Crowdsourcing student business challenge

Posted on May 29, 2013


Skulk_browse_nearly. Note: business ideas and images merely placeholders.I’m helping run a student business startup competition: Audacious.   This year we’re experimenting with crowdsourcing:  Audacious Skulksource.    The system is 95% complete in terms of interaction design and functions, just missing some graphic elements and real text.

The objectives are:

  1. To provide a vehicle for student engagement beyond the entrants;
  2. To provide a vehicle for including Audacious in teaching programmes;
  3. To provide entrants the experience of managing marketing and narratives surrounding their business;
  4. To generate technical and commercial validation and feedback for the businesses;
  5. To provide a base for integrating social media into Audacious;
  6. To make greater use of the pitches (the details pages will be updated with the videos);
  7. To provide exposure for sponsors (commercial, academic and government);
  8. To provide a mechanism for formalising non-top40 participation with a repechage; and,
  9. To provide a mechanism to simplify logistics (especially when used for Round 1 in 2014).

We’re promoting the following as a simplified business analysis structure (toying with wording _ote).   The design, of the front page (not shown) and especially of the Analysis screen (below) will reflect this sequence:

  1. Favourite (Favourote).   Browse and thumbs up the businesses that look interesting on first glance.  Random order (default) or sort by category.
  2. Analysis (Take note).   Go through your favourites list and score according to simplified judging criteria (stars).
  3. Invest (Vote).  Spend your 100 Foxbucks.  (the slider bar – will be more aesthetically engaging).
  4. Promote.  Send the ones you like to facebook and twitter.   People who receive such messages can come back and vote once (for a “People’s choice”) or register and spend  FoxBucks.
  5. Feedback (Quote).   We hope to strengthen the start-ups by building community and advice around each one.  This may be in the offer of technical advice, offer to be a first customer, or one-off suggestions.

The scoring system is based on set allocations within bands, and different weightings.   This means that judges, lecturers (and their classes), entrants, sponsors and public can all participate equally (on the surface at least).  Much thought has gone into making the game gameproof.   The scoring will be hidden until after the final awards (so as to avoid a couple of front-runners getting all the attention).

The system will be shown at the Top 40 Awards on Thursday 30th May, used for the repechage by mid-June and used in full to support Round 2 in early July.


Skulk_vote_nearly finished.  Note: business ideas and images merely placeholdersPS Skulk (noun) is a group of foxes.   We know it has a negative verb, but think we can overcome that by always pairing as Audacious Skulksource

Posted in: student