Nicole Kendrot Winner of the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge Grand Prize

MyMoneyAppUp Challenge Recap: I Won the Grand Prize!

It’s been quite the exciting week for me. I told you about the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge last Wednesday. Thursday I traveled to DC to attend some preliminary events for the awards ceremony. Then the awards ceremony itself was held on Friday morning. Believe it or not, I won the Grand Prize! It was an unbelievable experience and I’m so honored that I had the opportunity to present my app design as a finalist.

Here are the exciting highlights from the event:

The rehearsal and the awards ceremony were held in the U.S. Treasury Building, located right next door to the White House. When I interned in Washington, DC in college, I walked by this building every morning. I barely ever noticed this building, because I was usually too busy staring in awe at the White House. It’s funny how things from your past pop back up at the most unexpected times. The U.S. Treasury building doesn’t seem to be a building that allows many outside visitors, so I think it was extra special that all of the events were held there.

U.S. Treasury Building Side

Front of the U.S. Treasury Building

Not only did we get to visit the U.S. Treasury Building, but the ceremony took place in the U.S. Treasury Department Cash Room. It was an awesome space for the event. Besides its rich history and beauty, it was a great, intimate space for the event. The following pictures really don’t even do it justice.

U.S. Treasury Cash Room

We had a rehearsal on Thursday where we were able to meet the other finalists and go through how the event would run. The amount of planning and preparation was definitely apparent on the day of the event. Treasury officials and people from the D2D Fund and CFSI organized everything wonderfully. We rehearsed for the event on Thursday afternoon and I couldn’t have imagined doing this event without that preparation. Thanks to the talents of the organizers, everything went smoothly and on-time on Friday morning.

Nicole Kendrot at Podium for MyMoneyAppUp Challenge Presentation

As part of the ceremony on Friday morning, each finalist (or finalist group) was required to give a 2-minute presentation and a 4-minute question and answer session about their app. I must say that one of the most challenging things that one can do is trying to give a 2-minute presentation on a fairly complex thing. After a lot of rewrite and edits to my presentation deck, I finally made it to the 2-minute mark. During my presentation, I was even able to sneak in a “Thank you” – quite the feat since I had to cut it down from the 4-minutes it took to give my presentation when I started practicing. One thing you don’t see in these pictures is me trembling from nervousness!

Nicole Kendrot Answering Questions During MyMoneyAppUp Challenge Presentation

All of the app finalists were very friendly and interesting. One of my favorite parts about being able to participate in this event is that we were able to meet the other finalists. It was great hearing about everyone’s stories, ideas and backgrounds. Everyone I met, whether a finalist or involved with the Treasury or the partner organizations, D2D Fund and the Center for Financial Services Innovation.

MyMoneyAppUp Challenge WinnersNicole Kendrot Winner of the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge Grand Prize

Winning the grand prize was a pleasant and exciting surprise. I thought that everyone had a strong idea, proposal and presentation, so I really had no idea if I would even place or not. Needless to say, I’m honored. I’m also very excited to learn about (and participate in) MyMoneyAppUp’s complementary app competition, FinCapDev. This next competition will result in contestants building actual prototypes of their apps. The FinCapDev site hasn’t gone live yet, but you can signup to receive updates for when it does… which should be happening in October.

If you’re interested in see how it all went down, check out the MyMoneyAppUp website, where you can see all of the finalists submissions and watch a webcast of the event.

So far, you’ve heard me introduce you to the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge and now about how the ceremony went, but I haven’t really talked much about my actual app. Stay tuned for Wednesday’s post – I’ll fill you in with more details about my app and how I see it being able to solve (or at the very least help) the student loan debt situation in the United States.

Have you ever been to the Treasury Building? Have you ever given a presentation at an event like this? What was your experience?

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