The University of Texas at Dallas recently held its 2015 Business Idea Competition where undergraduate and graduate students could test their business ideas against a panel of all-star judges.
The contest was sponsored by the Naveen Jindal School of Management's Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE).
“This year’s business idea competition was the largest and most successful event we have had,” IIE Executive Director Jeremy Vickers said. “All of the finalists were prepared to defend their startup ideas against difficult questions from our amazing judging panel.”
Close to 300 entrants competed for $20,000 in prizes. The top three undergraduate and graduate teams recently met before an audience of 800 people at the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building to present their ideas to judges including Dallas Mavericks owner and ABC-TV's "Shark Tank" judge Mark Cuban.
Freshman Raviteja Lingineni's WeBe, an electronic tag that provides smart phones with user preferences, took home the $5,000 first-place award in the undergraduate category, while MBA candidates Kiran Devaprasad and William White took home $5,000 in the graduate category for their idea for TraceIT, a program that would track drivers and payloads for car and truck driving businesses.
“The Business Idea Competition was a great way for me to get started — to get my hands dirty and learn now to run a business,” Lingineni said. “I think a competition like this is very valuable. Without this event, it could have taken a couple of years for me to have been on a stage like that, presenting to so many people."