Innovative ideas earn recognition for DECA members

When a thought passes through your mind, you have two choices: you can let that thought remain something that might have been, or you can grow your idea–and maybe come up with the next big thing!

We faced this very decision in the summer of 2012. After hearing about the DeVry Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge through our school’s DECA chapter, we knew we couldn’t let such a cool opportunity pass us by. The challenge prompted students to develop an innovative idea that was somehow beneficial to everyday North American consumers. Our team developed a product that allows consumers from all demographics to use their mobile devices to make purchases.  

We conducted research, interviewed people and perfected our concept for several months. By October, we knew our product inside and out. The next step in the challenge was creating a video. New to the art of film-making, we discovered new techniques as we collected footage and learned how to use video editing software. When the challenge deadline finally arrived, we had produced a polished video to send to DeVry University.

There were several times during the challenge when our to-do list seemed never-ending. Many hours of planning, organization and coordination went into the production of the initial video and final presentation. At one point, we even thought to ourselves, how will we ever finish? But whenever we started to feel overwhelmed, we would take a step back and try to look at the bigger picture.

We chose deadlines and assigned responsibilities to each team member so that everyone knew who was covering what. We also realized what a necessity effective communication within the group truly is; we talked with each other every day to discuss our progress. Another thing we tried to bear in mind was the type of technology and resources we used. We had to get comfortable with the technology before our travels so that we didn’t waste time in Chicago learning how to use it. From the initial video to the final presentation, staying on track and looking at the bigger picture were key tools for our team. We had to be prepared for anything and everything!

Traveling to Chicago was an entirely new experience for our team and our advisor. As we drove through downtown Chicago on our first day in the “Windy City,” we were awed by its beautiful architecture and dynamic culture. We wanted to see and experience it all—but we were there to work, too. Not only did we present our business concept in front of DeVry University executives, but we also participated in several workshops and listened to some outstanding speakers. Additionally, we even had an opportunity to connect with both aspiring and established entrepreneurs.

In the weeks and months to come, we will head to Chicago once more to present our idea to DeVry University’s corporate partners. And in April, our team will travel to California to attend the International Career Development Conference courtesy of DeVry University. We are very excited and thankful to both DECA and DeVry for everything.

One idea has the power to start something amazing. Our journey to find that idea has just begun; however, thanks to the DeVry Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge, we know we’re off to a good start. We encourage everyone to enter the competition next year. It is truly a remarkable experience.

Jenny Kim, Justin Lee and Courtney Li were named the champions in the 2012 DeVry University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Categories: Compete Video Challenges, High School, Video Challenges

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