North Highland Announces Winner of The Big Idea
April 3, 2017
Last week, the winner for North Highland’s The Big Idea contest was selected at an event held at the Georgia Tech Conference Center. Finalists presented their ideas in front of more than 100 North Highland executives, and to three highly esteemed judges: Beverly Wright, Executive Director, Scheler College of Business; Blake Patton, Managing Partner, Tech Square Ventures; and, Peter Morgan, General Partner, DCM Ventures. The presentations also aired live on North Highland’s Facebook page.
The Big Idea, which launched spring of 2016, challenged employees to submit an innovative idea, separate from North Highland’s services and offerings. The contest gave employees an opportunity to not only explore their entrepreneurial side, but to also have a chance at winning funding and support from North Highland to turn their idea into a thriving business. To enter, contestants submitted a business plan and brief video articulating their Big Idea. While all submissions surpassed expectations, only three finalists could be selected. Each finalist received internal and external coaching to flesh out their idea, and introductions to experts in North Highland’s network of clients, partners and friends to provide industry-specific feedback and validation.
“We’re thrilled with the response we’ve received for The Big Idea. North Highland is a firm that wants to challenge conventional ways of thinking, and encourage a culture of entrepreneurialism among our employees-owners. The creativity that The Big Idea brought forth was inspiring, and we see this as an opportunity to invest in the great thinking that lives within our firm,” said Dan Reardon, North Highland CEO.
Among the finalists were Amelia Jones (London), Drew Johnson (Atlanta), and Tim Griffin (Charlotte). The ideas included:
- A platform specifically designed to connect freelancers and hiring managers, presented by Amelia Jones
- An app that improves patient and doctor experience, presented by Drew Johnson
- a retail app that puts customers in control of their entire shopping experience, presented by Tim Griffin
While all ideas and presentations were compelling, ultimately Tim Griffin was selected as the winner for his retail app, VITE. As the winner, Tim will oversee the new company while North Highland acts as the majority owner. In order to continue promoting an innovative and entrepreneurial culture, North Highland plans to make The Big Idea an annual contest.
Check out this Facebook Live video from The Big Idea Event