Brown students’ experiences spawn backpack-cover idea
KEY FINDINGS: David Emanuel, a Brown University student, said winning the Elevator Pitch competition is opening up “a lot of possibilities” for his student business, Lock’d.
COURTESY DAVID EMANUEL
By Rhonda Miller PBN Staff Writer
Brown University senior David Emanuel garnered some attention for a student business called Lock’d when he won first place in the statewide Elevator Pitch competition at Johnson & Wales University’s Harborside Campus in Providence on Dec. 5.
Emanuel had 90 seconds to pitch Lock’d to a panel of judges from the Rhode Island business community. The annual contest is sponsored by the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition and supported by private businesses, colleges and universities and nonprofits.
Winning the Elevator Pitch competition fired up the team’s enthusiasm for following the business plan and bringing Lock’d and its idea for a security cover for backpacks to fruition.
Emanuel and his team at Brown expect to have a working prototype by the end of this year’s spring semester.
PBN: What was the inspiration for the company called Lock’d being developed by you and the other students on your team?
EMANUEL: The idea sparked from a project my team had in a class at Brown called “The Entrepreneurial Process: Innovation in Practice” during fall semester 2012.
PBN: How did the idea for this particular business and this specific product take shape?
EMANUEL: Me and my four teammates sat in a room with a big whiteboard and started writing down everything and anything in our lives that wasn’t perfect. We came up with a lot of totally ridiculous ideas.
PBN: Was it simply a brainstorming process, or did you have guidelines or required goals?
EMANUEL: We had no idea what our project was going to be, but one of the conditions of the class was that we had to have a business plan that would have revenue of $100 million dollars in five years.