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Poole Student Team Places in Top 10 in First Annual Ideathon Experience

During December 11 to 13, a group of Poole College of Management graduate and undergraduate students placed seventh in the first annual Ideathon Experience hosted by SAP, a multinational enterprise software company. The team, “Pack of Ideas”, competed against teams from the Americas, Europe and Asia charged to create and present solutions to one or more of three topics for a post-COVID world: learning and interaction, ecology and climate change, and urban development.

Students were first trained in the practice of design thinking consisting of three steps — discover, design, and deliver—in order to help them create solutions. The team’s solution focused on ecology and climate change using electricity generating stationary bicycles located in gyms, houses and schools that not only powered the participant building but would also feed into the electrical grid. 

The electricity produced by participants in the team’s solution would decrease the carbon footprint and electricity put into the grid would be credited toward electric bills for in-need households. Using the assumption that one hour of bike riding generated 3 kw/hr of electricity per day, a total of 405,000 kw/hr of power can be generated within a 5% target for a 2.5-million-person region, which is enough to power 405 average sized houses per month. 

“I’ve never participated in an event like Ideathon so I was really nervous and knowing I’d be teaming up with graduate students was also very intimidating since I was the only undergraduate student in the group,” said Edgar Rodriguez, a senior majoring in accounting. “I learned some interesting things during the event and I had a lot of fun getting to know and working with my team.” 

The idea and presentation were warmly received by the judging panel landing a seventh-place finish for the Pack of Ideas. Dr. Marianne Bradford, faculty coordinator for SAP at NC State and professor of accounting, was the faculty advisor. 

“Our team’s participation was very rewarding and enlightening for all of us,” said Jared Murphy, a Jenkins MBA Program student. “We learned a tremendous amount about the formal process of ideation to solve a real-world problem and benefited from the immediate application of those principles. The participation in the event against great international competition was greatly appreciated and I look forward to other such competitions in the future.”

Pack of Ideas Team Members

Jared Murphy, Jenkins MBA Program

Vandana Jindal, Jenkins MBA Program

Pramatma Khanal, Jenkins MBA Program

LaVern Witherspoon, Jenkins MBA Program

Edgar Rodriguez, senior in accounting

This post was originally published in Poole College of Management News.

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