The Stanford Technology Ventures Program has announced 22 winners of a global competition that challenged student teams to come up with a way to make saving money fun.
Their ideas were made into YouTube videos in the global competition, with nearly 1,000 entries coming in from 31 countries. Judges, who included Stanford University representatives, academicians, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and corporate executives, spent two weeks going through the entries. The judges narrowed the list from 300 potential winners, then to 100 semi-finalists and 39 finalists, before choosing the final 22 winners.
“They were very impressed by the range of approaches and ideas behind the submissions. The judges found it very difficult to narrow the list of winners, and there are teams who didn’t win but who should still be exceedingly proud of their projects,” said Theresa Lina Stevens of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, in a statement announcing the winners. The competition was sponsored by Intuit.
Judge Anthony Ha, VentureBeat's assistant editor, wrote that Intuit’s Jan Bosch, vice president of open innovation, said the money-saving theme was “well-aligned” with the company’s mission even though the company did not choose the theme. “Students really have found elements — not completely new business ideas, but elements — of new innovative thinking that’s beneficial for them as a kind of training and learning perspective,” Bosch said, according to Ha. “And from an ideation perspective, Intuit benefited from getting the different perspective of university students and high school students.”
Winning entries were selected for innovative ideas, creativity, the potential impact of the idea, the professionalism of the video presentation and how fun the idea was. The winners hailed from all over the world, including Chile, Ecuador, Indonesia, Latvia, Kenya and China.
The two winners from the United States are from Rochester University and Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago. At Rochester, students set up PassthePig.org, a website designed to help people collaborate and share with others who are saving money. Northside College Prep students encouraged children to use online tools to save their allowance money, track their progress toward savings goals and earn points and virtual prizes.