of Dr. Eric Hall from Elon’s Exercise Science department, Jane Mehringer from Elon’s Career Services team, and Ian Baltutis, an Elon Alumni and founder of the Burlington-based company, Isolate-it. Each of the four teams were asked to use their presentations in order to address four questions:


  1. What problem are you solving?

  2. How will you make money?

  3. What resources do you need to get started?

  4. Who is your competition?


Our fourth place finisher, Immanuel Bryant, presented his idea for, “Phoenix Relations: PR for the students, by the students”. As a strategic communications major Immanuel encounters the problem of ‘online image’ for students on a daily basis. While he has been able to manage what comes up when you “Google” his name, he says the case is not the same for many university students, Elon included. People everywhere look towards Life Coaches, Personal Trainers, and Nutritionists to help them with their physical appearance and personal success but today, the internet has created another way for people to view you and increasingly students have lost opportunities because they haven’t paid proper attention to their online image. So think of “Phoenix Relations” as a personal coach for your online image.

 

Taking third place was a team out of our Engineering department at Elon who didn’t understand why solar panels had to be stationary. Working with other students in the engineering and environmental science departments, as well as their faculty advisors, Steve Moore, Richard D’Amato, and Scott Wolter, Alexander Papp and Willem Prins have created a Solar Powered Mobile Generator to power Elon’s “off-grid” activities. However, powering events such as College Coffee using green-energy wasn’t their only objective. They plan to use these generators to raise awareness and give students from the university level, all the way down to those attending Elon’s elementary school, the opportunity to learn about green-energy and what goes into making a solar powered mobile generator. Bringing all the schools of Elon together through the use of these generators, as well as bringing this technology to Elon’s affiliate engineering universities like, Duke, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, and NC State to name a few, is where Alexander and Willem have set their sights and they are now $100.00 closer to reaching their goals with the completion of their first model.

 

Kimberly Temlak, a first-year Communications student finished second with her idea for, “Play Date: A University Sports App”. A long-time tennis player, Kimberly constantly ran into the issue of scheduling conflict with her friends and, as a two-player sport, that meant she couldn’t play the game at all. Even when she was able to find a partner with the same free-time, she tells the story of showing up at the courts only to find that Elon’s tennis team had them reserved for practice. Kimberly soon found that many people faced the same issue for tennis, soccer, basketball, and just about every other sport that requires more than one person to play. “Play Date” is designed to solve this problem giving people the ability to have the app find them a partner using the specifications they input (i.e. gender, skill level, competition level, etc.) and generate a time when their schedules correspond with the time that the courts, or fields, are open. Users will be given the ability to rate their opponents after their “playdate” is over creating a checks and balance system to ensure accurate player-profiles. Starting in universities, Kimberly will work with Campus Rec in order to create corresponding schedules for court and field availability and she hopes that with the right people, and the $200.00 seed money, she can develop an app that will address the problem that many athletes (competitive or not) face when trying to get out there and play.

 

The $500.00 grand prize went to Robert Menke and Eric Wiegand and their idea for “3Depot”. Presented in four parts, their website would be a home-base for people looking for anything 3D-printer related. They will give users that ability to locate the nearest 3D-printer, view designs that have been created in the past and print from other existing marketplaces, offer 3D-printer education, and create a community-feel through personal profiles, news, and virtual storefronts where users can interact with one another. This idea also enters the area of green-tech as they explained that 3D-printing could help in dramatically reducing the amount of plastic waste produced each year.

 

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Idea Launch Pad: Round 1

23 Apr
Last Thursday night was our first round of Idea Launch Pad where we had around twenty students from the Business, Engineering, Communications, and English departments come and share a total of fourteen ideas! The event was designed to be casual, and facilitate the process of “ideation” or brainstorming to help students not only compete for a spot in the Final Four but more so get feedback and answer questions from their peers. This “idea share” segment was geared towards helping them gain multiple perspectives on their ideas and possibly find ways to expand upon or improve them.
Each student was asked at the beginning of the night to stand up at their table and give a brief introduction of who they were and what there idea was. After that, the participants were given 15-20 minutes to brainstorm with everyone else in the room. There were colored markers and large sheets of paper to draw their ideas or take notes, and students were encouraged to get up and walk around in order to talk to as many different people as possible. To close, each presenter was asked to re-present their idea (with any changes they may have made during the brainstorming phase) and they were given exactly 60-seconds to “impress” the judges.
Professor Gary Palin and Professor Laura Zavelson were the judges for round one and they based their decisions off of the idea itself, its potential to grow/scale, and the ability for the students to actually execute their ideas.
This coming Thursday (4/25) the Final Four teams will return to do a 10 minute pitch to a panel of four judges followed by 5 minutes of Q&A. Between the two rounds, the top four teams were assigned mentors (students who have been through, or are in the entrepreneurship program and are able to make sure each team is asking the right questions, etc.). These mentors were given as a resource for developing the students’ ideas and creating their final presentation.
Teams that didn’t make it on to round two were encouraged to either join one of the Final Four teams and/or pursue their ideas with SEED as a resource for them should they want or need any help in turning their ideas into a reality.
It was really important for us to stress that even if an idea didn’t make it on to the next round, it doesn’t mean they should leave their idea behind. There were so many truly good ideas that could be very successful if the students decide to continue working on them.
Join us for our Finale this Thursday, 4.25.2013 at 5:00 P.M. in McKinnon Hall (Located in Moseley)!Image
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What was your biggest AHA! moment?

21 Mar

What was your biggest AHA! moment?

We want to know what your biggest AHA! moment was, what your ideas are, and what you’re thinking about to make things better….maybe a swivel plate or a magic cord…this company gives us some insight on just how fun it is to come up with our great ideas!

The New Face of Idea Launch Pad

12 Feb

A lot of times, students have ideas that usually evoke the response, “That would be so COOL if it was actually real!”. Unfortunately, they rarely feel that they have the chance to turn these ideas into a reality.

Idea Launch Pad is meant to help these students take their AWESOME ideas and make them into something more! This will happen with the support of other students, professors, and a panel of advisors consisting of area entrepreneurs and investors.

In many of Elon’s entrepreneurship classes, students are encouraged to share their ideas with their peers and in turn, receive valuable feedback from their classmates. This feedback helps them structure and modify their thoughts to find the most viable concept. As someone who has been through this process many times, I can honestly say that it is one of the most helpful experiences I’ve had at Elon. This is why SEED wants to give every student, no matter what major, the opportunity to act like an IDEO employee and bounce ideas off one another.

We’ve reshaped Idea Launch Pad to resemble the TV show, The Voice. This allows teams to work with trained student advisors in order to compete for the Grand Prize at the end of the week-long round.

Idea Launch Pad