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CC Across the Country

San Francisco

March 15, 2018

6 p.m.

More than 150 attendees joined President Jill Tiefenthaler and Board of Trustees member and Campaign Co-Chair Bob Selig ’61 for "Changemakers Who Are Shaping Our World."

Dez Stone Menendez ’00 spoke about Innovation at Colorado College and shared a video about what is happening at the college to empower all students with the creative confidence to be changemakers. Menendez started as Selig Family Chair in Innovation at CC in September 2016. She began working as a serial entrepreneur at age 23 and the orienting principle of her work is to empower people to lead larger and more creative lives. Driven by a commitment to intuition and curiosity, her experience is broad and varied: from building tiny homes and designing and manufacturing lifestyle products to incubating tech applications; there is no subject that Menendez doesn’t find interesting. She is the founder and owner of the Possibility Room, which began as a startup incubator in Seattle focused on executing new businesses and expanding existing businesses.

Sixth annual Big Idea pitch competition winners presented their projects. Their teams, which garnered $50,000 total in funding, included:

  • Chica Chocolate, which took second place in Colorado College’s Big Idea competition last year, returned to take first place and $25,000 in prize money at CC’s sixth annual Big Idea competition. Chica Chocolate consists of team members Cassidy Lam ’19 and Elise Morgan, a student at the University of Colorado—Boulder. The company’s high-quality chocolate truffles are infused with a Chinese herbal formula designed to promote hormone balance and are delivered to customers on a subscription basis.

  • Raw Sauce, led by environmental science major Alex Harros ’18 and geology major George Fowlkes ’18, is a sustainable fermented foods business with an end goal of internally sourcing produce through their own hydroponic grow operation. The company strives to create food that causes no unnecessary harm from seed to sauce. Raw Sauce placed second in the 2018 Big Idea competition and secured $15,000 in funding.

  • Momentix is led by physics major Alana Aamodt ’18, physics and studio art major Anna Gilbertson ’19, and Josie Eichers, a finance and international business student at the University of Minnesota. Momentix is an open-ended toy kit for children ages 8-12 that leverages the viral culture of Rube Goldberg machines to engage and excite them about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) by upcycling old toys to create chain reaction machines. Momentix was awarded $10,000 for its third-place finish.

Additionally, a panel of changemakers provided a variety of perspectives. Panelists included:

  • Paul-Miki Akpablie ’16, Kadi Energy Founder and CEO
    Akpablie founded Kadi Energy to help increase Africa’s energy independence. He was still a teenager when he started developing the fledging company’s signature product: a long-lasting, portable, storage battery that can be charged with solar power. He has attended many energy summits and is an advocate for the provision of financially sustainable renewable energy to change the lives of Ghanaians in the short-term and all Africans in the long-term. Akpablie graduated from Colorado College in 2016 and starts his M.B.A. at Stanford in September.

  • Bracken Darrell P’15, P’21, Logitech President and CEO
    Darrell has a B.A. in English from Hendrix College in 1985 and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1991. He has worked at Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Whirlpool, and now Logitech, Inc. His real love is creating great products and great brands. Darrell has led growth and reinvention of iconic brands including Old Spice, Braun, and Logitech. He has made a lot of mistakes ... from most of which he has learned. Since 2013, he has been the chief executive officer and president of Logitech. Since his start as Logitech CEO, the company has been the #1 performing stock on the Swiss stock exchange and in the top 7 percent of the NASDAQ.

  • Em Havens ’09, IDEO Senior Community Designer
    Havens is a senior human systems designer at IDEO U, an education startup within the world famous design firm, IDEO. With a background in leadership education and social finance, Havens has tackled innovation challenges in a wide variety of contexts, from venture philanthropy to healthcare technology. Passionate about education, Havens currently acts as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Social Impact Strategy and guest lectures at the Stanford She holds an M.B.A. in sustainable systems from the Presidio Graduate School and a B.A. in environmental anthropology from Colorado College.

  • Margaret Liu ’77, M.D., ProTherimmune Principal
    Liu obtained a B.A. in Chemistry, summa cum laude, Colorado College, the Epreuve pour le Diplôme d’Enseignement, à l’unanimité (judges’ unanimous decision), piano at L’Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, and an M.D. at Harvard Medical School. She consults world-wide and is a foreign adjunct professor at Karolinska Institutet, and an Adjunct Full Professor at University of California, San Francisco. Past appointments include senior advisor in vaccinology at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and member of the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council. Honorary lectureships include: the Nobel Committee, University of Cambridge, and Columbia University. Honorary Doctorates include: Medical Doctor (Karolinska Institutet) and Doctor of Science (Colorado College). Discover magazine named her one of “The 50 Most Important Female Scientists.”

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San Francisco, California

Learn more about CC Across the Country events.

Sixth annual Big Idea pitch competition winners presented their projects at "Changemakers Who Are Shaping Our World" in San Francisco March 15, 2018. The event was part of the CC Across the Country series. Photos by  Brittany Hosea-Small.