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Mendes Alves and Witkowski Win WSU’s Next Big Idea Contests

June 27, 2014
By: WSU News

With the success of last year’s inaugural Robert K. O’Brien “Next Big Idea” Contest, where aspiring student entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges and receive a cash prize to fund their project, Worcester State University launched the first Dr. Lillian R. Goodman “Next Big Idea” Contest, a similar competition that allows WSU nursing students to share their ideas and innovations for the nursing profession and health care. The two contests’ criteria for judging include the significance of the opportunity, strength of the idea, how well-defined the target market is, and the plausibility of fully implementing the idea.

Diego Rodrigues Mendes Alves received first prize in the second annual Robert K. O’Brien “Next Big Idea” Contest, which was held in late April on campus.  Rodrigues’ award-winning idea was “Beauty Time”, a website that provides easy access to personal care services such as purchasing products and scheduling service appointments. A member of the Class of 2014, Rodrigues graduated last month with a degree in Business Administration.

The winner of the first Dr. Lillian R. Goodman “Next Big Idea” Contest was Class of 2016 nursing student Jillian Witkowski, who presented her idea “Foot Rests on Walkers” to a panel of judges who were looking for sustainable ideas to improve the health care industry. Witkowski’s proposal was chosen from among twenty-nine submissions, of which only ten were approved for the April 23rd event that was held at the Ghosh Science and Technology Center.

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