2014 Next Big Thing Regional Innovation Competition – Winners Announced!


2014 Next Big Thing Regional Innovation Competition – Results

McGaughey 5-29-14

MURRAY, KY—BC Chutes, a team of four girls from Trigg County High School, won first place in the 2014 Next Big Thing Innovation Competition held at Murray State University this spring

The team invented two attachments to be used on cattle chutes.  These attachments helped to improve safety in cattle operations by keeping the cattle from backing out of chutes and allowing the operator to lock the gate without looking away from the cattle.

Second place went to The Men of Steel, also a team from Trigg County High School.  The team invented a special glove that could be used by football players or other athletes to provide support and avoid finger injuries.

A team from Marshall County High School, the Safety Cops, took third place for a product that attached to a purse or bag and when activated would alert authorities when there was danger or emergency.

More than 150 students from seven area high schools, comprising 40 teams, competed in the competition. The schools were Trigg County, Marshall County, Graves County, Madisonville North Hopkins, Hopkins County Central, Christian County and Murray.

Each team was asked to come up with a problem and then invent a solution to that problem that could be turned into a business. The teams presented their inventions and business ideas to panel of judges in the morning.

Three finalists were selected by the judges to move on to the afternoon finals competition. Serving as judges were Murray State University faculty/staff members, regional economic development personnel and regional entrepreneurs.  Finalist judges were Mandy Lambert, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Acting Commissioner, Department for Business Development, Dr. Tim Todd, Dean, Murray State University Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business and Dr. Steve Cobb, Dean Murray State Univesity Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

In addition to the competition, the students heard a presentation from founder Alexis Ohanian, who encouraged the students to go and change the world in a positive way. Ohanian presented the winners with their prizes.

The Next Big Thing Competition was sponsored by The Kentucky Innovation Network, MSU’s Office of Regional Outreach, the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business and the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, contact Loretta Daniel at Murray State at 270-809-6074.