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Dr. John Gamble, Dean of the College of Business at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi .
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Buc Days will be held on Corpus Christi’s beautiful bayfront. This culturally diverse event, attracting more than 350,000 people each year, has something for everyone. A Pro Rodeo will be April 27-30. The carnival is May 4-14. And the largest event, the Illuminated Night Parade is Saturday, May 6, at 8 p.m.
But the fun and festivity surrounding Buc Days is only part of the story. The Buccaneer Commission, organizer of Buc Days, has supported educational opportunities for area students since its founding in 1938.
The Buccaneer Commission has partnered again this year with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) to present the Buc Days Ideas Challenge. Providing a competitive setting for students to test their business ideas, technologies or innovations, the program highlights the most promising innovations and entrepreneurial concepts developed by TAMU-CC students. “We’re very proud of what our students are doing in the College of Business,” said Dr. John Gamble, Dean of the College of Business. “It’s exciting to see them apply the concepts they are learning in entrepreneurship courses.”
After more than four months of preparation, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi students braced themselves as a group of judges from the Corpus Christi business community carefully reviewed their business ideas presented in “pitch videos.” After nearly two hours of watching seven videos, the judges decided on three finalists: U’DERS, a transportation system similar to Uber, but with background checked student drivers; MatchMate, a web based roommate matching system, and BUTTON - BUDDY, a bracelet with an emergency button that can alert personal contacts as well as the police when the wearer is in danger.
The three finalists will advance to the Buc Days Ideas Challenge Showcase Dinner on Thursday, March 23, an event hosted by the Buccaneer Commission. Similar to the television show “Shark Tank,” the finalists will pitch their business ideas in front of an audience and a panel of judges who will vote on the spot.
The first place winner will receive $3,000 and advance to the Raymond Ideas Challenge held by Texas A&M University Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship in College Station. The second prize winner will receive $2,000 and $1,000 will go to the third prize winner. All three top finishers receive a one-year membership to the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center Student Incubator.
This is the second year of the Buc Days Ideas Challenge competition, which is open university-wide to students of all majors.
For more information about the Ideas Challenge or the Buccaneer Commission, call 361.882.3242.
By L.L. Garvey
The Buccaneer Commission’s mission statement:
The Buccaneer Commission, Inc. supports educational and quality of life programs that foster community growth. Our Vision is to continue promoting civic and community pride for South Texas by producing high caliber community programs, economic impact, educational scholarships and eco-tourism to South Texas and Corpus Christi, Texas. Through its community involvement and programs, the Buccaneer Commission resolves to continue impacting the quality of life in Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas to the benefit of all our citizens.
Here are the three finalists for the 2017 Buc Days Ideas Challenge.
- Garrett Ransom and Kristin-Sophie Strittmatter were selected for U’DERS, a transportation system similar to Uber, with background checked student drivers
- Natasya Hennlich was selected for BUTTON-BUDDY, a bracelet with an emergency button that can alert personal contacts as well as the police when the wearer is in danger.
- Samantha Gifford was selected for MatchMate, a web based roommate matching system.