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Best Buy Announces 10 Finalists for College Innovator Fund

America to Decide the Fan Favorite Winner Through Facebook Voting


MINNEAPOLIS (August 17, 2012) - Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) today announced the ten finalists of the 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. A panel of judges including Stephen Gillett, President, Best Buy Digital, Global Marketing and Strategy and Tim Westergren, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer for Pandora, has narrowed the search to 10 ideas and needs America’s help in choosing the Fan Favorite. Today through September 7, 2012 at Midnight, consumers can visit the Best Buy Facebook page to vote on their favorite of the finalists to determine the Fan Favorite award winner.

The below panel of judges narrowed the entries down to 10 finalists. The grand prize and runner-up winners will be selected by the judges while the Fan Favorite will be chosen by consumers through votes on Facebook beginning today. College Innovator Fund judges include:

·         Stephen Gillett, President, Best Buy Digital, Global Marketing & Strategy

·         Tim Westergren, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Pandora

·         Jessica Matthews, co-creator of Soccket

·         Julia Silverman, co-creator of Soccket

·         Meredith Perry, founder of uBeam


The top ten finalists that have made it into consumer voting include:

·         Adaptive Device for the Blind: an electronic device designed to alert users to an object appearing to the left or right via voice message

·         Axio Focus Headband: a headband designed to link with software that will give people the ability to quantify their neural activity

·         Chillsounds Cooler: a cooler with audio components incorporated into it and internal lights allowing portable audio during events like tailgating, beach days, etc.

·         Typing Glove - Gauntlet Keyboard: a one-hand glove device that functions as a wireless keyboard

·         Iron Suit: a smart jacket that can generate electricity from the wearer's body heat and can be used to charge electrical devices

·         Marcano Footwear LCD Concept: a sneaker with an LCD screen on each side that can change images, slideshows and video.

·         SasaAfrica ecommerce. everywhere. for everyone.: a peer-to-peer e-commerce technology that connects offline artisans in the developing world.

·         Smart Backpack: a backpack that has near field communication device built into it with a coordinating app used to find out what items the backpack contains and if you've forgotten anything.

·         Spawnd: a rewards and charity system that allows user to accumulate points for playing video games

·         USB-Powered Laptop Replacement Screen: a secondary screen built in with an attachable clamp, powered by USB


The four winners will be revealed nationally the week of September 17. Prizing includes:

·         One grand prize - $50,000* cash prize plus mentorship opportunity with Best Buy Exclusive Brands

·         Two runners-up - $20,000 cash prize each

·         One Fan favorite - $10,000 cash prize

·         Entries that win the grand prize or runner-up slots can also win the Fan Favorite bringing the total prize potential to $60,000


For more information on the College Innovator Fund and to read the Official Rules, please visit http://apps.facebook.com/collegeinnovatorfund.


*All winners will receive a cash prize plus additional funds to cover taxes.




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 http://www.investors.bestbuy.com/.


*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




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