Students pitch ideas to win awards, recognition, funding

By Julia Kassem
Staff Writer
It’s no small secret that the University of Michigan—Dearborn is where big ideas come to life on a small and interconnected campus.
Design Change 2015 manifested the University’s penchant for innovation and industry through a series of workshops where students would pitch various ideas for growth, development, and innovation while simultaneously honing skills in critical thinking, communication, and marketing.
Students pitched ideas to be presented at Pitch Day on April 2 with 17 entries showcasing different innovations. These ideas ranged from Rent-A-Bike to a tablet shower stand to a shopping app.
In a two-step process, individuals or groups of up to four people posted ideas online from March 14-26. Their ideas were voted on by the public for prizes. The idea pitches had to answer questions on what the ideas were, who are to be the designs’ biggest competitors, and what it was that makes the ideas different or successful.
Students from the College of Business, College of Engineering and Computer Science, and College of Arts, Sciences and Letters participated in the event, with the students’ educational backgrounds every bit as diverse and eclectic as the creative ideas involved in the competition.
A hefty $3,000 went to Pitch Day winners, with an extra $5,000 in prizes going towards ideas focused on the impact of mobility and healthy food.
Even after the ideas were voted on, those interested could still “like” their favorite design pitch on facebook.
The Cann-Ed Health Initiative garnered 322 votes for its proposal to provide canning tools and education to low-income families throughout Metro-Detroit. Change2Change, a proposed mini nutrition store with nutritional information and a healthy variety of foods for the University Center, came in at 292 votes.
To read about all of the Design Change pitches, visit umdilabs.com/designchange.