This year’s 14th annual Raymond Ideas Challenge featured the top 40 “big ideas” from more than 100 applications. Students from across campus and varying majors were asked to explain “What is your big idea?” through both a written proposal and a video pitch. The top 40 ideas were presented live to judges with the selected winners honored at an awards reception.

In addition to the live pitches, the top 40 ideas also participated in an online video pitch competition hosted by Aggie-owned web platform The top three winners were selected based on the number of votes they received by the general public.

The Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Mays Business School hosted the May 6 event, which is held annually on Reading Day so that Texas A&M students of all majors and classifications can participate. Students were able to enter the contest individually or in teams.

Pitch presentations allow the students five minute to explain their idea and why it is unique to the judges, as well as their competitive advantage in the market and the overall goal of the student(s) and their idea. A question-and-answer session followed each presentation, in which judges raised concerns and questions that were not addressed during the presentation.

This year’s judging team featured approximately 130 judges from throughout the community and campus who have backgrounds in entrepreneurship, industry, government and academia.

The top awards went to:
– First place ($3,000): Customizable Prostheses via 3D Printing – Charles Sweeney and Blake Teipel
– Second place ($2,000): Wireless Mouse Tracking System – Richard Horner, Lindsey Jenschke, Cody Lewis & Nick Reinoso
– Third place ($1,000): EyeNav System – Lyndon Kageler, Omar Lira, Stephen Sun and Tiffany Turner
– Honorable mentions ($500)
– Lost & Found – Amy Brodeur, Joshua Dunegan, Daniela Garcia, Aaron John and Samuel Kancewick
– Hack.Connect – Jeffrey Zhao
– FireCAT – Ratika Gandhi, Vasiliy Khmelenko, Benita Mordi, Timothy Paulsen, Cameron Shaw and Kyle Yates
– Aggieland Exchange – Daniel Pattison

The video pitches that received the most votes were:
– First place ($1,000): Ea$yList – Tarang Lal & Paola Perez
– Second place ($500): Dutch – Pratheek Lakur & Krishna Murthy
– Third place ($250): Bridgin – Sangeeta Isaac

The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s Product Development Center (TEEX-PDC) sponsored a Go-to-Market Award. This year’s winner, FireCAT, has the opportunity to work with TEEX-PDC – at no cost – to finalize a marketable produce based on their idea.

For more information on the Ideas Challenge, visit