We are thrilled to celebrate the success of INDS students Andrew Park and Tristan King for their second place win and award for Best Presentation in the Alex. Brown Center’s Idea Competition in November 2020! Andrew and Tristan teamed up to present their business idea called Sproutful, an interactive meditation app and an actual accompanying plant that you “feed” with time spent in mindful meditation.
Both Andrew and Tristan are in their final semesters at UMBC, completing their capstone projects and looking ahead to more entrepreneurial ventures. While taking INDS 480 in Fall 2020 Andrew approached Tristan and asked if he wanted to collaborate on this project. With Andrew’s INDS degree titled “Digital Product Development and Design”, and Tristan’s titled “Development of Digital Therapeutics for Psychotherapy”, it was a clear match that these two work together to design a product that merged technology and psychology.
Over the years, they had been hearing about the Idea Competition through their Entrepreneurship courses. In the 2020 Idea Competition, 19 submissions were received and 6 were asked to present before a panel of three successful entrepreneurs. Andrew and Tristan were coached by Vivian Armor, director of the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, who was enthusiastic and encouraging throughout the process.
For their 3-minute presentation, Andrew and Tristan explained Sproutful and how it works. They outlined how this smart watering plant system monitors meditation and mindfulness habits. By having a physical component to the practice one has a visual sitting piece to recognize their growth in the mindfulness habit. The judges announced that the award for Best Presentation was unanimous. One judge said, “Your presentation was phenomenal”, while another said, “The coordination between you two was seamless.” Despite the Idea Competition held virtually for the first time, Andrew and Tristan practiced their clear message and worked through potential technological issues that might be faced as a two-person team. Andrew said, “Through INDS 480, we were taught public speaking skills, making sure that what we said was precise and succinct.”
This spring, Andrew and Tristan have entered Sproutful into the Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition (CBIC), also sponsored by the Alex. Brown Center. In this competition the entrants are asked to build a prototype of the product and present a business plan. Winners of the CIBC are offered opportunities to be partnered with venture capitalists. The cash prize can be a great incentive, but Tristan said that he is most looking forward to getting connected with the network of entrepreneurs in the community. Andrew has already been contacted by alumni who remain engaged with the entrepreneurial competitions at UMBC. In fact, INDS alumnus Marcus Proctor won the first CBIC in 2014 with his business idea “EduPal”.
We intend to follow Andrew and Tristan as they work through the final rounds of the Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition this spring, taking Sproutful to the next level.
You can watch the 2020 Idea Competition online: