Back when I was a student at Illinois Tech, one of the first seminars I attended was titled “want to start your own business?” The organizers split up the audience into smaller groups and handed all of us markers and poster boards. They then asked each team to think of an idea that solves a problem and present the solution. My teammates and I had thought of several interesting ideas, my idea however was chosen for the poster. As a frequent CTA rider (CTA=Chicago transit authority) rider, I noticed that the train tends to slide due to ice on the track, to compensate the train driver drives at a lower speed and brakes earlier to stop at the train station. My idea was to introduce dimples on the circular train wheels, this would increase surface area and thus increase grip. The idea was rudimentary and was made on the spot. Obviously, having dimples on a train wheel is not ideal for several reasons.
For the presentation, I simplified the idea even further by explaining the motion of balls. A basketball has dimples on it and is easier to grip by hand while a soccer ball has a smooth surface and does not offer the same amount of grip.
I just wanted to simplify the presentation for the audience to understand the concept, and it worked.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship academy was behind the event and it was this seminar that got me interested in the organization.
If you are a university student and considering the thought of starting your own business, I would highly recommend getting in touch with the university’s entrepreneurship center. Almost all universities have one. I will elaborate on the benefits in my next post.