Big Idea Blog

Randall Recap Pt. 3 - Meet Your Mentor

At the end of the semi-final round of presentations for the Randall Family Big Idea Competition, 100+ teams of dedicated students where whittled down to 50 and were to be making the journey through the next month of planning and strategy to, ultimately, present to final round judges on March 21st, 2019. As part of their introduction to the next phase of competition, students were matched with mentors during this year’s Meet Your Mentor and Finalist Bootcamp event.
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Randall Recap Part 2, Semi-Finals

The first competitive round of the Randall Family Big Idea Competition took place on February 22nd, 2019. Throughout the course of the day, judges heard big ideas from over one-hundred teams and three-hundred Pitt students.
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Randall Recap Part 1, Bootcamp

In February 2019, three hundred Pitt students of all degrees and disciplines, gathered at the O’Hara Student Center to kick off the two-month long Randall Family Big Idea Competition. The road would eventually end on March 21st with $100,000 given to deserving teams who showed dedication to their idea and promise towards starting their own entrepreneurship endeavors. 
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Is the BIG IDEA right for me? - Jess Malandro, Student Program Coordinator

Entrepreneur (noun) – one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise. As student program coordinator for the Big Idea Center, the main question I receive is: “can I participate or is all of this just for business students?” My response varies person to person, but always follows the same theme: Entrepreneurship is for anyone and everyone. 
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Team Conflict - Jeanine McCreary

As a certified mediator, I have seen my share of conflict and I like it! Conflict leads to resolution, growth, and innovation. In every team of goal-oriented individuals, it’s not every day that things run smoothly. Thanks to their diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, and perspectives, team conflicts are typical and will inevitably crop up. They will creep in, causing disharmony and confusion, sometimes even throwing the whole project into jeopardy.
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What Defines an Entrepreneurial Mindset - Jeanine McCreary, Entrepreneur in Residence

From an aspiration to pursue one’s passion to someone wanting to become his or her own boss, various reasons drive people to start businesses. However, not every business startup ends up being successful; a significant percentage of them collapse even before seeing the second year. The 2017 Economic Report by the National Association of Small Business shows that 20% of small businesses started in the United States in the year 2014 didn’t make to 2016. Nevertheless, that’s not to mean that you’ll be part of the failure percentage if you go ahead and pursue your business dream.
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Innovate or Die - Don Morrison, Entrepreneur in Residence

Many company leaders don’t fully appreciate the importance of innovation. I am often invited to speak about innovation at various civic and economic development organizations. The simple fact that I talk about is that you either innovate, or you die! 
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What about your Big Idea? - Joanna Sutton, Entrepreneur in Residence

There is a paradox in innovation. Many new products fail. Studies by Nielsen and Harvard Business School estimate this to be between 85% and 95%. At the same time, a 2016 study by Lab42 showed that 84% of people say it is important to buy from innovative companies and nearly 70% of people expect innovation to improve society.  As a coach and mentor to student innovators, students often ask, “Do you think my idea is a good one?”    
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Get to Know our Entrepreneur in Residence: Don Morrison

Don is a serial entrepreneur and visionary leader who has consistently leveraged technology to improve the customer experience and top and bottom-line results. Don has been involved in the growth and development of several businesses, including American Eagle Outfitters, from one to 165 stores as President and CEO, Sundance Catalog Company as Executive Director, and Bear Creek Corporation as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing. 
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