Springboard Ideas Challenge awards winners, welcomes entrepreneur

Posted April 24, 2013

This year's Springboard Ideas Challenge has come to an end, but a handful of budding collegiate entrepreneurs will no doubt long remember the recognition they received for their winning submissions.

In 1997, Shannon Wilburn had a simple idea: to make extra cash by selling "gently used" children's clothes from the living room of her home.Shannon Wilburn
CEO, Just Between Friends

Besides being awarded for their top-flight entries, winners and their fellow entrants were treated during the awards dinner to a speech from internationally-recognized business leader Shannon Wilburn. She attended ACU before going on, almost by accident, to start a now-thriving enterprise.

“It was a pleasure to hear Shannon share an unconventional story of entrepreneurship,” says Aubrey Kunkel, assistant director for the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy. “She started this business as a means of stretching her family's income and, thanks to a natural business sense, she has been successful for many years."

The story of how Just Between Friends began and subsequently took off has been featured in a dozen news and business publications across the nation. During her message, Wilburn shared the story of her modest beginnings as well as key insights for those interested in becoming an entrepreneur. "Create fans who rave about your company," she says; "then stay humble and positive, work hard, and expect success as you overcome obstacles."

Following Wilburn's address, the 2013 Springboard Ideas Challenge awards were announced. This year's winners include:

College Division

Grand Prize: Right Route, Luke Luttrell
Right Route is an application that allows companies to deliver goods in the fastest, most cost-effective route possible. The application finds the fastest possible route when given multiple locations, and calculates the time and miles for the route.

Second Place: BreakBox, Casey Duncum and Sam Shelton
BreakBox provides students living in a dorm with a simpler and more cost-effective option to store their belongings during the winter or summer break.  

Third Place: RPens, Carolle Ranaivoarivelo
Rpens provides personalized, executive Rosewood pen sets to those graduating from high school or college. With its slogan, “Writing for a Cause” a percentage of the companies’ profit will be donated to charity.

Values Award: Silver Arrow, Daniel Gutierrez
Silver Arrow is a financial web series for Spanish speakers in poverty to learn the basics of personal finance.

Community Division

Grand Prize: My Sister's House, Kate Stover and Summer Walters
My Sister’s House is a semi-annual consignment sale focused on providing an affordable shopping alternative for women in an upscale, eclectic environment that promotes community. The companies’ motto is simple: REDUCE by keeping only what you love, REUSE what you find to refresh your look, and RESELL the rest.

Second Place: Emineo Art Gallery, Thomas Griffin
Emineo is an online art gallery exclusive to college artists. It addresses the issues of geographic limitations and limited networking of individual artists. Additionally, Emineo provides a unique user interface that serves as a business learning tool in partnership with universities internationally.

Third Place: Dressentials, Juliana Edwards
Dressentials is the provider of a patented garment designed to keep a brides’ dress and hemline clean. The product was designed with the wedding photographer or with an outdoor wedding in mind. Brides can now keep the detailed trim of a dress intact. Dress+Essentials=Dressentials.

Small Business Award: Marga Yoga, Johanna Weltzin and Patrick Louden
Marga Yoga hopes to bring a premier, quality yoga studio to Abilene, TX. Marga is a business dedicated to harvesting meaningful relationships and inner peace. 

Values Award: RAIN, Ci'ara Ray
RAIN seeks to provide affordable medication to all of Central America. Once established RAIN would branch out into other third world areas making medicine cost effective to clinics and, ultimately, consumers.

"We hope that all of the winners and other finalists are able to move one step closer to launching or growing their business through the competition” says Jim Litton, director of for the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy. “We look forward to seeing their stories of success in the future."

Learn more about the Springboard Ideas Challenge 2013 Finalists

Read about the success of Shannon Wilburn and Just Between Friends





Vision in Action

Watch the video above to witness the future of Abilene Christian University taking shape.

Learn more 

Connect with ACU