Seven teams of smart, talented, creative people came together to see who could come up with the best ideas to make Wilmington a more attractive place for young professionals and support businesses in the city.
The 2015 Idea Challenge coordinated by the Technology Forum of Delaware was a great success - and Downtown Visions is a proud sponsor of the event and the winning team from Start It Up Delaware.
Here's just some of the comments from the media:
The large open space at 1313 Innovation was overflowing with people. They sat in groups and scribbled ideas on the dry-erase walls, doodled on large pads of paper, planned out scripts and gathered large stools and panda bean-bag chairs for props.
The winner of this year's contest was a nine-member team from Start It Up Delaware that proposed installing solar-powered interactive kiosks, called Beacons, that would direct residents and visitors to events and happenings in the city. Those locally-manufactured and designed kiosks would provide free WiFi and cell phone charging, direct commuters to available parking spaces, offer "heat maps" of real-time nightlife activity and live camera feeds to connect neighborhoods. The concept also could be used as the basis for quarterly Burn the Beacon events, sort of like mini-versions of Burning Man, the annual self-expression festival in Nevada.
Ken Anderson, of the Delaware Economic Development Office, said the Idea Challenge is important as a way to bring start-up businesses to the state. Such businesses have been the source of many of the new jobs created in recent decades, Anderson said.
I'm excited to see the kind of energy, innovation, and passion we're seeing at events like this in Downtown Wilmington.