Putting a Focus on Student Innovation
If you were given a few hours to brainstorm an idea for a new product, could you think of one that was worth creating?
As part of our San Francisco immersion, MBA@UNC students took on that challenge as part of an exercise in innovation led by Action Learning Associates. Students focused on ideation, rapid prototyping, selling the concept and refining it based on “investor” feedback, and the teams came up with some impressive ideas along the way.
We posted each product concept on Quirky.com, an online innovation marketplace that helps take great ideas from concept to reality. Their ideas are posted under Action Learning and are open for the public to vote and comment on. Ideas that have the most promise and get community votes are more likely to get the attention of the selection committee, and if selected, will be taken to market.
Take a look at this list and show your support for the ideas that you feel have the most promise. Teams will get founder credit, and if the designs do evolve to actual products, they will get revenue share in the product sales, which we’ll donate to a charity in the name of MBA@UNC.
1.) The Hardwood Handi-Pen - For easy touch-ups of your hardwood floors, use this two-sided marker-like pen with resin and gloss.
2.) The Drawer Shield - The hidden, protective cover prevents the contents of kitchen and bathroom drawers from shifting and jamming.
3.) The Snow Lion - The Snow Lion reduces the effort required to remove snow from pathways and prevents snow from accumulating so you to don’t get snowed in.
4.) The Snap N Strain - The Snap N Strain is a standard strainer and funnel with an attached silicone cup that snaps on the side of any 8-10-inch skillet.
5.) The Grocery Grabber - To help you with all your groceries, the Grocery Grabber is an adjustable shoulder strap that allows you to carry grocery bags, hands-free.
6.) The Simple Seat - This is a self-retracting strapping system for child car seats; the straps gently retract and can be stored in the seat.
7.) The Urban Sherpa - This super compact pull cart can carry multiple shopping bags and features a shaft with a comfortable handle, hooks along the sides and a wheel at the bottom.
8.) The Bottle Blaster - This countertop solution will sanitize and deodorize a variety of drinking containers and help eliminate odors without even having to use the sink.
9.) The Trash Can Scan - Trash Can Scan is a bar code reader for your trash can. Keep inventory of your household items and attach it to any flat surface to scan items as they are being disposed of.
10.) The Intellisole - Intellisole is an insole that fits into running shoes and provides real-time feedback on pressure distribution on your feet to help you run healthy!
11.) The Faucet Flow - Faucet-Flow 360 is a 360-degree faucet attachment for your bathroom sink for fast and easy cleanup in the bathroom.
12.) The GO-Key - The GO-Key unlocks your door automatically, allowing easy entry with just a push on the door even when your hands are full.
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The first step to selling your idea is to understand whom you have to influence to be effective. This is regularly not done well because people often fail to recognize the difference between formal and informal power in an organization. To effectively influence, you need to find who has informal power: i.e. those who are always able to get things done inside an organization, often irrespective of their title or where they fall within the organizational chart.