We left off with 3 teams still standing from the original 12. The judges’ next and final task was to narrow these teams down to 1. This was not easy, considering the caliber of presentation skills, depth of responses, and quality of designs. Our fantastic panel of judges, a balanced mix of industrial designers and angel investors, had their work cut out for them because each team presented wonderfully, but they also had the experience and expertise to carefully evaluate each final pitch against the criteria set out from the beginning.
To involve all of the teen innovators in this process, the students who were not in the top 3 teams had the opportunity to cast their vote for their favorite design. Even though everyone seemed up for being part of the vote at the time, looking back, we realize this was not an easy thing to ask. It was of course fraught with potential peer pressure and social dynamics, but we totally respect that everyone participated! The student group became the 5th judge on the panel, and their voice was incorporated into the final vote, though the end result was not quite what they might have expected…
First place went to…SUPS by Shivaani Sharma, Nicholas Fong, Lance Fong and Hari Ramachandran. Congratulations!!
These students received unanimous top votes from the 4 judges, both in the first round and also in the final round, solidifying the final decision for the judges. The judges noted the following of the top team:
1. They best addressed the design requirements
2. They had a strong product concept for further development and for potential success on kickstarter.com.
3. Perhaps equally important, the judges noted this team’s effective collaboration, which indicated they had the team chemistry to go the distance while taking the product to market.
The student vote supported another top 3 team – not unexpected, as everyone did so well – but this turned out to be an unexpected lesson that what is popular is not necessarily the best design when matched against the criteria. We believe the judges unanimously got it right – their only aim was to give the best product design the best chance to see how far it can go.
Nonetheless, congratulations are to be handed out all around. The judges were thoroughly impressed (noted by their long deliberation rounds each time – sorry for the wait, parents!), and the students deserve the credit. Thanks to all the students, parents, judges, guest faculty and BSG staff for coming out and kicking off Innovate This!
Be sure to keep up with our blog to follow The Suppy Team’s path. Will the Sup Cup be the next big hit on the Momosphere? We will be the first to let you know!
Update: We have already begun receiving phone calls asking about the next Innovate This! Stay tuned to this website for announcements of future events locally, nationally, and globally. Meanwhile, if you are eager to jump into our programs, check out Camp BizSmart to learn about our 5- and 10-day summer entrepreneur and business academy where students 11-15 take on a real business challenge from CEOs, and work in team to create the solution and product design, supported by a business plan. Check Camp BizSmart’s website for locations and dates to fit your summer schedule.
Until next time…here are some of our favorite shots from Innovate This! March, 2012: