Students tout big idea projects

Grambling State University held the first Annual Idea Competition on Tuesday in the Black and Gold Room. The competition was made up of a panel of entrepreneurs and four idea pitches from students at Grambling State University. Jami Salter, Marketing and Training Specialist at ULM, states “This competition is to help northern Louisiana students visions come true.” The students presented their ideas to the panel of judges with presentations consisting of power points, vision boards and even models.

 Larry Leonard, junior, management major, kicked off the competition introducing his idea pitch known as “Suits by Lawrence Donnelli”. Leonard presented his idea of making affording a suit possible by cutting the prices on suits down making them affordable to men all over. Leonard used  Grambling State University Football players Martez Carter and Donovan McCray to model suits from his collection.

As the competition went on, a team of computer information system major students approached the panel of judges with their idea known as FlotMe. Joshua Anderson, Barry Bontiff and Kenneth Tanner designed the Application FlotMe, which is a peer-to-peer lending app whose goal is to ease the process of lending and borrowing money. “We saw that when lending money to family or friends, it’s hard getting that money back. We want to make it easier for money retrieval while also making it easy for the borrower to pay the lender.” Tanner states.

Jonathan Swindell, junior, Computer Information Systems major, wow’d the audience with his idea pitch known as “The Hub”. The Hub is an application designed to help both students and prospective students of Historically Black Colleges and Universities interact with each other. Swindell states, “My app is a one stop shop. It is designed to make the world smaller and life easier.” Swindell explained that his newly designed application consists of all HBCUs and includes: Tuition for local and international students, graduation rates, scholarship opportunities, internships and even live footage on the tab labeled “The Yard” that allows students to post their campus experiences for others to view. “It takes your there virtually,” continues Swindell. “When designing this App, I sat down and thought about what I would want to see if I was both a high school student and a parent.”

Wrapping up the competition with contestant #4 Derrick Johnson a senior and Mass Communications major whose idea is to create a Dynamic Culture. As explained by Johnson, Dynamic Culture LLC is a skateboard shop with a recording studio in it. Johnson enjoys recording music while also creating different designs and implementing them to create apps. Johnson created the Grambling State University app in 2014 and is currently helping to create the website for the Gramblinite Newspaper. Johnson states, “My idea of the culture app will change the dynamic of New Orleans parish schools.”

The judges deliberated on the idea pitches and picked the winners. Jonathan Swindell of “The Hub” took home the first place prize of $2500. Larry Leonard of “Suits by Lawrence Donnelli” earned the second place prize of $1500 and Derrick Johnson of “Dynamic Culture” took home the third place prize of $1000.