Inventors and entrepreneurs from around the area were at Idaho State University Friday, competing for the chance to have their invention go all the way. The BIG competition stands for business, innovation and growth.
"It's to help them launch their ideas into new companies,” said Dr. Howard Grimes, vice president for research and economic development.
The competition features ideas from all realms, from a new holder for your fishing pole to a washer and drier hookup that will stop any hoses from bursting. Problem wrapping cables and cords? There's a new invention to help with that.
One group displayed wireless earbuds, breaking ground with touch-sensitive technology, plus more.
"Yes, there are wireless earbuds that exist,” said Hye Joon Lee, a sophomore of marketing and finance, “but none of them have built in memory, like we do, which can solve the signal problem."
Lee said the group behind this invention is also planning on working with audiologists to custom-tailor earbuds to your ear. They hope this will help them not fall out while exercising.
"If you're a runner like I am,” Grimes said, “You know you're always sticking those things back in your ears."
Grimes said this competition helps the entrepreneurs in several ways. Judges and community partners like the Idaho National Lab and Department of Energy can make suggestions to improve the presentation. From those suggestions, the judges hope the inventors go on to get a patent and create a potential new businesses for the area.
"I do think this is really important to spur these kinds of activities within the community,” said Don Macdonald, a judge and Manager of Technology Partnerships in the Idaho Operations Office for the Department of Energy. “It gives people and opportunity to market their ideas and see about getting them launched."
"All of us have come together to collaborate and fund this new and innovative experience for people here in southeastern Idaho," Grimes said.
For more information about the competition, as well as a listing of this year's winners, go to their website here: big2014.istart.org/competition-award