The NVC’s Idea Elevator is Again a Success

12 03 2009

Walking through the Lillis Atrium between classes on the University of Oregon early last week, I noticed an elevator booth placed next to the stairs. Yes, I knew that the Second Annual Elevator Pitch Competition was taking place to promote the New Venture Championships. Yet, I was surprised to see how excited some people were about their ideas.

I look forward to watching the video of footage from this year, which should be released by the end of this week on youtube. The ideas captured a range of emotions from other participants and nearby viewers.

The NVC idea elevator was located on the ground floor of Lillis, a campus building that holds the majority of the University's business classes

The NVC idea elevator was located on the ground floor of Lillis, a campus building that holds the majority of the University's business classes

Some of the participants, such as myself, tried to think of the most eccentric ideas of products that would actually be helpful to improving one’s everyday life. Some, like Kathleen Larson, who was awarded a $100 Duck Store gift card for the “best” idea, came up with more realistic solutions. Larson’s idea to create an airport self-mailer was voted as the most realistic and successful pitch of the three-day competition.

Not all ideas were realistic. Student Daniel Cogan pitched his plan to create a vegan whale diet. Although I don’t expect this diet to become popular, his efforts were rewarded similarly to Larson’s, as he earned a $100 Duck Store gift card for the “worst” idea of the competition.

All of the other participants had ideas that ranged in quality from Cogan’s and Larson’s, yet they still had an opportunity to get rewarded. Thomas Kramer was the recipient of an iPod nano for just trying out a 30 second pitch, as he was the winner of the participant’s raffle drawing. Not a bad deal for spending 30 seconds of his time pitching a hypothetical idea.

Although my ideas did not take home the best or worst prize, I still enjoyed giving my opinion. I’m not saying that a self washing, drying, and folding utility system or an electrically heated Snuggy are as brilliant as past NVC proposals such as Klymit’s or Green Dragon Pest Solutions‘, but I’m already pondering what ideas I will pitch next year.