Students from Stanford Win Juicy Ideas Contest with Software Application; Community College in Asheville, NC Takes Second

Jun 08, 2010, 03:00 ET from AdvantageWest - North Carolina

ASHEVILLE, N.C., June 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A team from Stanford University has won the 2010 Juicy Ideas Collegiate Competition, a national contest that challenged students to create a software application using publicly available data to benefit their community. Their "Truth or Dare" entertainment app allows users to discover and research leisure activities, from places to take a date, to cookie recipes to bake, to movies available from the closest video store.

Stanford narrowly defeated a team from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, in Asheville, N.C., whose application provides interactive information on activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Students from MIT placed third.

Designed to engage students in entrepreneurship and encourage innovation and creativity, Juicy Ideas was organized by AdvantageWest, the economic development group serving western North Carolina, with support from Google and in partnership with DigitalChalk, developers of an online software platform for training and continuing education.

"All the finalist teams approached the problem from different perspectives and technologies. Data usages involved everything from websites to multi-platform mobile applications," said DigitalChalk's Troy Tolle. "We expected great uses of technology and these students delivered."

"These students are engaged in the global community and their approach is very entrepreneurial," said Pam Lewis of AdvantageWest. "Technology-related enterprises are a core focus of the AdvantageWest entrepreneur program and we are excited about the future of this generation of entrepreneurs."

This is the second year for Juicy Ideas. The original competition focused on the environmental and entrepreneurial challenge of creating value from a throwaway item. This year, the technology focus on software and data aligned well with the core concentrations of DigitalChalk and Google, said Matt Dunne, Google community affairs manager. "We knew we were significantly raising the bar by piloting a different approach this year. Students not only had to show their creative spirit, but needed the computer programming know-how as well."

Judges for the competition were: Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and president of the UNC University System; Eric Jackson, of Lab Escape, a Boston-based data analysis and visualization company; Jenny Manner, of the North Carolina technology organization, Meet the Geeks; Mary Radomile, educational programs for Google; Debesh Senapati, with the global investment firm Bain Capital; and Chris Sheehan, with the Boston investment firm, CommonAngels.

SOURCE AdvantageWest - North Carolina