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2012-07-16 17:14 CEST
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Best Buy Launches College Innovator Fund, A National Search for the Next Big Ideas


Retailer Will Award Total of $100,000 in Cash Prizes to Top Three Ideas and One Fan Favorite

MINNEAPOLIS (July 16, 2012) - Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) today announced the launch of its College Innovator Fund - a national search to find, mentor and advance the next big ideas in the areas of technology, sustainability, education or a related field. Best Buy is looking for consumers that have created a product, service or piece of software that may change the way we interact with the world around us. Now through August 14, 2012, participants can submit a two-minute video on the Best Buy Facebook page describing their innovation for a chance to win one of four cash prizes totaling $100,000 to bring their idea to life.

"At Best Buy we understand the impact that technology and entrepreneurialism can have on our society," said Stephen Gillett, President, Best Buy Digital, Global Marketing & Strategy. "Students are often at the helm of this forward thinking so what better time to provide a national platform to help them introduce and support these ideas than during the back to campus season. Through Best Buy's College Innovator Fund we are uncovering the next generation of innovators that will advance and improve the way we connect with the world around us."

How it Works:
· Starting today, consumers can go to Best Buy's Facebook page and submit a two-minute video describing their idea.* Submissions will be accepted through August 14, 2012.
· A select panel of judges will narrow the entries down to 10 finalists. The grand prize and runner-up winners will be selected by the following panel of judges:
o Stephen Gillett,  President, Best Buy Digital, Global Marketing & Strategy
o Tim Westergren, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Pandora
o Jessica Matthews, co-creator of Soccket
o Julia Silverman, co-creator of Soccket
o Meredith Perry, founder of uBeam
· On August 17, Best Buy will announce the top 10 College Innovator Fund finalists that will move on to consumer voting for a chance to win the Fan Favorite spot**. Voting ends on September 7.
· The four winners will be revealed nationally the week of September 17:
o One grand prize - $50,000*** cash prize plus mentorship opportunity with Best Buy Exclusive Brands
o Two runners-up - $20,000 cash prize each
o Fan favorite - $10,000 cash prize

For more information on the College Innovator Fund and to read the Official Rules, please visit

Dorm Room Wish List Facebook App:
Best Buy today also launched its Dorm Room Wish List Facebook application, a collaborative shopping tool helping students organize their back to campus lists. The application includes a series of inspirational lists jam packed with the hottest Best Buy technology and back to campus items. The Dorm Room Wish Lists are completely customizable - users can choose any of the lists to get started and modify them to fit their interests and needs. In addition, users can share their original lists with their friends and family, as well as enter their lists for a chance to win a $1000 Best Buy® gift card. Visit the Best Buy's Facebook page for more information or to get started:  

Best Buy Back to Campus Advertising:
Best Buy launched its back-to-campus advertising campaign in June. The campaign features a series of innovators who have tapped into the full potential of their technology and turned their dorm room into an idea headquarters. The first phase of advertisements began on June 3. Innovators staring in advertising include:

  • Dennis Crowley, co-founder of foursquare
  • Jessica Jackley, founder of Kiva
  • Jessica Matthews and Julia Silverman, creators of Soccket

·         Jon Moeller, creator of Zero Touch

  • Meredith Perry, founder of uBeam
  • Lauren Berger, founder and CEO of
  • Kevin Scott, Jonathan Write, Zach Wilson and Scott Goodin, from SM7
  • David Grabowski, Benji Welmond and Yulin Kuang, of Zombie Musical
  • Daniel Mellinger and Alex Kushleyev, creators of KMEL

Throughout the season, consumers will see a variety of spots celebrating innovators in the technology space, each showcasing that with the right technology, anything can happen. Extended versions of these Innovators' stories are available on Best Buy's YouTube channel at Best Buy is committed to setting students up for success by offering the latest technology products and services that can turn possibility into opportunity.

Best Buy College Student Deals:
This summer, Best Buy launched a new College Student Deals promotion giving students access to special offers on the season's most popular tech products including laptops, gift cards with purchase, discounts on Geek Squad Tech Support, and much more. To take advantage of the savings, college students can visit and register using their school email address ending in dot edu. After registering, they will receive an email with a link to coupons which may be redeemed in Best Buy stores nationwide. Each coupon must be accompanied with a valid student ID at the time of purchase.

About Best Buy Co., Inc.
Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) is a leading multi-channel global retailer and developer of technology products and services. Every day our employees - 167,000 strong - are committed to helping deliver the technology solutions that enable easy access to people, knowledge, ideas and fun. We are keenly aware of our role and impact on the world, and we are committed to developing and implementing business strategies that bring sustainable technology solutions to our consumers and communities. For additional information about Best Buy, visit

*Rules and regulations apply.
**Grand prize and runner-up winners are eligible to win the Fan Favorite award.
***All winners will receive a cash prize plus additional funds to cover taxes.


Media Contacts:                                                                      

Erin Bix
Best Buy

Lisa Hawks
Best Buy

Emily Teeter