Ideas Challenge

During the 2014 Raymond Ideas Challenge, hundreds of students dreamed up a “big idea” and pitched those concepts to judges and the community, through both a written proposal and a video pitch describing their ideas. The top 40 ideas were presented live to judges before the top three winners were selected and honored at an awards ceremony.

A separate competition evaluated the online pitch videos based on the number of votes they received by the general public. Prizes were awarded for the videos with the most votes.

The Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Mays Business School hosted the event, which was open to Texas A&M students of all majors and classifications. Students were able to enter the contest individually or in teams.

The following were the top three winners in the traditional competition:

• 1st Place ($3,000) — Tree to Aircraft
• 2nd Place ($2,000) — SiCoustics
• 3rd Place ($1,000) — Modular Monitoring Platform
• Honorable Mentions ($500 each) — HeadsUp Tackling Trainer, Persistent Golf Ball, Backseat Bib, Miniaturized Sleep Apnea Diagnosis Device

The following were the top three winners for the video contest:

• 1st Place ($1000) — eWriter
• 2nd Place ($500) — ReCYCLING Bus
• 3rd Place ($250) — Symbiot

The pitch presentations generally presented information such as what the idea is, why it is necessary, how it differs from existing products or services and what resources would be needed to implement the idea. A question-and-answer session followed each presentation, in which judges raised concerns and questions that were not addressed during the presentation.

Marketing major Damani Felder ’14 said the contest was a great way to develop important business skills. “The contest provides good practice in developing a sales pitch,” he said. “Confidence is very important; you need to be well versed in what you are presenting.”

According to aerospace engineering major Kyle Brookover ’17, the biggest challenge lies in selecting the right idea. “The hardest part of the competition is coming up with the initial idea,” he said. “Once you’ve done that, the rest flows easily.”

For more information on the Ideas Challenge, visit

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.