Alison Cowell, Christopher Gaines and Taylor Hillyer took first place in Hiram College’s spring idea competition, ideabuild ™ on March 16. The team received a 1,000 prize for its Voice for Life phone app, which restricts cell phone users from receiving calls, texts and alerts while driving.
Voice for Life was one of nine ideas presented at the idea pitch competition. Sponsored by the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship, the competition challenged participants to present their ideas to a panel of judges. During their presentation, students explained their ideas’ services, benefits, value proposition, potential customers, marketing, production, intellectual property, startup capital requirements and more.
“[Students participate] because they are passionate about an idea they have that they think can solve a problem,” says Kay Molkentin, director of the entrepreneurship center. Many competition participants are enrolled in the Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Mindset course.
Nate Eaton took home second place and $500 for his idea, Water Dodger. A water game with an objective for players to get one another wet while the “dodge” streaming water to stay dry, the entertainment service is geared for gatherings such as birthday parties, family reunions and summer camps.
The duo Jordan Canevari and Stephane Nouafo Wanko took home third place and $250, for their idea, Helpr. Similar to the way the Uber service functions, Helpr is an app that matches dwellers with people willing to do small household chores for a nominal fee.
“The most memorable part of any of our competitions is to see the creativity of our students,” Molkentin says.
Cowell, Gaines and Hillyer will represent Hiram College at a regional competition, the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium’s ideaLabs, on March 31 at John Carroll University. Here, Voice for Life will stand against ideas from other colleges and universities.
Ideabuild is made possible through a grant from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the support of alumni and friends.