A senior computer science major scored a home run with a concept he presented in the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship’s annual Idea Pitch Competition. Willy Husted, a student in the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering, won the $1,000 grand prize for his idea “Infinite Moments”—an app that forgoes the current immediacy of Twitter and Instagram, and instead allows users to stowaway media files and send them to yourself or your loved ones at a time of your choosing. That date could be one week from now, or it could be two years.
“The idea is to have people better remember their lives and experiences by sending content to themselves,” says Husted. “I’m not sure how that will work in actual practice. It could mean getting a photo from a past significant other ten years later. It’s a new way to experience content. I’m excited to see how people use it.”
Loyola Marymount University’s Entrepreneurship Program director David Choi, who hosted the competition, credits Husted’s victory to two factors: “First, it was a good idea. It’s a functional product that most people can use—so the potential market size is quite large. Secondly, it was very feasible to build. In fact, he has probably built most of it already.”
Indeed, Husted was already working on Infinite Moments before the competition for his senior project, under the guidance of Computer Science Professor Ray Toal. Husted plans to finish a prototype of the app for his senior project, and then work with longtime collaborators Charlie Higgins and Sean Brigham back in his home state of Colorado to work out the kinks before bringing the project to market.
Choi says he hopes Husted’s victory will inspire more Seaver students to give Idea Pitch a shot.
“Entrepreneurs can come from any discipline,” he says. “Any entrepreneurial company needs a team with a variety of complementary skills. These days, with Silicon Beach so close by, there are more and more opportunities for science and engineering students to become entrepreneurs.”
Husted agrees, and says he’s already received Facebook messages from Seaver juniors curious about the competition.
“My advice to Seaver students is to just do it,” he says. “I think we have a huge leg up in the fact that we have the ability to make our ideas happen. Infinite Moments was my senior project. It was going to happen no matter what. So why not go for it?”