Not everyone can pitch the “next big thing,” but everyone has an idea. MPowered Entrepreneurship has created 1000 Pitches as an interactive space for these ideas to be heard. The program began seven years ago in an effort to spark more interest for entrepreneurship on the U-M campus.
Initially, the goal was to collect only 1000 business “pitches,” or innovative ideas for improving almost any aspect of everyday life. Through hard work and successful publicity, MPowered achieved this goal in the competition’s first year. 1000 Pitches has since expanded to Penn State, University of South Carolina, University of Arizona, University of Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech. U-M remains in the lead for pitch contributions.
“We get just as excited about the silly ideas as we do about the more serious ones,” Board of Directors Member Yianni Kontorousis said. “This is just a great way to show what Michigan has to offer in the area of innovation.”
This year, 7,568 total pitches were submitted, more than 4,000 of which were from U-M students. Pitches are judged by a board of 20 members from MPowered with the help of their corporate sponsors. The person with the winning “pitch” receives $1000, which will ideally be used to further her/his idea.
“What started as a pitch in October could become the next startup business in April,” Kontorousis said.
Finalists of the contest, along with the winning pitch, will be released by the end of this week. In the meantime, check out our top five:
“Students can select their favorite dining hall meals and they’ll receive a notification about where and when it will be served.”
“In case you lose or forget your key, or just don’t feel like fumbling around trying to find it.”
“This would increase the amount of active learning and decreases passive listening, particularly for elementary-level students. The competitive element of video games would also facilitate motivation.”
4.) Big Ten United
“A travel agency specifically for big ten college students that would provide tickets and transportation to Big Ten games. The agency would also provide a list of really cool things to do around the city/campus, all for a flat fee.”
5.) Horses with U-M Tuition (Our Favorite)
“There would obviously be somewhat of a smell but not only would we be able to travel around easier, we’d learn to care and love for things… I think its great to learn life lessons like that.”