Students with innovative ideas compete in Triple Impact Challenge

Nearly 100 students competed this fall in a contest sponsored by Elon University’s Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Matt Browne and Jacob Hammer win first place for their product, Good Groceries
Elon University students of all majors are continually encouraged to share and develop innovative ideas, and on Nov. 11, 42 teams presented their ideas at the fifth Triple Impact Challenge hosted by the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

The Triple Impact Challenge debuted two years ago with just six student teams. Since then, the semi-annual competition has grown significantly in size and popularity. Due to the high number of entries this semester, the competition was divided into five sections for judging: three rooms designated for the business category and two for the social entrepreneurship category.

The competition prompted students to develop a five-minute pitch to describe and sell their idea for a business venture or solution to a social or environmental issue to a panel of judges, or “investors.” The following two minutes were allotted for questions from the judges. Each section awarded $500 to the first-place recipient, $300 to the second-place recipient and $200 to the third-place recipient.

Business category winners:

  • Good Groceries: Matthew Browne, Jacob Hammer
  • iCan: Get Ready: McKenzie Floyd, Ansley Hamilton
  • EZ Heat: Sam Lutz, Jackie Orr, Laura Orr, Madison Tamblyn

Social entrepreneurship category winners:

  • Altrev: Atticus Grinder
  • Eco-Tainer: Monique Swirsky, Pat McLaughlin

McKenzie Floyd and Ansley Hamilton win first place for their product, iCan: Get Ready
“It was beneficial learning how to present a business plan because it wasn’t an opportunity I thought I would have while in college,” said Hamilton, a member of the iCan: Get Ready team, about her challenge experience. “It was also very rewarding to present something we had worked so hard on all semester and see our hard work pay off in the end.”

Hamilton, a sophomore media analytics major, and her teammate Floyd, a sophomore computer science and communication design double major, pitched iCan: Get Ready, a dual interface app to help special needs children gain independence in self-care. Parents can use the app to customize a morning routine for their children. The app will prompt the children so they can get themselves ready in the morning. 

Another first-place team consisted of management majors Matthew Browne and Jacob Hammer who pitched their product, Good Groceries. The app would provide users with the option to use their groceries more efficiently or donate their extra goods to a group of people that need it. 

Economics and management double major Sam Lutz and finance and entrepreneurship double major Laura Orr, along with management majors Jackie Orr and Madison Tamblyn, placed first for their product, EZHeat. The product is a portable, disposable, one-time use coffee sleeve that keeps coffee at drinking temperature for three hours.

“The Triple Impact Challenge illustrated the link between learning entrepreneurial concepts in the classroom and applying them in a practical exercise,” said Orr. “I like the focus on producing tangible results and it was really interesting to see what all the other teams were working on. There are so many talented students at Elon.”

The first-place winning products in the social entrepreneurship category included Altrev, a platform connecting unused gift card balances and microfinance institutions, created by economics major Atticus Grinder, and Eco-Tainer, a reusable to-go container for Elon’s dining halls, created by entrepreneurship majors Monique Swirsky and Pat McLaughlin.

Other teams that placed included:

2nd Place: Business

  • ShopStop: Lauren Eckstrom, Mary Robins
  • Six Degrees: Teresa Kuhns, Molly Kate, Claire Gibbons, Abby Ansley
  • FoldOn: Kelli Stack

2nd Place: Social Entrepreneurship

  • Door2Power: Mikayla Born, Mitch Herndon, Austin Pederson
  • Supply + 9: Shahad Haswa

3rd Place: Business

  • Eventure: Avery Brooks
  • MLB Batter’s Box: Jerry Moe
  • Soda Ice: Katharine Mann, Alex Simon
  • KC Clothing: Kevin Culloty

3rd Place: Social Entrepreneurship

  • Bubble Bin: Sam Manz
  • Weird Enough Productions: Kameron Bond, Rasheed Cheek, Tony Weaver, Jr.

Judges for the Triple Impact Challenge included:

  • Ian Baltutis  – entrepreneur
  • Jason Cox – entrepreneur
  • Justin Adams – entrepreneur
  • James MacPherson – entrepreneur
  • David Higham – entrepreneur
  • Christie Soper – entrepreneur
  • Peter Ustash – entrepreneur
  • Fred Barringer – SBTDC regional director
  • Bob Weston – SBTDC regional director
  • Tammy Cobb – Elon administrator
  • Michael Vaughn – Elon administrator
  • Kirby Wall – Elon faculty
  • Pat Bell – Elon faculty
  • Christy Benson – Elon faculty
  • Mark Courtright – Elon faculty
  • Haya Ajjan – Elon faculty
  • Scott Buechler – Elon administrator
  • Barth Strempek – Elon faculty
  • Matt Valle – Elon faculty
  • Hal Vincent – Elon faculty
  • Tyler Reynolds- Elon alumnus

The Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, established in 2007 by a gift from Elon parents Ed and Joan Doherty P’07, focuses on teaching innovative thinking and initiatives that attempt to solve problems or seize opportunities. The center sponsors several programs and events throughout the year aimed at students in all fields of study.

The next Triple Impact Challenge will be held in spring 2016.