Future Entrepreneurs: Students Deliver Winning Ideas

July 12, 2011

Le T. Nguyen, an incoming PhD student, along with Rami Shomali, Juan D. Trujillo and Qi Zheng—three master's students from the Information Networking Institute (INI)—were among 26 students selected from eight universities to participate in a two-week, intensive entrepreneurial workshop in Plano, Texas. Taking place May 6-27, 2011, the workshop was organized by Alcatel-Lucent and AT&T as part of the Alcatel-Lucent University Innovations Program, which works with universities around the world to help promote innovation of mobile applications, as well as to foster the energy and creativity of up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the field of high-tech.

During the first week of the workshop, the students participated in five days of intensive, practical presentations by local business leaders, experts, and members of academia, in subjects ranging from sources of venture funding to business planning and entity formation. During the second week, the students spent time developing and testing out their applications, culminating with an entrepreneurial pitch in front of a panel of local business leaders and investors. In total, 33 professionals from the business and entrepreneurial community in Dallas and Fort Worth, along with Alcatel-Lucent and AT&T employees, gave their time during the two weeks.

The students from Carnegie Mellon came up with an idea of an advanced voicemail feature application, called CallMigo. CallMigo allows a caller to prioritize the call notifications in case the mobile user does not answer the call. Moreover, it provides the caller with the real-time contextual information about the mobile user, in such situations. On the pitch day, CallMigo was one of three ideas selected to be entered into AT&T Foundry Idea database and will be given an opportunity to pitch to AT&T executives at a later date.

On the pitch day, Trujillo also presented his project, Content Management System for Android, and was also among the three ideas selected to be pitched to AT&T executives. Juan's project allows content creators to design a customizable mobile Android application to deploy their content, managed through a simple, automated Web user interface. The idea is to bring the power of mobile applications to all users interested in sharing content.

"We are excited that two of the top three ideas selected by workshop judges were developed by Carnegie Mellon students," says Wendy Fong, Sr. Strategic Programs Manager at CMU Silicon Valley. "We believe that their CMU education, coupled with the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial spirit, will ensure the future success of any ventures they pursue."

Pictured below (left to right): Le T. Nguyen, Juan D. Trujillo, Qi Zheng, and Rami Shomali

CMU Students pictured at the AT&T Foundry