Facebook Pixel IFBG Past Festivals: 2018 | Western Kentucky University

IdeaFestival Bowling Green 2018

What's the Big Idea?

All videos produced by Vid Monster Productions
unless otherwise noted.

Speakers Sessions 

Session 1: Making the Big Idea a Reality: Lessons from Entrepreneurs


Sarah Nuse: Dream Big

Sarah Nuse is the founder and CEO of Tippi Toes Dance Company, a nationally recognized business that focuses on health and nutrition for children and is franchised across the country. Nuse has been recognized in Entrepreneur Magazine and featured on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2012. She and her team have released four music CDs, and she is currently working on expanding the company, adding a line of ballet slippers and dancewear set to debut in early 2019. 

Muamer Razic: What Defines Success? The Surprising Beauty of Being Wrong, Being Right, and Finding Your Own Way

Muamer Razic is an entrepreneur and an innovator. As the Founder of Level Lacrosse, he was able to use his passion for the sport to truly change the game. Competing at Idea State U, Bucks for Bright Ideas, e-Fest, and TopperTank not only gave Muamer capital to start his business, but provided him the knowledge and experience needed to be successful. He holds a BA in Organizational Leadership and minors in Entrepreneurship and Sales from WKU, where he spent his academic career developing his product and business acumen, as well utilizing the resources that the university environment provided.

Phillip Ashley Rix: Chasing Willy Wonka Sponsored by the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce

Considered the preeminent chef of luxury chocolate, award-winning designer chocolatier and chef Phillip Ashley Rix is founder and co-owner of Phillip Ashley Chocolates, which has an international following and is sought out by high-profile clients, major events and top corporations. He has been listed as one of the Best Chocolatiers and Confectioners in America by TasteTV, hailed by FORBES Magazine the “Real Life Willy Wonka,” and had his brand selected as a Top Pick by Vogue Magazine. A self-taught chocolatier, he has been a featured executive chef at the James Beard House in New York City and the official chocolatier of the 58th GRAMMY® Celebration and 69th Primetime Emmy® Governors Ball.

Session 1 Question and Answer Panel


Session 2: Sharing the Big Idea: Why Knowledge Is Power

Kristina Talbert-Slagle: What is Global Health? Insights from the 2014-15 Ebola Outbreak and Recovery in West Africa

Dr. Kristina Talbert-Slagle grew up in Kentucky and is a proud alum of the VAMPY program at The Center for Gifted Studies at WKU. She was a Singletary Scholar at the University of Kentucky, graduating in 2001 with degrees in Russian & Eastern Studies and Agricultural Biotechnology. She completed her Ph.D. at Yale in 2010 and has since been working in global health, where she unites her interests in interdisciplinary sciences, complex systems theory, and strengthening health systems. She is now an Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Medicine.


Jessica  Bellamy: Accessing Freedom Sponsored by Vid Monster Productions

A designer and activist from Louisville, Kentucky, Jessica Bellamy tells visual stories using data and personal narratives. In her work driving social change through design, she partners with nonprofits and community groups to creating compelling materials that break down complex service and policy information. She currently is an Adobe Creative Resident and is spending the next year trying new approaches in her creative process and execution of her designs as well as encouraging the creative community to support nonprofits and work with them on creative projects. Prior to the Creative Residency she founded and ran GRIDS: The Grassroots Information Design Studio in Louisville working with local and national non-profits, community groups, and social change initiatives. Her website is jessicabellamydesign.com.


Natalie Hinkel: Braving the Elements

Dr. Natalie Hinkel is a planetary astrophysicist at Vanderbilt, studying the composition of nearby stars and how that may affect the make-up of orbiting planets. She observes planets outside of the solar system, or exo-planets, and has studied exotic systems where planets orbit two stars (think Tatooine!) or what life would be like on an exo-moon (which has yet to be discovered!). She got her bachelors in physics at Oberlin College, where she rounded out her education by including dance, theater, and romantic lit so people would talk to her at parties. She enjoys rock climbing and hiking. Her website is http://www.nataliehinkel.com/.


Session 2 Question and Answer Panel


2019 Minds-On, Hands-on Activities

Coding Bar SPINtron
Typewriter Art /gifted/ideafestivalbg/interactive.pcf Image
3D printing pens /gifted/ideafestivalbg/interactive.pcf Image


3-D Printing Lab Build out your ideas in real time using 3-D printing pens. Presented by the Kentucky Innovation Network

Animal Anatomy 101 Explore the basic anatomic features that are unique to and the same between various species. Presented by the BioAmbassadors of WKU’s Department of Biology

Are You Smarter Than an Honors College Student? Match up against students from the Honors College in quick-thinking strategy and word games. Presented by the Mahurin Honors College at WKU 

Black History Month Art Exhibit Remember, educate, and celebrate at this WKU student art show. Artists will be on hand to discuss their work. Presented by the WKU Intercultural Student Engagement Center

Bowling Green Ideas with the Chamber of Commerce Presented by the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce

Coding Bar Learning to code helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity. Dive in with some fun lessons at our coding bar. Presented by Dataseam and the Potter Gray Elementary School Science and Technology Leadership Program

Creating a Profitable Idea: A Makerspace Ideas are easy to come by, but how do we make ideas a reality? Through creativity and planning. The Maker Mobile shows how you take an idea from conception to production and spark creativity in the process. Presented by The Maker Mobile

GRREC Makerspace Explore a variety of Maker items, including Dash robots, MaKey MaKey, Little Bits, e-Textile, and Squishy circuits. Presented by Jennifer Sheffield of the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative

Hand Poetry Trace your hand on a sheet of paper and choose one of the five senses to focus on. Then write about specific, concrete details in order to spark ideas for poems. Presented by Hunter Little, graduate student in the WKU Department of English’s Creative Writing Program

Idea Mentors What’s YOUR big idea? Maybe you arrived at the festival with a vision for a future business, invention, artwork, or new way to see the world. Maybe the morning speaker sessions have inspired you to connect ideas in a different way. If you want a space to share your ideas, hear about others’ ideas, and connect with peers outside of your own school, visit the Idea Mentors — WKU undergraduate and graduate students who will be there to listen, ask questions, and inspire you with their own great ideas.

Maker Games and Soldering Test your reactions and hand-eye coordination as you challenge a friend in our in-house Maker Games. Continue your maker experience as you participate in a drop-in soldering lab. Presented by presented by the Kentucky Science Center       

Painting Intention: What’s the Big Idea? Help paint a mural that explores concepts and ideas inspired by IdeaFestival Bowling Green 2018. Presented by Andee Rudloff and filmed by Hallee Rudloff

Puppeteering for Television and Film Try puppeteering for TV and film in the style of the Muppets.  Presented bySublime Puppets of Sublime Media Group

Selfie-Station Could your future be at WKU? Get some information and then smile for the camera! Presented by the WKU Admissions Department

Smartphone Microscopes A few simple parts can turn any smartphone into a powerful microscope. Stop by our booth and make your own smartphone microscope. Presented by Rico Tylor of WKU’s SKyTeach

Speaker Chats Have questions for our speakers? Stop by and chat!

SPINtron SPINtron simulates the motions an astronaut would experience in a capsule in a tumble on re-entry. Try out this multi-axis trainer by sitting in a chair mounted on a series of rotating octagonal rings.  Presented by Newton’s Attic

Touching the Future: Graphiti The Graphiti is a multilevel tactile graphics display that allows blind students to access graphical information. Participants will be able to “touch” images, draw and save images, and connect to other devices to view images. Presented by American Printing House for the Blind   

Typewriters, Women
’s History, and Images: The Visual Art of Leslie Nichols Typewriters, letterpress, and stamps are tools used by Kentucky-based artist Leslie Nichols to create portraits. Meet the artist, see her work and the unique tools she uses to create it, and make an image with text.  Presented by Leslie Nichols

Virtual Reality Simulators: “It Can Wait” Experience the dangers of texting while driving in an immersive virtual reality simulation. Presented by AT&T                                   

WKU Makerspace Visit a supportive learning environment where diverse people and disciplines come together to create, invent, build, and explore. We will have one-inch buttons, vinyl stickers, graphics pads/laptops, LEGO robotics/bricks, Sphero robotics and LittleBits. Presented by Anne Heintzman of the WKU Makerspace


IdeaFestival Bowling Green 2018 SponsorsVid Monster

The Vid Monster vision is to redefine the consumer's experience, one city at a time, through effective creative content and promotional solutions, and to capture and share the special moments that happen within our community. We are a video production and photography company that focuses on telling stories in new and innovative ways. From small business and corporate, to weddings and special moments, to music videos and documentaries, we can create it all.



Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,200 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region. 


At AT&T, we’re bringing it all together. We deliver advanced mobile services, next-generation TV, high-speed internet and smart solutions for people and businesses. That’s why we’re investing to be a global leader in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications industry.


The WKU Small Business Accelerator and Central Region of the Kentucky Innovation Network partner together to offer programs and services to WKU students, entrepreneurs, start-up and early stage companies in 21 counties across KY. With the goal of fostering and supporting a growth-focused entrepreneurial community, the programs are designed to create optimal conditions for entrepreneurs and business owners to establish and grow their businesses and ultimately be successful in a highly competitive economy. Accelerator and Innovation Network staff look for the needs of individuals and leverage strategic partnerships to help them move in the right direction. Support provided includes business development consulting, connections to local, state & federal funding options, access to rapid prototyping, mentoring, connections to critical resources, training, networking, shared office space and more. For more information, call 270-901-3490 or visit our sites: 


Making Connections to and for Entrepreneurial Students!



IdeaFestival Bowling Green Just Imagine logo

February 15, 2024

Western Kentucky University

Past Festivals







Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 5/1/23