CET Hosts Big Idea Pitch

PROVO, Utah – Nov 02, 2017 – Lyft for couches, agricultural drone services, a virtual reality gym, reinvented high chairs, a mobile bike repair, and more—creative juices were flowing as student entrepreneurs pitched their ideas at this year’s Big Idea Pitch, sponsored by the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.

Sam Ballard, an entrepreneurship junior from Stuart, Florida, took first place with Ori: Dental Scanners. Ori is a device that takes teeth impressions through a digital image of the full mouth and palette.

“I couldn't be more grateful to receive first place in the Big Idea Pitch,” Ballard says. “It's a fun challenge to take over a year’s worth of work and then pitch it in under ninety seconds. Ori is an exciting project I am determined to bring to market.”

The four runner-ups who won cash prizes include: Lashettes, a reinvention of eyelash extensions; Plum, a peer-to-peer car leasing service; Solving Sizing, an app designed to help order the correct size of clothes online; and PumpAlert, a sensor to notify utility managers of pump failures.

Bryan Stringham, a first-year mechanical engineering PhD student from Garden City, Utah, says the Big Idea Pitch provided an excellent framework for focusing on the most important parts of starting a business—the problem, solution, and market. For him, it provided validation that experienced entrepreneurs believed his venture was worthwhile.

“I would have pursued my venture regardless of the outcome, but placing top five in the competition has given me a new determination to finalize my business model and prepare for the business model competition in January,” Stringham says. “I am grateful for the time and support of the judges and mentors to help fledgling entrepreneurs like me get a start.”

For the competition, each student had ninety seconds to pitch their idea followed by a thirty-second interval for judges to cast their votes. Judges based their decisions on whether or not students presented a problem to be solved, proposed a creative solution that is feasible, and identified a market.

“This year’s Big Idea Pitch included involvement from students all across campus,” says Jeff Brown, associate director of operations for the Rollins Center. “We were excited to see this happen and look forward to providing help for these students to take their ideas to the next level.”

Sam Ballard, first place winner, accompanied by Steve Liddle and Scott Petersen.
Bryan Stringham presents his idea called PumpAlert.
Top ten winners of the 2017 Big Idea Pitch.

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Emily Colon