Big iDeas

Student teams share world-changing concepts at 2017 Big iDeas Demo Day Fair Friday, Feb. 3

Big iDeas Demo Day 2017SMU student teams will present world-changing business concepts to compete for up to $5,000 in start-up money in SMU’s 2017 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition, 9-11:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 3, in The CUBE, 600 Expressway Tower, East Campus.

Student proposals will be judged by a panel of guest experts. Successful teams will combine winning pitches with solid business plans.

The event continues with the Big iDeas Demo Day Fair 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Expressway Tower lobby. The Fall 2016 Big iDeas Pitch Contest winners will present their results, prototypes, pilots or other work accomplished since receiving their $1,000 grants.

Read about SMU’s 2016 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition winners

Big iDeas supports student innovation and entrepreneurship by providing support for forward-thinking ideas that are viable, sustainable and provide value to society. The program is open to undergraduates of all majors.

Students work in teams with one member serving as the principal investigator. The PI must be an SMU undergraduate for the duration of the funding phase.

Demo Day and the Business Plan Competition are hosted by SMU Engaged Learning. For more information, contact Mona Alluri, 214-768-3225.

> Visit the SMU Big iDeas homepage: smu.edu/bigideas

Take a closer look at student innovation during the 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest, Friday, Sept. 23

engaged-learning-logo-300Make an appointment to see outstanding students show their work and stump for their innovations during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

The two events take place Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum, as part of SMU’s 2016 Family Weekend.

Find the complete symposium line-up at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

During the Engaged Learning Symposium, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will present their work and take questions from the audience. They will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research FellowsUniversity Honors Richter Research Fellows and McNair Scholars, as well as Engaged Learning Fellows.

> See the Big iDeas Pitch Contest rules and guidelines

SMU Big iDeas logo, blue background-400From 2-5 p.m., find out what some of SMU’s most innovative students are up to during the Big iDeas Pitch Contest. After developing their ideas, undergraduate teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are most realistic and can be developed in the following three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 in seed money to prepare prototypes and pilot programs for the Demo Day Fair in early February 2017.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

SMU is ‘Home in the Heart of Texas’ for 2016 Family Weekend, Sept. 23-25

SMU Family Weekend 2016 bannerSMU family members from around the Metroplex and across the country will join their students in celebrating a beloved Hilltop tradition Sept. 23-25, 2016. SMU Family Weekend is coordinated by the Student Foundation‘s Family Weekend Committee.

Student research, creativity and innovation will be on display during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest, scheduled for Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. Engaged Learning Fellows show their work 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and Pitch Contest teams will hold forth from 2-5 p.m. for the opportunity to win $1,000 in seed money for their projects.

Find the full schedule for 2016 SMU Family Weekend

Limited quantities of Boulevard BBQ tickets will be on sale at the Friday event from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the Clements Hall South Lawn. Faculty and staff members can claim four free football tickets for the 7 p.m. Battle for the Iron Skillet against TCU at the Ford Stadium ticket window with SMU ID. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 214-768-GAME or by visiting the Athletic Department website.


SMU Boulevard celebrationClear bag policy at Ford Stadium:
The only bags permitted on Game Day are those made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC that do not exceed 12-by-6-by-12 inches; one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc or similar), or small clutch bags (about the size of a hand) with or without a strap. See the complete list of SMU Ford Stadium Game Day policies.

Giving back: In keeping with this year’s “Home in the Heart of Texas” theme, the SMU Student Foundation is partnering with Family Gateway, an organization that provides transitional housing and services for homeless families with children in Dallas County. Collection boxes for household items are available in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center and other locations.

Parking: On Friday, Sept. 23, Game Day parking is in effect. Please watch your e-mail on Thursday morning and plan to move your car if you usually park near Ford Stadium. Refer to www.smu.edu/athletics for a parking map.

— Sarah Hanan

Save the date: Engaged Learning Symposium, Big iDeas Pitch Contest scheduled for SMU Family Weekend, Sept. 23, 2016

SMU Big iDeas and Engaged Learning students in front of Dallas HallSave the date for SMU’s 2016 Family Weekend, and make an appointment to see outstanding students show their work and stump for their innovations during the Fall 2016 Engaged Learning Symposium and Big iDeas Pitch Contest.

The events take place 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum. SMU Engaged Learning will post a complete schedule in the coming weeks.

Find more information at the SMU Engaged Learning homepage

During the Engaged Learning Symposium, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., students in research, service, creative and internship programs from across campus will present their work and take questions from the audience. They will include SMU’s Maguire and Irby Family Foundation Public Service Fellows, Summer Research FellowsUniversity Honors Richter Research Fellows and McNair Scholars, as well as Engaged Learning Fellows.

From 2-5 p.m., find out what some of SMU’s most innovative students are up to during the Big iDeas Pitch Contest. After developing their ideas, undergraduate teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are most realistic and can be developed in the following three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 in seed money to prepare prototypes and pilot programs for the Demo Day Fair in early February 2017.

> Share the Big iDeas Pitch Contest rules and guidelines

Watch for more about the Symposium and Pitch Contest in a future SMU Forum post.

> Visit SMU’s Office of Engaged Learning online

Student achievement in the spotlight during SMU Engaged Learning Week, Feb. 8-12, 2016

SMU Engaged Learning Symposium program - photo by Clayton T. SmithSMU’s Engaged Learning Week expands its schedule for 2016 and features a growing undergraduate presence at the University’s annual Research Day as well as presentations from McNair Scholars and Summer Research Fellows.

This year’s event takes place Feb. 8-12 and will help students learn more about expanding their education outside the classroom, from undergraduate research and community service to professional internships and creative projects.

The week begins Monday, Feb. 8 with presentations by graduating Engaged Learning Fellows in Community Service and Internships at 12:30 p.m., followed by a Creative Projects panel at 3 p.m., both in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum.

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, Engaged Learning, Big iDeas and Clinton Global Initiative University students host an open house and luncheon 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Scholars’ Den, G11 Clements Hall. The event is open to the entire University community, and current EL Fellows and Big iDeas teams will discuss their projects and programs with visitors.

SMU Engaged Learning logo

On Research Day, Wednesday, Feb. 10 in the Hughes-Trigg Ballrooms, undergraduate researchers from the McNair Scholars and Summer Research Fellows will show their work at 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Engaged Learning Fellows in Undergraduate Research will present at 11:45 a.m.

Thursday, Feb. 11 will see presentations from the Lyle School of Engineering’s Senior Design Teams from 1:30-4 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Forum.

The week wraps up Friday, Feb. 12 with Undergraduate Research panels at 9 a.m. and from noon-2:30 p.m., with a buffet lunch at 11:30 a.m., followed by presentations from Big iDeas teams at 12:45 p.m.

Find a full schedule at the SMU Engaged Learning Week homepage

Tune In: SMU students impress with the best in 2015 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

Two SMU teams were among the five student firms selected to present their concepts in McCord Auditorium Monday, Nov. 16. The students competed for the 2015 regional Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, sponsored by the international Entrepreneurs’ Organization. The GSEA is a global competition for student entrepreneurs who actively run a business.

Both SMU teams are past winners of the University’s Big iDeas Pitch Contest. Eddie Allegra, Miguel QuimbarJack Reynolds and BioLum Sciences won in 2014 with their smartphone-based asthma detection system. The Fiddler rooftop wind turbine designed by Jonah KirbyCameron Buller, Alec Siems, Brendan Celii and Luke Oglesbee came up victorious in the 2015 competition.

The BioLum team, winners of Monday night’s GSEA contest, have already aced a string of competitions that include the RECESS Festival 2015 Pitch Competition in Los Angeles and SMU’s 2015 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition. They now proceed to the U.S. national competition in Miami; a victory there will mean a trip to Bangkok, Thailand for the GSEA Global Finals.

But Allegra, who has a personal history of living with asthma, hasn’t let the accolades obscure a higher purpose: “I want someone to come up to me and tell me how much better their life is because of what I’ve done,” he tells Myles Taylor of SMU News in this video.

Click the YouTube screen, or visit this link to watch the Global Student Entrepreneur Award video in a new windowvideo

> Read more about SMU’s Global Student Entrepreneur Award regional winners

Four student projects win recognition (and $5,000) in SMU’s 2015 Big iDeas Business Plan Competition

Four student teams combined winning pitches with solid business plans to earn $5,000 startup grants for their projects through SMU’s Big iDeas program on Jan. 30, 2015.

The four winning teams were chosen from a business plan competition featuring the winners of the Big iDeas Pitch Competition, which took place in October.

Beyond US logoThe projects were judged by a panel of volunteers from Executives in Action, a Dallas-area organization that helps strengthen North Texas nonprofits by matching them with senior-level executives for pro bono consulting services. The winners:

Beyond US Clothing (Hunter Rice and J.P. Buxbaum) – a for-profit clothing company that partners with charities to help underprivileged children in the United States by offering unique T-shirt designs for each partnership and donating a portion of the sales to charities with a focus on children and education.

Biolum Sciences logoBiolum Sciences (Edward Allegra, Miguel Quimbar and Jack Reynolds) – A smartphone-based imaging system that can detect the presence of asthma and reduce the current 40% misdiagnosis of asthma in the United States.

Helpple logoHelpple (Austin Wells and Irisa Ona) – an app that connects people who need help with people who are offering to help, ranging from tutoring to moving furniture to getting volunteers.

Out & About (Renita Thapa, Sam Hubbard and Raz Friman) – an app that promotes local businesses and organizations by showing its users what is going on in the community for easy planning, exploring and getting to know the area.

Out and About logo“The world needs big thinkers to address global challenges. It needs innovators to create solutions. It needs risk-takers to turn solutions into sustainable businesses. And at SMU, Big iDeas makes this happen,” said Engaged Learning Director Susan Kress, whose office also oversees Big iDeas.

The students will spend the next nine months developing their projects. They will present results in October 2015 at Big iDeas Demo Day for a chance to win another $5,000 to continue their work.

Visit SMU’s Big iDeas website at smu.edu/bigideas

Super students and Big iDeas take the spotlight during SMU’s 2015 Engaged Learning Week, Jan. 26-30

SMU Engaged Learning Symposium program - photo by Clayton T. SmithSMU’s Engaged Learning Week puts student achievement front and center with an expanded schedule for 2015 – including a business plan competition among the winners in the Fall 2014 Big iDeas Pitch Competition.

Other activities include open houses, exhibitions, performances and presentations from the University’s 2014-15 Engaged Learning Fellows.

This year’s event takes place Jan. 26-30 and is designed to help students learn more about expanding their education outside the classroom, from undergraduate research and community service to professional internships and creative projects.

The week will begin with the Lucky Cup, a free party taking place 4:30-6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26 in Café 100, Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Hosted by Engaged Learning students and staff, the festivities will include exhibitions and live performances by Engaged Learning seniors – as well as free hot drinks, contests, prizes, photos with Peruna, and celebrity baristas.

SMU Engaged Learning logoThe week’s centerpiece events take place Tuesday-Thursday, Jan. 27-29, as graduating Engaged Learning Fellows present their projects. The Engaged Learning Symposium is scheduled for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. each day in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Forum.

This year, for the first time, student presentations will be grouped by type, with creative projects leading off on Tuesday, and research and service highlighted on Wednesday and Thursday. The new grouping is designed to make it easier for all undergraduates to schedule their attendance and to support and network with classmates who share similar interests.

Symposium attendees are invited to drop in for any and all of the presentations. Each will be followed by a Q&A, in which the student presenters have the opportunity to talk informally with the audience.

On Friday, Jan. 30, SMU Engaged Learning hosts Big iDeas Demo Day noon-5 p.m. in The CUBE, 600 Expressway Tower, East Campus. The schedule includes a free buffet lunch and the Big iDeas Pitch Competition Winners Fair from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Expressway Tower lobby. Later, the Pitch Competition winners will vie to receive up to $5,000 in project funding in the Business Plan Competition, 2-5 p.m. in The CUBE. Their proposals will be judged by a panel of experts from Executives in Action.

Find a full schedule at the SMU Engaged Learning Week homepage
Check the 2015 schedule of Engaged Learning students and presentations

Big iDeas looks for the next big student innovation at the 2014 Pitch Contest Friday, Oct. 31

Big-iDeasWant to see what SMU’s most innovative students are up to? Take a break from Halloween activities and stop by The Big iDeas Pitch Contest on Friday, Oct. 31, 3-5 p.m., at the CUBE, 600 Expressway Tower. 

The contest is an open event for undergraduates with big ideas on how they can make a positive impact in the world. After developing ideas in teams, students pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with backgrounds in innovation and entrepreneurship. Next, judges determine which ideas are “the big ones” based on what is realistic and can be developed in the next three months. The winning teams are eligible to win up to $1,000 to develop prototypes or pilots in preparation for Demo Day in late January 2015.

Click here for the Big iDeas Pitch Contest rules

Launched by SMU Provost Paul Ludden in 2008, Big iDeas inspires and empowers students to not only dream up big ideas, but to make them real. Past winners include:

  • WNSoFF4XFACT: Free Admissions Consulting Team, a non-profit that gives low-income students access to free, individualized mentoring and advice targeting every component of the college application process.
  • Oasis Express, a weekend shuttle service designed to give on-campus students easy access to local, fresh food from SMU to White Rock Lake Farmer’s Market.
  • Reading for a Reason, an annual on-campus read-a-thon that promotes literacy in young children.

For more information contact SMU Big iDeas via email or phone. 214-768-4788.

Big recognition for Big iDeas

Ten student teams have been awarded grants through SMU’s Big iDeas program to research big challenges facing the Dallas area, ranging from energy and the environment to education and health care.

The Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, which launched Big iDeas in 2008, announced the interdisciplinary teams based on the recommendations of a review panel. The panel included SMU faculty, students and staff, along with a representative from the Dallas City Manager’s Office and the Communities Foundation of Texas.

“This year’s proposals once again reveal the talent, insight and ambition of SMU’s undergraduates,” Provost Paul Ludden says. “Big iDeas allows these students to develop their interests and career paths, while also building bridges between SMU and the Dallas community.”

The students will present their projects to the SMU community in April at the Big iDeas Symposium and will report on their progress in the fall.

See a list of the winning projects at SMU News
• Watch video from one of last year’s Big iDeas projects, Health ‘n’ Motion: Part 1 and Part 2 video
Visit the Big iDeas website

(Right, as part of the 2008 Big iDeas research project Health ‘n’ Motion, student researchers talked to families about nutrition and fitness.)

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