Registration is open for the 2015 Springboard Ideas Challenge.
Springboard Ideas Challenge is a mini-business plan competition facilitated by the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy. There are two divisions: the community division with a grand prize of $20,000 and the student division with a grand prize of $10,000.
The goal of this competition is to provide aspiring entrepreneurs of the West Texas community with the opportunity to win a significant amount of money that will help them start their business.
Applicants must be 18 years old, a permanent resident of one of the 19 qualifying counties that surround the Abilene area, or attending one of the colleges in the surrounding area. They must submit their business idea in the contest entry form online along with a $10 registration fee.
A panel of judges will review the online applications, select the most creative ideas and decide which contestants move on to the next phase. The selected contestants will be required to submit a business plan and describe their concept to potential investors.
“At that point, we create a 10- to 15-minute presentation where we pitch our ideas in front of live judges,” said Jeff Johnston, 2014 graduate from Coppell. “The judges then follow the pitch with a Q&A about our plan.”
After the challenge takes place, the finalists will attend an awards ceremony on April 9 where they will showcase their ideas and winners in each category will be announced.
For the 2014 college division, the winning idea belonged to Morgan Hood, sophomore marketing major from Abilene.
“My idea was ‘Float 2 Swim,’ a personal flotation device that teaches children the basics of swim lessons, such as the ability to float on their back, while keeping the child safe,” Hood said.
Her first-place idea was awarded $7,500.
She said she believes her winning idea was most successful because it was unique and caught the judges’ attention.
Second place went to Rudy Garza, junior marketing major from Corpus Christi, and Jason McVey, management major from Austin. They were awarded $3,000 for their idea “NovaScore,” a digital app concept to quicken the process of test and quiz grading campus-wide.
Third place went to Johnston who received $1,000 for his idea “Sign Me Up,” a website where people could choose the size and color of their garage sale signs and then pick where each of those signs would be placed, all taken care of by the company.
“Make sure your idea is something that you’re passionate about and really would love to do, maybe not immediately after college, but something that you could see yourself getting into and enjoying,” Johnston said. “If you’re not excited or passionate about your idea, then you’re not going to put the work it takes to develop a good business plan and presentation. If I could give advice to anyone thinking about entering the competition I would say to do something you actually enjoy.”
For more information or to register, visit http://www.acu.edu/academics/coba/griggscenter/students/springboard/ideas.
Submissions are due March 5 at 11:59 p.m.