The finals of the 2013 VCU Venture Creation Competition were held on Friday, April 26. Each finalist team had previously submitted an executive summary and business plan. The finals involved each student team making a 20 minute presentation followed by 10 minutes of Q&A with the judges panel. All currently enrolled VCU students were eligible to participate in the Competition. Results were as follows:
Undergraduate Division Results
1st Place – $5,000: FreeMobility
Description: A stair-climbing walker designed for elderly or those in physical therapy that enables these individuals to gain a greater sense of freedom and independence.
Team Members: John Swanson (School of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering); Jonathan Marsh (School of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering); Justin Dickerson (School of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering); Matt Schell (School of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering)
2nd Place – $3,000: Lumiform Tech
Description: Merging art and science, our interdisciplinary firm specializes in aesthetically-pleasing, responsive light technologies.
Team Members: Kathleen Barron (School of Engineering, Chemical and Life Science Engineering); Catherine Gellatly (School of the Arts, Crafts and Material Studies); Christine Stoddard (VCU Alumni)
3rd Place – $2,000: RBazaar
Description: RBazaar is devoted to providing a regular market space for up-and-coming artists, growers, movers and shakers.
Team Members: Melissa Lesh (School of the Arts, Painting and Printmaking); Virginia Wood (School of the Arts, Painting and Printmaking); Brynne Whitford (School of the Arts, Interior Design)
Finalist – $1,000: Tracks on Track
Description: Tracks on Track provides the most effective and efficient solution for hair extension and weave maintenance.
Team Members: Shaina Haskins (University College, Interdisciplinary Studies — Mass Communications and Business)
Finalist – $1,000: UniversAssure
Description: UniversAssure is an extended warranty company and outdoor power equipment retailer that uses existing retailers to fulfill its on-line orders processed through the site PowerEq.com.
Team Members: Jonathan Holloman (School of Business, Business Administration); Josiah Ickes (School of Business, Business Administration); Steven Brown (School of Business, Business Administration); Chad Muller(School of Business, Business Administration)
Graduate Student Division Results
1st Place – $5,000: Skribs
Description: SKRIBS Customizable Wristbands are erasable wristbands that let kids write and draw whatever they like with whatever they like.
Team Members: Olugbenga “Tumi” Oredein (da Vinci Center, Masters of Product Innovation); Eric Pankey (Non-VCU)
2nd Place – $3,000: Backward Sprocket Mfg. Co.
Description: Heated bicycle grips powered by human motion.
Team Members: Nicholas Marx (Brandcenter, Master of Mass Communication — Creative Technology); Sam Cantor (Brandcenter, Master of Mass Communication — Art Direction); Hunter Pechin (Brandcenter, Master of Mass Communication — Creative Brand Management);
3rd Place – $2,000: Second Showing
Description: Second Showing is an online platform that will pick up independent films that do not secure acceptable distribution.
Team Members: Russ Gottwald (Brandcenter, Creative Brand Management); Richard Lutz (Brandcenter, Art Direction); Taylor Schumaker (Brandcenter, Copywriting)
Finalist – $1,000: Artifact
Description: Artifact is a socially responsible company dedicated to providing retail store consumers with affordable, gallery-quality, cutting edge artwork made by our in-house professional artists.
Team Members: Owen Duffy (School of the Arts, Art Historical Studies); Joseph Duffy (Non-VCU)
Finalist – $1,000: StraightThink
Description: Product design firm for paint industry solutions.
Team Members: Benjamin Straight (da Vinci Center, Master of Product Innovation)
photos by Gary Garbett Art + Photography
Information on the 2014 VCU Venture Creation Competition will be forthcoming in fall semester.