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Annual IdeaBounce® Shines Light on Student Creativity and Innovation

Members of team “Umbrello-Pack” present their prize-winning idea.
Members of team “Umbrello-Pack” present their prize-winning idea.

by Rebecca Watson ’15 CLAS

This November, the Villanova University Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE) held its fourth annual ICE Challenge IdeaBounce® between the College of Engineering and Villanova School of Business. More than 100 students—23 teams—participated in the required freshmen event, which gave each group 90 seconds to present, or “bounce,” an idea to the audience and a panel of judges. Judges then determined the top five ideas, including the best from each school, based on the passion of the presentation, clarity of the idea, and the team’s request for help, be it research partners, investors, or further product development. Each member of the top five teams won a $100 gift card to the Villanova bookstore.

This year, two teams tied for the best College of Engineering idea. “Therm-mate,” comprised of Steven Squillante ME, Erik Lindroth ChE, Blake Goetchius ME, Liam Fontaine ME and Justin Lee ChE, proposed a thermos with a crank to power internal heating coils to warm up liquids without electrical power. Team “Umbrello-Pack,” made up of Mary Ebbert ME, John Bova ME, Colin O’Leary EE and Yiwei Shen CpE, presented an innovative backpack that features a stowed umbrella, canopy for books, and a convection warming system. The College of Engineering’s “iCap” team also was among the top five with its idea for a mobile phone case that contains a “pop-up protector” to shade the phone from damage. The “iCap” team included Steven Daniels CE, Joshua Corbett ME, Michael Hennessey ME, Alexander Logan CpE and Carlos Palomares CE. IdeaBounce® was beneficial for engineering students seeking to apply their skills in the business arena. “It helped us get a taste of the product marketing and delivery aspect of product development,” says participant Bryan Ramirez CEE. “It is crucial in the professional development of any engineer.”

IdeaBounce® judges included Gary Gabriele, PhD, Drosdick Endowed Dean of Engineering; Melinda German, PhD, Associate Dean of the Villanova School of Business; Stacy Martin, director of Commercial Sales and Leasing at Hankin Group; Bob Simpson, managing partner at Brinker, Simpson & Company, and Randy Weinstein, PhD, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, College of Engineering. “Where else but Villanova can you have freshmen engineers stand up and present in front of outside experts and several deans?” asks Dr. Weinstein. “It was great to see the interesting ideas and creative methods students used to sell to the judges.”

The ICE Center, an interdisciplinary resource for Villanova students, promotes cross-college, entrepreneurial learning and thinking through programs and events which foster creative and innovative thinkers. “We challenge students to come up with an idea for something new—an invention, social venture, app, anything,” says II Luscri, director of the ICE Center. “We want them thinking creatively from day one.”

IdeaBounce® was generously sponsored by the Ideas x Innovation Network, which supports and nurtures growing businesses in Chester and Delaware counties.

A comprehensive list of IdeaBounce® entries can be found on the ICE Center IdeaBounce® website.