Thirty-nine teams competed in this year's Student Innovator of the Year competition, according to Zsiros, which was sponsored by the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology and Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at BYU.
Seven teams were chosen in the preliminary round — a fair-like event with boards and prototypes from every team to share their products.
In the final round, the seven groups produced a short presentation of their product and business plan.
"The purpose (of the competition) is to provide resources to students who have an idea for a new product, whether it's a physical product or we do websites as well," Zsiros said. All applicants are screened and then given $400 to create a prototype for the competition.
"I think they've done a good job to create a network of mentors that can help, and giving cash to help develop something and to think outside the box," said Tyler Slater, a member of one of the teams to tie for third place, of the competition. "We've definitely benefited from some of the contacts we've gotten from the Rollins Center and the Business School."
Slater's team has created Intuiplan, a paperless management tool for businesses to use for notifications, procedures and organizations that would normally be done on paper. The team tied for third place and won a $2,000 cash prize.
Ever since Jung Lee moved to the U.S. from Korea he wondered why Americans didn't use intercom systems; with the Student Innovator competition he was finally able to pull together a idea he had to fix this.
"It's a doorbell that has a built-in camera, speaker and microphone and is connected with Wi-Fi so you can use smart-phone technology and answer the door anywhere," Lee said. "It's great the school provides this opportunity. ... It was really great because we were able to meet with other people and work with other people and get positive feedback about our product to help solve the problems that we faced.
"I don't think my idea was extraordinary or great. ... I would tell people who have a good idea — they have to look out and talk to as many people as possible and use their talent ... just don't give up."
Mandy Morgan is an enterprise intern for the Deseret News, reporting on values in the media. She is a true-blue Aggie, studying Journalism and Political Science at Utah State University, and hails from Highland, Utah.
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