For the 6th consecutive year, The Million Dollar Idea saw rise to great innovation. Six teams went head to head, building and refining their ideas over the three day event. Motivation was not scarce since the first place prize directly impacts the winning team’s growth rate and significantly boosts their entrance into today’s challenging world of business.
Three workshops were held on the 6th of April and focused on the following main topics: Motivation for the business industry, finding viable solutions to problems in current markets and modeling your business in a professional manner. “From Zero to Hero”, the first workshop given, was presented by Dr Conrad Attard. Teams came to a realisation that everybody starts from a “zero” and makes their way up the ladder. The key point to notice was that failure does not drop someone back down to “zero”, but on the contrary, makes one move closer to being a “hero”. Dr Ing Anton Bartolo presented the second workshop: “The G_ap in the Market”. He delivered many key points that helped teams realise how successful businesses rise up from common problems that people bump into on a regular basis. Finding that problem, also called a “gap”, and providing a solution to fill it, is what makes ideas stand out. Ms Anamaria Magri Pantea delivered “Modelling your Business”, the final presentation held on the day. Her focus was to help the teams acknowledge the fundamental aspects that make up a business, the importance of prioritising them, and demonstrated how they should be presented. Undoubtedly, these workshops made a significant impact on each team member, as this showed through the quality of presentations given on the final day of the competition.
The following day, six mentors visited each and every team. They listened and closely analyzed each team’s idea, providing constructive criticism on how one may improve their business model, find a sustainable source of income, and how to properly present their idea to a board of judges. The latter was of utmost importance as that is what all the teams would be doing on the final day of the event. The panel of six judges had an especially hard time picking which teams were going to be the 2018 Million Dollar Idea winners. However, in the end, two lucky teams were chosen. First place prize winners, The Guzzlers, proposed BroadPin: a freely accessible, online, map-based service that would allow a user to post marks in any location they so desire at no cost. These marks, within which the user can enter information and/or images, fade over time, however, users may extend the duration of their marks at a small fee. Exposure seekers would also be able to purchase the following:
Exposure seekers who would frequently post marks with the intention of adding any of the above listed features, could upgrade to a premium subscription. Doing so will remove the need to pay per mark. BroadPin used geo-targeting technology to track one’s location and could ping a mobile device if interesting marks (for example, a sale or an event) were nearby. The possibilities of this service were almost endless. BroadPin was ideal for providing exposure for events, retail services, handling real estate and much more.
LYF claimed the competition’s runners-up position, proposing an app that helped users group up with other people for transport and activities, so as to be able to satisfy a minimum number of required participants or to simply claim a group discount. The app would only show users events they are interested in by implementing artificial intelligence into the system. Collecting information about a user’s most frequent searches and previously attended event, no two persons’ experience would be the same.
ICTSA believes in helping their students strive to achieve their goals, and so to facilitate that process, a great array of prizes was collected together, aimed to help the winning teams materialise their ideas. The Guzzlers, who placed first, went home with; a 1 Year free membership from Takeoff Business Incubator - which provided them with the space required to work on their project, 20 hours of IT consultancy and Technical Support and 20 hours of Business Development by E-Business Systems. 50 hours of Software Development from Agilis I.T. Solutions & Training Malta, 20 hours of UI/UX Assistance by ICON and last but not least a €500 cash prize sponsored by ESkills Malta Foundation to give the team a boost to start off their business. The runners-up, LYF, also went home with a €300 cash prize, partly sponsored by Konnekt.
The success of this year’s event could not have been possible without the professional advice of the workshop presenters, mentors and judges. All of whom worked tirelessly to guide the participants and help them develop their ideas. In addition to this, nothing could have been possible without the generous support of ICTSA’s sponsors, as well as the hosts of the event: the Hub Workspace in San Gwann. All of these entities were collected together by the ICTSA team in order to bring forward yet another, million dollar idea.