Registration is open for the 2014 Springboard Ideas Challenge. This year registration is easy and only requires a $10 fee. The deadline for registration is March 7 at 5:00 p.m.
“In the past you had to have the business plan already constructed, initially, to apply for the competition,” said Hollie Baldridge, assistant director of the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy. “Dr. Litton got feedback that it was hard to commit that much time to doing a business plan if you didn’t even know if you were going to go further in the competition. That is why he has re-vamped it, and we think that this is much easier, especially for students who have a ton of stuff going on right now, to answer these questions and submit an idea.”
The Springboard Ideas Challenge college division is a competition for students who aspire to be entrepreneurs or have good ideas. In the competition, student groups present mini-business plans which could award them enough money to turn their idea into reality.
The other colleges involved in the Springboard Ideas Challenge are Cisco College, Hardin-Simmons University, Howard Payne University, McMurry University, Texas State Technical College, Texas Tech University at Abilene and West Central Texas College.
A panel of judges, which consists of members of the community that are entrepreneurs or have mentored entrepreneurs, will review the applications and decide who moves further in the competition. Students who are chosen to move forward are instructed to create a mini business plan.
“Then at that point they are weeded through again and then the final live judging takes place,” Baldridge said. “They present to a live judging panel and then we have our awards dinner on April fifteenth and the winners are announced.”
Baldridge said in the college division the first place winners receive $7,500, second place wins $3,000 and third place wins $1,000.
ACU student Luke Luttrell, senior marketing and management major from Irving, won the grand prize for the Spring Board Ideas Challenge last Spring. Luttrell’s idea, Right Route, is what won him the competition.
“Basically it optimizes the fastest route between multiple destinations,” he said. “So it’s kind of like Google Maps in that you can find a route to a specific address, but it will let you type in as many addresses as you want to and it finds the fastest route between all of those spots.”
Luttrell experienced moments when he wasn’t confident in his idea, but pushed through to see a final product he was proud of.
“When I was doing the business plan for it, the Friday it was due, I had the business plan about three fourths done and I lost confidence in the idea and I was like, I don’t really think this sounds like it could work,” he said. “And I was actually emailing the e-hub and was telling them I was going to drop out of the competition. And I saved the draft, and then I waited for thirty minutes, and in that thirty minutes I had a breakthrough and decided to go ahead and go along with it.”
Luttrell said he was happy that he didn’t quit.
Luttrell won $7,500 and has started to put that money toward the logistics of his app, Right Route. Matthew Gray, senior infromation technology major from Lubbock, is helping Lutteral program the app. They hope to launch the app next month for people to buy, but the price has not yet been determined.
Students must be 18 years or older to compete in the Spring Board Ideas Challenge and must be full-time students. Business ideas that were not awarded prize money from previous years may resubmit their ideas. Also, students who were awarded prize money in the 2013 competition are not allowed to participate in the 2014 competition.
“I would say, to anyone who is thinking about it or has an idea that they honestly believe in, I would say definitely do it,” Luttrell said, “Because even if you don’t win you learn so much about how to write a business model and how to give a twenty to thirty minute presentation in front of a board of venture capital investors.”
Luttrell also said anyone who is interested in the Spring Board Competition should contact Litton.
Students who are interested in submitting their ideas or have questions about the requirements can visit http://www.acu.edu/academics/coba/griggscenter/students/springboard/ideas/index.html