PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Tuesday, creativity was on full display as Bradley University hosted its annual Big Idea competition.
Hundreds descended on Bradley’s campus for the second round of the Big Idea competition, which featured a trade show and elevator pitches.
“Probably the most exciting part because a lot of people are out experiencing this, getting to see, touch, and even taste the student’s ideas that they have,” said Bill McDowell, executive/academic director of the Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Nearly 100 students formed about 20 different teams to create new products, services, and businesses.
One of the ideas presented was the Naturally Beautiful app, which connects hairstylists in the palm of your hand.
“It will be a way for hairstylists to network on there, so when I’m moving I can find another hairstylist and it could be easy to network around,” said Jahne Manifold, Bradley senior and co-creator of Naturally Beautiful.
Another idea presented was The Claw, which is an all-in-one epoxy applicator, making repairs simpler.
“It’s easy, it’s strong, it’s durable, and it’s enjoyable to use, most importantly you know at the end of the day, that that’s going to get the job done,” said Matthew Klein, Bradley senior and co-creator of The Claw.
Throughout the day, hundreds of judges viewed each idea and selected the best ones, as well as provided useful feedback.
“People are coming around and they’re actually saying different things, different ways that we can expand. We’re taking down notes because we’re like yeah we never really thought about that,” Manifold said.
McDowell said the competition allows students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to a real-life situation.
“They have the most innovative, creative minds, and we love to give them an opportunity to have an outlet for that creativity. If it works, that’s great. If it doesn’t that’s fine too. It’s a safe space to be innovative and creative and practice what they’ve learned here at Bradley University,” McDowell said.
Five teams will make it to the final round on April 25th, where they will present to a panel similar to the show Shark Tank. The teams will be competing for over $20,000 dollars in cash and prizes.