Four 2020 Big Idea finalists presented their venture ideas on Thursday, Feb. 27, at Colorado College’s Big Idea competition, now in its eighth year.
CC’s Big Idea competition, put on by Creativity & Innovation at Colorado College, invites groups of students to develop new, innovative ideas and pitch their proposals in front of local investors for seed funding in a traditional business-pitch format.
This year saw a new format, with student teams competing before a panel of judges in the semifinal round for four spots in The Big Idea final event. The finalists presenting their ideas in Celeste Theatre were:
Journalista is a community marketplace connecting journalists directly with readers in order to promote the ideals of robust local reporting and ethical journalism. Team members are Noah Weeks ’20, Benedict Wright ’20, and Kobi Bhattacharyya ’20.
- Geek Girl
Geek Girl works to close the gender gap in technology by identifying young girls who have taken an interest in computer science and providing them with mentorship opportunities to maintain their enthusiasm for technology. Team members are Lauren Weiss ’21, Melissa LaFehr ’20, Sara Hanahan ’21, and Maddi Schink ’23.
MemorMe is an app based upon the premise that objects are often homes for our memories and feelings; this app uses psychological association to ensure that memories outlive their physical shells by providing them with a new digital home. Team members are Tony Mastromarino ’23, Saigopal Rangaraj ’23, and James Dollard ’22.
- Infinite Chemistry
Infinite Chemistry is software that allows users to import molecules from any online chemical database and manipulate them in virtual reality, providing an opportunity to get data on the molecules’ symmetry and observe molecules interacting and reacting in real time. Team members are Prakhar Gautam ’20, Paul Price ’20, Cameron MacDonald ’20, Tian Lee ’20, and Pietro Giacomin ’20.
The four teams each received $7,500 in seed funding to continue to develop their ideas. The new format ensures that the finalist teams are guaranteed seed funding, and also provides an opportunity for the teams to gain professional experience pitching their ventures in front of an audience. The Big Idea competition seeks to give students an opportunity to develop their business ideas through mentorship and collaboration, supporting students with a wide range of interests and backgrounds to access the program.
Serving as judges in the semifinal round were Lisa Tessarowicz, co-founder, Epicentral Coworking; Yemi Mobolade, Small Business Development administrator for the City of Colorado Springs; Alexandra Fiorillo, founder and principal, GRID Impact; Kathy Zehringer, founder and empowerment coach, A Shift Happens; and Jacob Montoya, founder, FitSW.