Winner Team Jotted seen during the Red Bull Basement Global Final in Istanbul, Turkey on March 27, 2022
© Nuri Yılmazer/Red Bull Content Pool

How Red Bull Basement showed us that Gen Z will change the world

Winners Sylvia Lopez and Brinlee Kidd are creating a tool to make learning easier. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the innovations pitched at the Global Final.
Written by Trish Medalen
3 min readPublished on
After months of work with the help of resources like mentors and access to workspace, the finalists in the Red Bull Basement programme for student innovators pitched their ideas to a panel of Global Judges in Istanbul, Turkey.
Like most of the teams at the Global Final, Brinlee Kidd and Sylvia Lopez – who study at Arizona State University – chose to focus on a category based on the United Nations Sustainable Development goals: education.
The idea, called Jotted, is an automated note-taking tool that also generates flashcards in real-time, creates practice quizzes and more. Passionate about disrupting the status quo to drive positive change, the students believe that Jotted could revolutionise the way that people around the world find and aggregate knowledge.
Still, when Kidd and Lopez first mentioned the Red Bull Basement programme to their advisor at Arizona State, they thought he would recommend it to more experienced students. Instead, he suggested that they give it a try themselves, and the team’s win at the Global Final showed just what good advice that was.
Across three days of workshops, mentoring, panel discussions and keynote speeches at the event, the student teams collaborated, networked and refined their presentations for a final pitch of their ideas. They were even treated to a parkour workshop with Turkish athlete Hazal Nehir.
Manjula Lee, the founder/CEO of World Wide Generation and the G17Eco Platform, was serving as a Red Bull Basement Global Judge for the second time and co-presented a workshop on Visioning the Future of Business.“The generation that’s going to change the world is this millennial Gen Z," she said. "I love the fact that they’re now surrounded with an ecosystem of people and experts who can inspire them.”
Red Bull Basement 2021

Manjula Lee leads a workshop at the Global Final

© Nuri Yılmazer/Red Bull Content Pool

The Jotted pitch wowed the expert judges, including Lee as well as Kudzi Chikumbu, who's a leader in community and creators at one of the world’s biggest entertainment short-form video platforms; Marcus Kennedy, general manager for the Gaming and eSports Segment at Intel; Ceri McCall, senior vice president of Marketing Operations at NTT Ltd.; and Sam Jones, the founder and CEO of Gener8, whose appearance on the UK version of Dragon’s Den is famed as the ‘best pitch ever’.
Other ideas ranged from walkway tiles that light up pathways when stepped upon to an energy exchange platform for households using solar power and a new take on noise-cancelling headphones and a smart mousepad to help avoid repetitive motion injuries, to name a few.
“Of course, the winner will get resources and advice and help to accelerate their idea, which is incredible,” said Jones. “But here they’re all going to the same talks, they’re learning the same things. So it doesn’t matter if they win or don’t win – they’ve got the ability to go back home, to action some of the things they’ve learned, and to accelerate quicker, grow faster, and build better products.”
For Kidd and Lopez, the next target is to attain 10,000 users in about five months. It’s an ambitious aspiration, but one they now have the confidence to pursue.
Red Bull Basement 2021 contestants Team Jotted from Arizona State University.

Team Jotted from Arizona State University

© Tanner Yeager/Red Bull Content Pool

“It’s really true, everybody wins when you come here. The people we’ve met are some of the best and brightest in the world – so exciting and interesting and active,” they say. “With the things that we learned, from the business point of view and the technical perspective, we feel so much more confident moving forward in our venture. We’re turning a new page in an incredible book, and we’re excited to go on this journey.”
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