by Daniel Fetsko ’19 CE
On November 18, 22 teams, including six from the College of Engineering, competed at the annual ICE Challenge IdeaBounce®. This marked the culmination of a nearly two-month process that began in mid-September. Every freshman in Engineering, the College of Nursing, and the Villanova School of Business was required to be part of a team, formed within their classes. After presentations, each class chose a finalist who advanced to the IdeaBounce® portion of the competition.
At the ICE Challenge, organized by II Luscri, Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Institute executive director, each team’s pitch is judged in three categories: clarity of the idea, passion in the presentation, and the request for assistance. By requesting help, students develop the ability to ascertain exactly what they need to move forward with the product or service, and they learn how to find people to fill those gaps. Challenge judges included each college’s dean, in addition to a number of entrepreneurs from area companies.
The winning Engineering team was “Txt4Life,” a mobile app that gives drivers an incentive to not use their phones while driving by rewarding points based on how many miles they go without touching their phones. These points would be redeemable at participating establishments, which would also sponsor the app. The “Txt4Life” team was comprised of Mary Helen Baudinet CE, Jacob Hisel EE, Kelly Jusczak ME, and Daniel Pino ME. Each member of the winning team form each college received a $100 gift card to the Villanova Bookstore.
Drosdick Endowed Dean of Engineering Gary A. Gabriele, PhD, judged the competition for the third straight year. He enjoys the experience because it allows him to see college through the eyes of freshmen on campus. “One would come to the conclusion that the three most pressing problems on freshmen minds are alarms waking up roommates, long lines at Holy Grounds or Cafe Nova, and the desire to have coffee, food, and laundry delivered to your door,” he says. Dean Gabriele also highlighted the fact that there were more smartphone applications in the competition this year than in previous years, in correlation with the ever-increasing presence of technology in our lives today.
Looking ahead to next year, the ICE Challenge is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, November 16, 2016. Undoubtedly, it will be another successful experience, which opens up new possibilities for the incoming class of Villanovans.