Miguel Quimbar

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