At the University of Texas at Dallas, there is an annual pitch competition called the Big Idea Competition (formerly known as the Business Idea Competition), where startup teams compete through an application round and semifinal pitch round for a chance to take the stage at finals in front of almost 1000 people and a panel of distinguished judges (e.g. Mark Cuban was a judge during 2015’s competition).
This year, there were 134 teams that applied to the competition – a new record! To add to the hype, this year’s celebrity judge was Guy Kawasaki, a former Apple executive, venture capitalist, and author. Needless to say, the campus was tingling in anticipation.
Our team at Immosis decided to apply this year. However, we’re a game studio turning into a digital agency, so we didn’t have a product that could compete at the time. But given our team’s technical expertise and will to compete with our all, we created a mobile app concept called Dynamic Dance, which helps people practice dance with the help of augmented reality (we chose the application of dance because we’re familiar with it, but the overarching concept is human training).
We became one of the 30 semifinalist teams, and then one of the 6 teams to advance to finals. Words cannot express the immense gratitude and exhilaration that flowed through our minds as we read the congratulatory email. We were going to pitch to Guy Kawasaki!
From there, our team went into hyperdrive. We refined our pitch and created the app prototype. Not a single day or mentor meeting went by without there being a change in the pitch. It was intense, but as a result, to say that we learned a lot is an understatement.
Finally, the big night arrived, and we took the stage. The silence was ours, and we broke it with the best pitch that we’ve ever given. It was a night and experience that we will always remember.
Although we didn’t walk away with a prize that night, we walked away with a larger confidence in our team. To advance to finals as the only team with a new idea was a major accomplishment, and not only were we able to pitch the app, but we also demonstrated our technical execution by creating the prototype in such a short time.
Now when another business competition or opportunity comes our way, we’ll be extra prepared to take off running again. Stay tuned!