IUPUI Student Idea Pitch Competition - March 2014

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I recently had the pleasure of serving as a judge for the 2014 campus wide "Ideas Solving Social and Economic Challenges" (ISSEC) idea pitch competition. This competition is sponsored by the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research with a goal of rewarding IUPUI students for their innovative ideas to solve social and economic challenges facing the nation and the world. The format consists of students pitching their ideas as individuals or teams - they have been asked to develop original solutions to pressing social problems or propose ideas for innovative new products or new venture that could contribute to economic growth and prosperity. Each team or individual is provided three minutes to present this idea to the judges.

The goal is to convince the judges that this is an absolutely incredible opportunity - whether the idea is for a new venture, new product, or a non-profit initiative. The competition is structured to provide any student, regardless of background, school or major, the opportunity to pitch and compete for four awards: 1st Place: $2500, 2nd Place: $1500, 3rd Place: $500, and $1000 for an "Audience Choice" award. The following schools were represented:

  • IU Kelley Schoool of Business
  • IU School of Infomatics & Computing
  • IU Fairbanks School of Public Health
  • IU School of Liberal Arts
  • IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs
  • Purdue School of Engineering and Technology
  • Purdue School of Science

There were 13 teams who passed the initial screening process and became eligible to compete for the awards. The competition was held in the Campus Center Theater on Thursday, March 6, with an audience of over 200 in attendance. The participating teams' ideas ranged form small aerial drones that could be used to bridge the gap of locations lacking communication infrastructure during emergency management, to biomass gasification through could be used in developing countries to power people out of poverty by providing power for communication, education and economic development. Our own Kelley team of Roshan Selladurai, Payne Chestnut and Usman Chaudhary, pitched an idea called "Foodraiser" that would offer a deal of the week website that offer premium coupons for Indianapolis' best restaurants with a goal of donating the majority of revenue to a noble cause or non-profit. The Kelley team won the first place award of $2500.

I found this to be a wonderful event and it provides an outstanding opportunity for student development. I want to be very clear the ISSEC pitch competition is a campus wide event and students need no previous business skills to compete and pitch their big idea. Congratulations to all teams who participated and prepared extremely diligently for this event!

The teams who participated in the finals: Fresh Lids, Aerial Networking, Kelsey's Voice, Science Museum, Your Gallery Door, My Size Now, Valens Health Initiative, Foodraiser, Wood to Electricity, Diabetes Solutions, LearningMate, Fearless Start-up, and Bus Rider.

For specific questions about the program or next year's event, please contact: Karen White atkfwhite@iupui.edu or (317) 274-1083