Virginia Commonwealth University

Make it real.

Venture Creation Competition

Welcome to the 2016 VCU Venture Creation Competition

If you have an idea, concept, and/or technology for a real venture and are a VCU student, we encourage you to participate in the 2016 VCU Venture Creation Competition (VCC).   VCC participants learn first-hand what venture creation means and the necessary elements for moving an idea/concept/technology forward towards becoming a real venture.  Those students selected as VCC finalists compete for cash prizes and in-kind services that can be used to realize the commercial potential of the respective concept, invention, and/or technology.

The VCU Venture Creation Competition comprises an undergraduate division and a graduate division.  Each division offers a $4,000 first prize; $3,000 second prize; $2,000 third prize; and two $1,000 finalist awards.  The finals of the VCU VCC will be Wednesday, April 13, 2016.

All currently enrolled VCU students are eligible to participate in the VCU Venture Creation Competition.  It is strongly encouraged that students participate in the Competition as teams that include students across disciplines.  Non-VCU students such as students from other universities, VCU faculty, VCU staff, VCU alumni, and local residents can be team members too, but 50% of the team must be currently enrolled VCU students and only VCU students can give the final presentation to the judges.

For more rules and more information, click here.

For a brief overview of the process and the prizes, click here.

Registration has now closed for the 2016 Competition.

Applicants will be notified of the status of their Round 1 submissions by 2/26/16.


2015 VCU Venture Creation Competition
Final Placings

Undergraduate Division


1st Place
$4,000 plus $3,000 in-kind legal services from Cooley LLP

Urban Choice Mushrooms

Urban Choice Mushroom Farm believes in urban agriculture – bringing the city’s food to its people. This reduces the carbon footprint, increases the quality of food, and stimulates the local economy. The demand for fresh mushrooms is high and the supply is low. Over 80% of the mushrooms eaten on the east coast are grown in one small county in Pennsylvania. The current supply chain cannot deliver fresh mushrooms (harvested between 1-3 days) to home consumers and restaurants.

Team Members:
Jake Greenbaum, Entrepreneurship (School of Business)
Lindsay Hawk, Sculpture (School of the Arts)


2nd Place

Indie Lab

lndie Lab RVA is Richmond’s first independent nonprofit science laboratory. lndie Lab RVA provides the equipment necessary for experimental chemical, physical and biological science. Currently, the expense of research limits the bench-work aspect of science to academic and industry labs, arenas that maintain intellectual property rights and creative control, a paradigm that stifles development.

Team Members:
Grace Cummings, Physics (College of Humanities & Sciences)


3rd Place

ViV Design Group

ViV Design Group seeks to solve stormwater runoff through the use of novel materials in urban fixtures. The primary surface covering in cities is in the asphalt on roofs and road pavement. ViV is creating a biologically-inspired alternate to asphalt that will help retain and redirect stormwater runoff.

Team Members:
Dylan Halpern, Graphic Design (School of the Arts)
Sarah Poole, Biomedical Engineering (School of Engineering)
Elliot Roth, Biomedical Engineering (School of Engineering)
Surjan Singh, Mechanical Engineering (School of Engineering)




The Purpose of the Flick-It! is to solve programmability issues with current light sources. The Flick-It! additionally provides phone notification solutions for the hearing impaired by way of flashing the light, and ease of access for low mobility consumers.

Team Members:
Kyle Chin, Information Systems (School of Business)
John Moody, Electrical Engineering (School of Engineering)
David Keegan, Mechanical Engineering (School of Engineering)

Makeup Mavens

The Makeup Maven Mirror is the development of a personalized makeup application mirror-monitor. The product will recreate and formulate popular makeup looks designed specifically for the user. It is our mission to help women of all backgrounds adapt popular makeup trends to their unique facial features.

Team Members:
Unzila Baig, Information Systems (School of Business)
Kayla Miller, Marketing (School of Business)
Kendra Pittman, Business Administration (School of Business)
Amy Nguyen, Marketing (School of Business)


Graduate Division

1st Place
$4,000 plus $3,000 in-kind legal services from Cooley LLP


Onion Chef is a food processing device that peels and chops onions respectively within the same product. Onion Chef is designed to stop long existing problems once and for all like onion odor, reeking fingers, tears and time consumption.

Team Members:
Nazgol Norouzi, da Vinci Center (Product Innovation)




Picgift is a gift management service via a mobile application that will answer the 5 W’s of gift giving: who to purchase a gift for, when to make the purchase, why the gift is being purchased, where the gift is going to be purchased from and most importantly, what gift to get.

Team Members:
Khalid Attalah, da Vinci Center (Product Innovation)




Dwelling is dedicated to pushing smaller living forward. We believe that tiny homes are a legitimate option to affordable homeownership. By raising awareness for this lifestyle and simplifying the process, Dwelling is redefining real estate for generations to come.

Team Members:
John Gaglio, Brandcenter
Michael Grasewicz, Brandcenter
Aldo Padilla, Brandcenter
Newman Granger, Brandcenter
Rod Stone, Brandcenter
Kevin Albrecht, Brandcenter



Baby K’s

Description: Baby K will bring a fast, convenient solution to powdered formula prep. With individual Keurig K-Cups of baby formula and a quick cooling bottle system, a parent can make the formula their infant is already eating using any Keurig machine.

Team Members:
Molly Cihak, Brandcenter
Davis Goulind, Brandcenter
Garot Lyon, Brandcenter
Lauren Thompson, Brandcenter

Check Up

To help diabetics become more aware of their daily habits and provide modern, mobile technology solutions for current treatment plans by healthcare providers. We aim to give the patient support for treatment while keeping the doctor informed of patient’s progress.

Team Members:
Robert Glass, Computer Science
David Jackson, Computer Science