Entrepreneurs and students pitch business ideas at conference

Written by: 
Devaughn Huntoon-Jones~Multimedia Journalist

The Great Ideas Conference gave BYU-Hawaii students a chance to showcase business and technical skills by presenting their ideas during three days of activities in mid-November. Several students won cash prizes for their ideas’ usefulness, viability, and long-term survivability.

Multiple students presented their ideas live before a panel of judges and dozens of peers. Students said they were taking notes to prepare their own ideas for upcoming competitions.

CJ Dadivas, a pre-med biology student from Japan, presented 'Collar Clear,’ an insert for shirt cuffs and collars that prevents residue buildup from sweat. “It took me about a week, said Dadivas to work on his idea. “My father works as a physician’s assistant and always had to clean his shirts,” Dadivas said. “That's where the idea was derived.” Dadivas took 2nd place, receiving a certificate and a $100 cash prize.

Max Rezende, a senior in finance from Arizona, pitched an idea for a water filter that measures precise amounts of water, eliminating the need for measuring cups or spoons. “I was actually making pasta when I got the idea”, said Rezende with a smile, “I'm going to test it out on KickStarter.com and see where it goes.” Rezende's idea was a 1st place finisher, netting him a $200 cash prize.

Lenny Hatch, a senior in finance and avid Californian musician, is taking a similar path as Rezende with his slap drum guitar attachment. “The next step is getting funding,” he said. “I've also have to work on a nicer, finished prototype.” He wowed the audience with a live demonstration of his prototype attachment and netted himself a $200 1st place cash prize.

Other students presented a variety for inventions, including custom headphone sleeves, an online store for Chinese citizens to purchase products at American prices, and a breathing monitor for infants. Another crowd pleaser was a shirt with a built in LED light monitor, designed to be customized and used at sporting events or pep rallies.

The event also generated publicity for KickStarter programs. KickStarter is an online crowd-funding project that helps individuals start a type of presale on an idea or invention and raise money to launch the product. Classes on crowd funding will begin at BYUH in Winter Semester, taught by Marketing Professor Paul Wilson.