This week marks the final week of MPowered Entreprenuership’s 1,000 Pitches competition and though the group received a record number of pitches this year, MPowered is taking part in a number of events this week to urge even more students to participate.
MPowered leaders decided to hold the last week of the competition at the same time as Global Entrepreneurship Week in an effort to increase visibility of the entrepreneurship movement, said LSA junior Ankit Mehta, president of MPowered.
This year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week included a Diag day yesterday and will feature a case competition today where student teams analyze a case study and compete to find the solution. In addition, Jacqueline Novogratz, the founder and CEO of the Acumen Fund — a “non-profit, global venture fund,” according to its website — will speak on Friday.
“We planned it so both weeks overlap with each other,” Mehta said. “Basically the whole week is themed around social entrepreneurship because it has a broad appeal to people since it’s a novel way to make a positive impact.”
Mehta added that the 1,000 Pitches competition is going strong and is proving to be the “hub where a lot of entrepreneur activity happens.”
According to the live update on the competition’s website, there are 2,324 pitches as of last night. Mehta said this number already exceeds last year’s record.
“We want quantity because it creates virility in the competition,” he said.
He said that there’s been talk of turning 1,000 Pitches into one million pitches for America.
At yesterday’s Diag day, 1,000 Pitches hosted a station that featured students who had already submitted their ideas. The event also had two large plastic globes where students could write their ideas about how to make the world a better place.
Engineering junior Andrew Brehm pitched an idea aimed at purifying water without having to use fuel or energy.
The idea is to create a “cheap, easy to make, easy to distribute water purifier for hot, dry climates,” he said.
He explained that dirty water would be in one container underneath a black surface. The dirty water would be evaporated by the sun’s heat, and the evaporated purified water would then drip into a separate container.
“This will help prevent the spread of disease and ensure that people are always drinking clean water,” Brehm said. “It’s also going to be very cheap to make because it’ll be mostly made of plastic parts.”
Business sophomore Julia Shi pitched an idea for a mobile application that uses a Global Positioning Satellite to determine restaurant options near the location of the mobile device and then provide prices, average wait times for dining in and carrying out and restaurant capacity.
“This application would be helpful, for example, if you are a college student, because sometimes you have awkward 30 minute pads of time between classes,” Shi said.
She said the application would be free for students but that she would make a profit by having local restaurants pay for ad space.
Feeding off of college students’ need for food, Business sophomore Han Zhang pitched a similar idea, which would use mobile GPS technology to send the user’s location to a restaurant to have food delivered to wherever the student is located.
“This way you can literally get food from wherever you are,” Zhang said. “You don’t have to be at a given location.”
LSA freshman Harry Hantman pitched multiple ideas, one of which was a website and phone application called “Paths From Last Night.”
The program would record different points of one’s location at 30-second to 5-minute intervals, mapping the user’s movement. He said the application could have a variety of uses and could be posted on social network sites like Facebook or Twitter.
“You can post your path from last night and say ‘this is a great path as a runner’ or ‘look how wasted I was last night and I just did this and it was really stupid,’” Hantman said. “It connects the different paths you take from one place to another.”
Business and Engineering sophomore Prateek Garg pitched an idea of heated sneakers for the cold Michigan winters.
His idea involves a magnet and coil inside the shoe to create currents that would produce heat.
“The more you walk the warmer your feet get,” Garg said. “So in the winter your feet won’t get as cold.”
LSA freshman Becca Weisz pitched an idea that aims to help users resist the urge to text while driving. Her application, called “driving mode” would require a car to have the ability to sync and would send out an automated, personalized text response to any message received while the car is in drive.
“Basically what driving mode is, is the solution to texting while driving,” Weisz said. “The laws aren’t a solution.”
These and other pitches can be viewed on the 1,000 Pitches YouTube channel.