IdeaFactory students Tori Brennan (Child Development & Psychology sophomore) and Chris Waldo (Finance & Entrepreneurial Management senior) competed with almost 50 universities in the Richards Barrentine Values & Ventures® Business Plan Competition this April. Tori’s patent-pending idea, The Sky Climber, is an innovative type of playground equipment designed to reduce the symptoms of children with sensory processing disorder, autism, and other developmental disorders. Her idea combines therapeutic materials used in occupational therapy clinics with a climbing structure to offer an exciting experience for children while improving their development. Details on the idea can be found here.
“The Values and Ventures Competition was a great experience,” said Tori. “The competition really pushed me to hone my presentation skills. I learned more about marketing and finance than I thought possible, and I made connections with many people who have helped me move forward with my venture. I appreciated the opportunity to fine-tune my idea and present it before an audience as well as all of the learning and growing that occurred to reach that point.”
The TCU team placed second in their “flight” and advanced into the lightning round, but did not make it into the finals. Even though the students didn’t receive funding for the idea at this competition, both students had the opportunity to grow their network and improve their idea.
“We believe that The Sky Climber can improve the lives of thousands of children and this competition really helped us to advance the idea,” said Waldo. “The judges gave us great feedback on legal considerations and manufacturing. We also had the opportunity to make several connections. We’re very thankful for the support we received from Neeley and the IdeaFactory – the judges loved our prototype!” Tori will continue to pursue the idea and plans on conducting academic research on The Sky Climber this Fall for her thesis.