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Kristina Jorgenson, November 13, 2014

200 votes. 90 seconds. One big idea. This was the setting for one of the main events for BYU’s Entrepreneurship Week, The Big Idea Pitch, that took place in October. With those 90 seconds, students had the opportunity to present their next business idea to a room full of their peers. Depending on the quality of the presentation and idea, the audience gave the idea a score via iClickers on a scale from one to ten, ten being the highest.

A huge array of ideas were presented, from a more efficient fire alarm to a hip new take on fanny packs. In order to be selected to present their ideas, students had to submit an application and progress through several rounds of judging. Only 25 ideas from over 100 of those submitted were selected to be presented in from of the judges and an audience. Regardless of selection, however, each student who entered the competition received individual feedback on his or her idea.

After all the votes were tallied, five cash prizes were awarded. Social Mentors took fourth overall and is the invention of two international students, Abhishek Reddy and Gary Vahey. Gathering Our Memories, the creation of Zach Chatterton, took third overall, and Family First Alarms, created by Stephen Hutchins, took second place. The “Audience Choice” with a cash prize of $500 was awarded to Rowan Jones and Alex Brown, the brains behind Cancer Spot, and the “Founders Favorite” with a cash prize of $500 went to Bryson Hilton, creator of Therapist on Demand.

The Big Idea Pitch was an energetic and exciting event that allowed students to try their hand at presenting their ideas and understanding what it takes to succeed in the business world. One student, Hannah Rasmussen, who attended the event said, “It was exciting to feel the potential in the room- there were so many great start up ideas. The energy was contagious, and it made me want to get out of there and create my own business! Also, the fanny pack guys were the best.”

Regardless of ranking, every student was encouraged to continue pursuing his or her ideas and to utilize all of the resources that Brigham Young University has to offer. The Big Idea Pitch is only the first event in a series of competitions held by the BYU Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. Who knows? 90 seconds could change your world.