An idea to rent portable folding bicycles from a kiosk at university-sponsored events earned first-prize and $3000 for Patrick Daniels, a Master of Science in Land Development student, and Martin Griggs, a Master of Urban Planning student, who teamed up to win the 2011 Ideas Challenge, an annual contest sponsored by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Mays Business School.
A total of four MSLD students were finalists in the university-wide competition, with one, Jason Childs, tying for third place with several teams including one composed of students from the College of Architecture’s Design Process class.
The winning team’s folding bicycle concept, Daniels said, provides a convenient solution for traversing a large college campus. Their proposal calls for the vending kiosks to be operated by Move|Smart, a student-owned and operated bicycle retailer.
In addition to pursuing a MSLD degree, Daniels is simultaneously earning masters degrees in construction management and business administration.
Fellow MSLD student Jason Childs’ third-place entry, which earned a $1000 prize, proposed a youth hostel in downtown Austin, an idea sparked by a visit to a Seattle hostel.
“Before starting graduate school I lived and worked in a top-quality hostel in downtown Seattle,” said Childs, a Fredricksburg, Texas native. “Hostels allow people to experience the world through travel and cultural exchange by providing quality accommodations in a socially interactive setting for an affordable price.”
Another third place project, dubbed “The Stint,” a cell phone case that houses a one-time-use rechargeable Taser, earned $1000 for its creators, James Bonn, Hilary Brugger, Megan Hafner, Edward Hartmann, Johnny Shih and Luke Smith, all members of the Design Process, or ENDS 101, class taught by Jorge Vanegas, dean of the College of Architecture. Open to all majors, the course helps students develop their creative problem-solving abilities and entrepreneurial spirit.
The students’ idea includes a button on the phone case’s side that’s required to activate the Taser, but its design prevents accidental activation. The Taser is powered by a capacitor instead of a battery, which allows for a small case size and instant charging.
Two more MSLD students, Ethan Brisby and Lauren Davis, were finalists in the 2011 competition.
Brisby, a Bryan, Texas native, proposed the founding of “Team SHIFT,” a personal development company catering to urban youth and young adults.
SHIFT is an acronym for Save your money, Help your family, Imagine your goals, Follow directions and Think accurately.
“Team SHIFT,” he said, one of his proposed SHIFT initiatives, “is rooted in the idea of focusing the mindset of young adult urban dwellers, age 18-30, on innovation and individuation.”
“Future considerations include the Team SHIFT Think Tank, Team SHIFT College Preparedness Services, based on the Kaplan model, and Team SHIFT Academy charter schools,” he said.
Davis’ idea was “FreeMe,” a smartphone application for diners watching their calories.
“No matter what ‘free’ food type the consumer is looking for — fat free, gluten free, sugar free — all can easily be found in one simple application,” she said. “In essence, it takes the hassle out of eating out.“