The first step before beginning any new venture is to receive feedback. The stone cold truth, what you need to hear from the people you need to hear it from. Hearing the opinions of your peers: good, bad, and indifferent is an essential mechanism in determining if your idea is worth pursuing. Instead of our twice yearly IdeaPitch competition, the BBC decided to focus on knocking IdeaBox out of the park this Spring. Think of IdeaBox as a science fair for startup ideas, a place where like-minded individuals gather to talk business, life, and enjoy themselves. On April 2nd, 2015 in the Ohio Union the BBC hosted its largest IdeaBox contest to date. With more than 25 entries and over $1,000 in prizes at stake, this was no ordinary science fair.
We were blown away as an organization with the quality and effort put into the business concepts. Almost all entrants had some sort of minimum viable product already built, some had patents, and others were already selling product. Many of the ideas and concepts that were presented have not been discussed at BBC meetings or related events, this was not only encouraging but refreshing. Approximately 75 people attended this year’s event, making for a lively evening of all things entrepreneurship.
All attendees to this year’s IdeaBox event had the option to become “investors” in the competitor’s ideas for their chance at a share of the prizes. We believe that this added a unique element to the event, audience participation. We hope if you were able to attend that you enjoyed this quirky twist.
This year’s event would not have been possible without the generous contributions from our many sponsors. First off, thank you NCT Ventures for being the event’s official sponsor. NCT, a local venture capital firm, is helping to make Columbus the start-up hub of the Midwest. Also a huge thank you goes out to Columbus State Community College’s Small Business Development Center, FlashNotes, Metcalf & Associates, Start-Up Weekend Columbus and Fundable. Giving away prizes would not have been possible without these companies and their leaders.
We would also like to thank our judges for taking time out of their Wednesday evenings to be with us. Calvin Cooper of NCT Ventures, Rich Langdale of NCT Ventures, Ariana Ulloa-Olavariettta of Columbus State, Michael Bowers of Columbus State, Dan Rockwell of Big Kitty Labs, David Sherry of Death to Stock Photography, and Damon Caiozza of Fundable were all generous enough to take on the intimidating task of judging this event. Again, IdeaBox would not have been possible without them.
The Business Builders Club would like to extend our congratulations to the 3 grand prize winners of $500, $250, and $100 respectively. In 1st place, Titan Mixer Bottle, an innovative solution to all of the common problems that protein shaker bottle users have. In 2nd place came Tokeables, a festival accessories company. And in 3rd place we had SolveIt, a crazy cool app that can decode your hand writing of math problems and solve those subsequent problems for you. Thank you to all who competed, it takes a lot of guts to get in front of people and talk about something you are passionate about, especially when you have to do it almost 100 separate times.
IdeaBox this year was a huge success and something that the BBC sees growing in the future. Thank you to all who supported this event and made the effort of attending. Personally, as event organizer, I had a blast being able to meet judges, participants, and attendees alike. IdeaBox was nothing but a fulfilling experience. We look forward to seeing you all next year! #BBCMafia