Georgia Southern’s Business Innovation Group hosted its annual 3 Day Startup (3DS) competition February 22-25. 3DS is a world-renowned program that brings together individuals from various backgrounds in a learning-by-doing environment to give students the tools needed to start successful companies. Students talk about ideas and form teams on Friday and work on bringing those ideas to life by Sunday evening.
On Monday, February 25, the competition culminated with a “Shark Tank” pitch competition. Six teams pitched ideas including aquaponics, a speeding device, bags made from textile waste, peer-to-peer lending, roommate matching, and a running app.
Panelists, consisting of members of the University Intellectual Property (IP) committee, chose “Ghost Runner” as the idea that made the most progress over such a short period of time.
Panelist and Professor of History and Director of Digital Humanities Robert Batchelor said of the app, “Ghost Runner seemed scalable. I really liked the idea that it solved a problem of messy apps for this on the market AND was something that small businesses, running tournaments, etc., could rely upon as an app solution to marketing.”
Overall, he said, “I thought all of the students were extremely articulate, highly motivated, and [presented] clever ideas.”
The winning team includes four College of Engineering & Computing students:
Marcus Joachim, Computer Science // Wyatt Landers, Computer Science // Jacob Poston, Computer Science // Shadrach Stark, Mechanical Engineering
The team also included three College of Arts and Humanities students:
Zee Doehling, Graphic Design // Thomas Martin, Graphic Design // Michael McFarland, International Studies
“Ghost Runner” will work with the Business Innovation Group (BIG) to prepare to represent Georgia Southern at the inaugural Georgia Inventure Prize Competition. Each college and university in the state was invited to send one team to Atlanta to compete April 3-4. The top five finalists will present via live GPB broadcast and streaming, with up to $50,000 in cash prizes and in-kind professional services.
“3DS was like entering an alternate reality because I’d get there early to start working an our business pitch and next thing I’d know an entire day went by without me even noticing,” Zee Doehling stated.
On the weekend of Jan. 25-27, Sandbox Communities, in partnership with HackGT, hosted its first-ever statewide collegiate competition, the inaugural “Collegiate Cup.” Open to student teams from Georgia colleges and universities, the cup featured three categories: coding, case study and design. The challenge asked students “to improve the quality of life in Georgia by leveraging the state’s strengths.” Nineteen teams representing nine Georgia colleges competed for the $750 category champion prize as well as the $250 category People’s Choice prize. At the end of the competition, the teams presented to different judging panels which included peer voting, and winners for each category were announced.
Georgia Southern had the honor of sending two teams to the competition – “The Baconators,” comprised of students Marin Coleman, Zee Doehling, Yvette Gallardo and Trenton Reese, along with “Cactus Juice,” composed of students Deeanna Lyn, Soleil Collins, Thomas Martin and Imani McCants. The students were accompanied by associate professor of graphic design, Santanu Majumdar. Both teams participated in the design category, where they were asked to develop a creative solution to a problem faced by Georgians. The overall winners of the cup were a coding group who developed a website aimed at introducing elementary aged girls to the coding profession in a fun and interactive way so as to promote women interest in a primarily male-dominated profession.
Zee Doehling of “The Baconators” said, “I have never had that much fun brainstorming and really trying to get to the root of the problem before. It was a lot of fun being able to make the project our own, too, because there weren’t any guidelines or formats required. We were really able to solve whatever problem we wanted to tackle and take it in any design direction we wanted.”
The teams had an impressive showing at the competition, and despite the fact that they may have returned home without a prize, the Collegiate Cup allowed the students an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals from a variety of Georgia schools as well as expand their network.