The search for the next BIG idea born in a Denny’s booth is complete, as Denny’s announced the winner of its Trillion-Dollar Incubator Contest. Walter Arnett was selected as the contest champion and recipient of the $25,000 grand prize for his community-driven idea “Dad Mob”. After besting thousands of innovators and creative thinkers nationwide with his concept, Arnett can now turn his dream into a reality.
Walter Arnett, a Lexington, Kentucky native, drew inspiration for the Dad Mob community platform from his extensive work with the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Arnett formed the jersey-clad coalition to mobilize dads for charity and volunteer work. The project provides busy fathers with opportunities for socializing and giving back, and Arnett plans to expand to multiple states, with Denny’s serving as the official meeting place.
“I wanted to create a platform that enables people to give back in a fun and engaging way while building camaraderie and helping others,” says Arnett. “The more fun an event is, the greater the turnout. Bringing a tailgate atmosphere entices dads to get out of their man caves and build community while doing meaningful work.”
Inspired by NVIDIA, the trillion-dollar tech company that got its start at a Denny’s in San Jose, California, Denny’s invited diners to submit their original idea born in a Denny’s booth. America stepped up to the challenge and delivered novel ideas: an Original Grand Slam flavored gum, a Denny’s-inspired book on friendship, and an AI video editing platform.
Judged on creativity, originality, innovation, and visual quality of submission, Arnett ultimately won the favor of America and contest judges Kelli Valade, Denny’s president and chief executive officer and Jensen Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA, to take home the grand prize. Semi-finalists and finalists of the Trillion-Dollar Incubator Contest walk away as winners too, as they will receive gift cards valued at $100 and $500, respectively.
“At Denny’s, our passion is feeding and nourishing our communities. For 70 years, our booths have served as a place to create big ideas, fed by great service and delicious food,” says Valade. “The submissions to our Trillion-Dollar Incubator Contest exemplify the power of giving others a chance to progress their purpose. Initiatives like Walter’s Dad Mob community coalition embody the spirit of nourishing communities, just like Denny’s does.”