Zillion Solutions provides rewards for entrepreneurship

Kaitlyn Bergman, Writer

A $2,750 cash prize is up for grabs for anyone who has the next big idea.

Zillion Solutions is a campus-wide competition for students to resolve complaints or issues within the community. It is UM-Flint’s Biggest Entrepreneurship Competition, with 53 prizes totaling more than $11,000. Zillion Solutions is available for all students, graduate or undergraduate, of all majors including Deep/Early college to propose their idea for a product or service that can solve an issue. Students may submit an idea individually or as a group. 

Students are able to win up to $2,750 for their solution, as student Maddie Raspberry has in the past. The Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation aims to connect winners with “advisory organizations that can help you go from an idea to a profitable business.” 

In order to accomplish this, 100k Ideas has made its services more accessible to contestants. 100k Ideas will conduct an analysis of winning proposals and provide suggestions on taking the idea to market, a service that typically could cost $200.

Those with an idea have a simple entry form, either a two-minute-long video talking about the solution, or a five-slide-long presentation describing the unique idea. This should include information about who the inventors are, such as class standing and major, a clear and concise description of the problem being addressed, solutions already being implemented to solve the problem, the students’ solution itself, and the inventors’ goals. 

Although this competition is to find solutions to problems our community faces, winners may use their prize money however they wish. The Hagerman Center is available and willing to assist in launching these ideas as they strongly encourage using the winnings to start the venture.

The C.S. Mott Foundation is sponsoring more than 50 prizes ranging from $100 to more than $2,000. As the Hagerman Center notes, this experience offers a great way for entrepreneurs at UM-Flint to build their resumes, network with others in the community, receive one-on-one help with the idea at a Think Tank, and even receive extensive and free help from 100K Ideas to make progress towards accomplishing goals with the idea.

The final submission deadline is rapidly approaching on March 8. Winners will be announced in late March before the award ceremony. There is no limit to the number of submissions, so students can submit as many ideas as they have. These proposals are also protected as those in the Hagerman Center that judge the entries must sign a non-disclosure agreement. The solutions that make it to the finals will also be provided with more information on ways to protect the idea further.