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What is Qualcomm’s Next Big Idea?

The interns may have the answer.

Earlier this summer, the 2013 Intern Idea Quest kicked off by challenging Qualcomm’s U.S.-based interns to imagine Qualcomm’s next big idea, and to develop a ground-breaking concept. More than 110 entries were submitted, and after weeks of deliberation by employee judges, 10 of the best entries were selected for the final showcase, slated for August 8, at Qualcomm’s main campus café.

That day, the café was abuzz with chatter and creativity. Participating teams were camped out throughout the venue, along with posters, diagrams, and demos galore—all hoping to inform and impress attendees, and hopefully, to win their votes. And finishing in first place promised more than just glory—each team member would also receive a Snapdragon-enabled device!

The level of creativity and innovation of the teams was impressive. Concepts presented at the showcase included digital sleeves that could capture real-time muscular activity, low-cost heart monitors for hospital waiting rooms, and flying drones that could create temporary cellular networks in disaster-struck areas.

After two hours, a winner was chosen. Although many of the teams’ final tallies were very close, first place went to the Harry Potter-inspired “Marauder’s Map.” The concept centers on indoor navigation, aiming to make Qualcomm the market leader for the indoor location industry by utilizing IZat and Gimbal technologies.

In addition to their new Snapdragon-enabled devices, the winning team—along with second (SmartCane) and third place (TeamMates) winners—received the opportunity to have breakfast with Qualcomm Chairman Paul Jacobs the next morning, at which they had the chance pitch project ideas to him. Moreover, Qualcomm hopes to examine and incorporate the winning ideas into ImpaQt—its global innovation program—in the future. It was a great ending to another successful Idea Quest, and these experiences, among many others, help define the incredible opportunities afforded to interns here at Qualcomm.

More than 600 interns across the U.S. have the pleasure of calling Qualcomm’s various campuses home every summer. Amidst potlucks, lecture series, and even surfing lessons for lucky San Diego-based interns, we interns have the opportunity to meet, interact and learn from some of the best in the telecommunications business for a short, three months.

The best part? We’re encouraged to grow and innovate, not just inside, but outside of the office as well, with challenges such as Idea Quest. Events like these, among many others, are demonstrations of just a few of the incredible opportunities afforded to interns at Qualcomm, and we will undoubtedly carry these experiences and lessons with us throughout the rest of our careers.

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