by Laura Bulman ’15 CLAS
How much can you really accomplish in 24 hours? The weekend of November 15–16, a group of students from across Villanova University sought to find out. The third annual Imagination Quest Weekend began on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and culminated with a shark-tank style business pitch in the “Cat Cage” on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
The Imagination Quest Weekend is a collaborative project of Villanova’s Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE Center), the College of Engineering’s Entrepreneurship Program and Villanova’s Beyond Ideas group. The Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN), which encourages students to find opportunities for creativity and entrepreneurship in unexpected places, also sponsored the event.
Participating students from the College of Engineering, the School of Business, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and six students from the University of New Haven were sorted into interdisciplinary teams before visiting different locations throughout campus to brainstorm. After observing various spots on campus and developing ideas for potential products or services, students presented their ideas to judges who acted as mentors, providing feedback on the groups’ ideas. Based on input and guidance from the judges, students then chose one of their ideas to develop throughout the rest of the weekend.
The groups dedicated the remainder of Saturday afternoon to thinking, planning and advancing their ideas. On Saturday evening, each group delivered an “elevator pitch,” presenting their new ideas to the judges in a concise way. The pitches took place during an actual elevator ride, limiting students to the length of time spent on the elevator to inform the judges of their new product or idea.