2023 DCU / Manning Innovation Contest

On Thursday, December 7, 2023, Rist DifferenceMaker Institute held the 11th Annual DCU/Manning School of Business Innovation Contest from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Saab Center on North Campus. To kick off the event, Rist family Endowed Dean, Manning School of Business and Event Emcee of the evening, Bertie Greer provided opening remarks.

After the remarks, the finalist judges were introduced. The judges for the evening were:

  • Tim Dowd ‘08, FAHSS
    • Campaign Management Specialist, DCU
  • Jonathan Geanakos ‘84, Manning School of Business
    • Member, Board of Directors, Sculptor Diversified Real Estate Investment Trust
    • Member, Board of Directors, Holland Partner Group
  • Michelle LaPointe
    • Digital Banking Product Manager, DCU
  • Greg Sydney ‘81, Francis College of Engineering

Once all judges were introduced, the event began! Four student finalist teams were given ten minutes to present their ideas, along with five minutes of Q&A from the judges. The teams that presented were:

  • Bean Hub – An AI-functioning customer service chat box to satisfy customer’s banking needs – Team members Aiman Baig, Ibrahim Haroon, Emir Kaplan, Mohammed Khan, Shafaat Osmani, and Saim Siddiqui
  • Card Tracker – An app that is integrated with online banking to freeze and track lost debit and credit cards – Team members Dulce Galan, Matthew Hayes, Colin McKallagat, and Scott Redgate
  • Consumer-I – A website that guides consumers to purchase from ethical companies – team members Andre Bachman, Liam Buckley, Valerie Heath, and Michael Nasr
  • FinVenture – An online personal financial management app where users can connect bank and investment accounts to track day-to-day purchases, and investments, and compare interest rates for loans – team members Tanish Araveti and Arnav FNU

Each semi-finalist team member won $100 in prizes. After each pitch, judges asked questions to help them further understand the ideas. The judges ranked each team based on how clearly they explained their executive summary, mission statement, business goals, market analysis, how they would utilize funding, and project timeline.

Team CardTracker pitching their business idea to a panel of judges.

Following the presentations, judges went to a separate area to deliberate the final winner. During this time, all attendees got food, networked with each other, and further discussed the inspiration and details of the ideas that were pitched.

Around 7:45 pm, the judges returned to announce the final award. Congratulations to team Bean Hub for winning the final prize of $500 per team member! They also automatically advance to the DifferenceMaker Preliminary Pitch-off this spring.

Team BeanHub accepting their 1st place award and title of 11th Annual DifferenceMaker DCU / Manning School of Business Innovation Contest Winners.

Interested in pitching an idea and getting funding?

Applications for the 12th Annual $50,000 Idea Challenge are open now – apply today!

View a video of the event.

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