A classroom of students at Harrington College of Design were recently submerged in Comrade’s ‘Shark Tank’ to get professional, straight-talk feedback to their ideas. These young adults, aged 21-24, met with “the Comrades” – and were honored to participate in a pro bono event sponsored by our Chicago web development company.
Initially approached by one of the College’s professors, Ivan, our CEO, agreed to share our team’s expertise.
“It’s great to see the energy,” said Ivan, “that the up-and-coming web designers of tomorrow have demonstrated! We respect the proprietary nature of each concept and urge them all to keep incubating their ideas since any one of them could have legs in the real world.”
The full class arrived at our office with Professor Michael Quintos in the early afternoon last Friday. After a heated game of foosball (essential equipment for any web design company worth its salt), they began presenting their brilliant ideas.
Comrade Digital Marketing’s panel of judges, while not yet millionaires, was comprised of Ivan, Reed (Sr. Account Executive), Jon (Account Manager), and Kiryl (Technical Team Lead). During the afternoon, we met with four groups of 2-3 students each. Originally from Sup De Pub in France, the student entrepreneurs enjoyed a dose of the real-world process of pitching a project. Each group used multimedia as part of their marketing mix presentations.
Interestingly, even though their ideas began as solutions to a classroom assignment that is a necessary prerequisite for graduation, each team rapidly moved beyond doing their work “just for the grade.” Instead, we could clearly see the time, energy, and passion they had poured into conceptualizing solutions for interesting real-world challenges.
In fact, the Comrade team hopes that the students continue shaping their concepts to leverage current technology so that their projects can get fully designed, developed, and launched online. As a next step, we recommend their honing presentation items to a higher degree of accuracy, supported by research and embellished with design, such that Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists will consider funding development with real money.
Armed with great ideas, PowerPoint presentations, Comrade Digital Marketing’s pricing models, and the right attitudes, these Millennials can easily emerge as the next generation of entrepreneurs. Every generation changes and reshapes the world around them. It’s their turn, now!
Without divulging details, we were amazed at the diversity of issues tackled. The first group saw an opportunity to ‘match’ people on a social level using sports and geographic proximity. The second team determined a need for a social networking platform with a unique twist that distinctly separates it from the pack of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The third pair of students turned the tables on their own university experience and created a collaborative tool concept that bridges the current gap among educational institutions, students, and industry, while the fourth team blended shared purchasing tools across the spectrum of a mobile-friendly website and iOs/android apps.
We enjoyed each group’s unique take on the technology that solves everyday problems. Admittedly most students were interested in web design pricing as it related to their concepts. Although impressed with the range of problem-solving offered, our panel of professionals maintained poker faces and asked some hard-hitting questions. The students were given individual feedback, a few strategies regarding effective marketing mix presentation skills, and some general questions to ponder moving forward.
“It was amazing to see the hard work these excited (and hungry) students put into their imaginary projects,” noted Reed. “We wish them the best in their studies and beyond.”
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