2022 Big Idea Challenge Awards Glatzl, Rodriguez, and Cook with 1st Place for "Our Journey"

BIC Winners

Dallas Baptist University hosted the latest Big Idea Challenge on the DBU campus this past December. This event allows students to pitch their creative ideas to an esteemed panel of judges. The BIC encompasses the Business as a Mission principle that DBU embraces. "Our communities face problems and challenges every day. Most people go through their day either ignoring these or hoping that someone will do something about them," says Dr. Ross O'Brien, Professor of Management and Director of Center for Business as Mission. "Through the Big Idea Challenge, we encourage students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to proactively find solutions and opportunities to join God in his work of restoring creation. This year's event was a great example of how students are creatively addressing issues like protecting the environment, alleviating stress and anxiety, and supporting social businesses."

The Fall 2022 BIC Judges included: Kurt Knapton (Investor and Strategic Advisor at Realm Resources), Dr. Kimberly Figaro (Assistant Professor of Statistics and Leadership), Tish Hearn (Higher Education Program Director), Dr. Justin Gandy (Assistant Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives), and Dr. John McCuin (Professor of Physics and Mathematics). This panel of judges listened to the pitches from each team and awarded the top three teams with cash prizes and matching scholarships provided by The Lion's Den DFW. DBU was encouraged by all of the passionate ideas that have the potential to solve large problems in our society.

Third place was given to Samuel Isai and Cesar Olvera for their idea for a platform called "Do-Gooder" that connects consumers with social brands that would allow them to support the brands that appeal to their personal interests and needs. Keaton May and Ben Huteson walked away with second place for their hurricane prediction technology idea, "Triton." These two are no strangers to the Big Idea Challenge as they won first place in Fall 2021 for their Big Idea "Brightlife," a non-toxic spray formula that will make trees glow to cut down on electricity used in urban areas.

This year's first-place grand prize was awarded to the team of Morgan Glatzl, Marina Rodriguez, and Tiara Cook for "Our Journey," a student mentoring program where freshmen will be paired with upperclassmen to help them navigate college life. Morgan Glatzl said, "I came up with my idea because of my experience going into college. I originally started at a different public university, but since I came from a private Christian school for K-12, I had a major culture shock. I didn't know anyone on campus, had trouble making friends, and overall felt really lonely. The app was inspired by this feeling. I wanted to come up with some way to prevent that terrible feeling in freshmen across the country. That's how Our Journey was born!"

Other notable ideas presented during the BIC include: Hadassah Examond and "Z-wear," a creative business professional clothing line that targets millennials and Gen Z; Brinkley Troyer and "Just Right Market," a grocery store that allows the consumer to purchase what is needed in the quantities that they need; Matthew Mitchell and "ReVamp," a lithium battery recycling company; and Trini Estrada and "Freedom Tiny Homes," a tiny home community that provides an affordable home ownership option for those looking to get on their feet.

This high-profile event would not have been possible without the Big Idea Challenge Planning Team. This year over 120 students signed up for the Big Idea Challenge. It takes a dedicated team of talented professionals to sift through all of these Big Ideas and make the competition happen. DBU extends our extreme gratitude to the following faculty and staff: Dr. Mark Martin, Dr. John McCuin, Dr. Danny Rose, Dr. Parnell Ryan, Dr. Sandra Crawford Williamson, Dr. Justin Gandy, Dr. JoAnne Hix, Audrey Alderink, Dr. Ross O'Brien, Dr. Sergiy Saydometov, Dr. Chance Gamble, and Dr. Richard Martinez.

The DBU campus is filled to the brim with brilliant ideas created by our incredibly creative student body. Many different colleges on the Hill were represented during the competition, and DBU is excited to see what innovative ideas students bring to the next Big Idea Challenge.

Written by Cameron Billings

Cameron Billings writes for the University Communications department at Dallas Baptist University.