Student Finalists Selected for 2017 UW Business Plan Competition

Student Team Cadavr from the 2016 UW Business Plan CompetitionEighty-two student teams from 12 colleges and universities took their first big step into entrepreneurship and entered their ideas into the UW Business Plan Competition hosted by the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. That’s no small feat when you consider the top 36 finalists were selected by a group of nearly 250 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, and BPC alumni from the Seattle area. Each student team was judged on 7 startup measures outlined in their executive summaries. The finalists (listed below) were chosen to advance to the Investment Round on Wednesday, April 26. Those who didn’t make the cut received valuable, detailed feedback that could set them up for future success.

The judges chose a wide range of student ventures. They include everything from innovative medical devices, apps, and wildfire-fighting drones—to new takes on chai tea, sports, branded apparel, and biofuels. At the Investment Round, judges will receive $1,000 Buerk Center dollars to “invest” in those businesses they believe are credible and potentially scalable. The 16 highest-scoring teams will be announced at the reception following the event and advance to the Sweet 16 on May 25. A final round later that same day is followed by an awards dinner celebration at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) at South Lake Union.

JikoPower displays their $25,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation 2016 grand prize with representative Michael Bauer.

More than $90,000 in prize money will be awarded to student teams, including the $25,000 grand prize sponsored by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation. “Big Picture Prizes” of $5,000 will also be awarded to teams for their exceptional work in several distinct categories. They include innovations that address the challenges faced by low-income seniors (sponsored by AARP Foundation) and products or services that contribute to the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem (sponsored by Xevo). Teams are also eligible to win $2,500 “Best Idea Prizes” like the REI “Best Retail Innovation Idea,” the Ebay “Best Marketplace Idea,” the Accenture “Best Consumer Product Idea,” among others.

The Buerk Center is proud to celebrate the many sponsors who are helping make the 20th Anniversary of the UW Business Plan Competition a reality. In the past 19 years, 4,693 undergraduate and graduate students on 1,453 teams have entered the BPC. Of that group, 154 teams have been awarded almost $1,296,000 in prize money. That number grows to $ 2,210,740 if you include the awards for the Jones + Foster Accelerator program, which many successful BPC teams enter following the competition. Overall, the Buerk Center has awarded more than $2.8 million dollars to students since 1998.

Best of luck to all the teams in the 2017 UW Business Plan Competition!


A-Alpha Bio
At A-Alpha Bio, we aim to reduce the number of drugs that fail after reaching late-stage clinical trials by providing the first multiplexed in vitro toxicity screen to quantitatively measure off-target inhibition of protein interactions.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Bioengineering, Business


AbiliTrek provides hotel booking services with a focus on people with disabilities through a user-generated review system of hotels based on their accessibility.
Team Member(s): Western Washington University—Business, Computer Science


Airy provides battery-less, wireless home security solution through sensors that can be mounted on the door or window frame to harvest mechanical energy from the impact produced in the normal operation.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Electrical Engineering, Business


Bellhapp is restaurant technology that links customers to restaurants through a web app during the dine-in experience, improving customer experience and increasing restaurant profits.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Informatics


Played 1v1 or 2v2, Bonzeeball is a distinct and completely new outdoor sport game that is user-friendly, portable, and convenient for people to play in many different settings.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Business


BreatheFIT is an integration of hardware and software in the production of the first pocket-sized, non-invasive and truly “fun-to-use” metabolic tracker, enabling users to optimize diet, fitness and health with minimal effort.
Team Member(s): Washington State University—Bioengineering


Chimeric Designs
Chimeric Designs develops innovative solutions for therapeutic protein production. Our novel approach will enable rapid development and clinical entry of cancer drugs with greater capacity to eliminate tumors, with reduced dosage and side effects.
Team Member(s): Washington State University—Environmental Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Molecular Biosciences


DASO Soccer Smart Wall
The DASO Soccer Smart Wall is a rebounder that tells the user where to kick and analyzes performance. This information creates a score for gaming and detailed user performance histories that will power an online hub of scouting and competition.
Team Member(s): The Evergreen State College—Business


Discovery Health
Discovery Health is a comprehensive medical risk management program for the maritime industry. We are a team of highly experienced physicians in maritime, emergency, and travel medicine, with an unparalleled understanding of the maritime industry.
Team Member(s): Seattle University—Business


DoGood.World aims to be the go-to-market place to match fulfilling volunteering opportunities based on skill, schedule, and interests with mission driven organizations.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Business, Computer Science


EpiForAll has created an affordable epinephrine auto-injector alternative to existing, expensive auto-injectors. As a business, we plan to provide access to a life-saving drug to consumers currently priced out of the market in the U.S. and abroad.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Mechanical Engineering, Education, Business, Materials Science, Pharmacy


At Epiphany, we are introducing an innovative veterinary practice management system that streamlines practice operations for the small animal veterinary clinic segment, while creating a veterinary healthcare data set for the life science industry.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Business


Fashion for Conservation
We engage fashion-conscious consumers in conservation by offering apparel themed with certain environmental topics with a percentage of proceeds being re-invested into conservation.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Environmental Studies, Conservation, Community Environment Planning, Environment


GelloPellet Technology
Gello Pellet Technology provides a better way to prevent periodontitis recurrence. After going through FDA 510 (k), we will implement a two-step marketing strategy by building awareness among patients and distributing the product into clinicals.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Bioengineering, Business


Goodwill Hunting
We get free clothes from our partnership with Goodwill, embroider them with your logo, and sell them to your school, company, or organization. Now, you can show your community without conformity.
Team Member(s): Presidio Graduate School, Seattle—Business


Sustainable, high-quality fish feed at competitive prices by utilizing scientific and engineering innovations that convert retail food waste.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Chemical Engineering, Business


HandiMaps creates maps of large indoor event spaces based solely on accessibility. These maps take into account the user’s specific accessibility issue, creating a custom path for them to move freely about the venue whenever and wherever they want.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Tacoma—Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, Geospatial Technology, Landscape Architecture, Computer Science


Hoja Nueva
Hoja Nueva confronts deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and inequalities within the cocoa value chain by providing small farmers with the tools necessary to produce sustainable cocoa, and trading cocoa directly to ensure farmers have fair wages.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Ecology, Environment & Business, Environmental Studies


Homemeal Club
As an online marketplace connecting home chefs and international students, our goal is making food taste like it did in my memories to our customers. The authentic home cooked meal matters to people who are away from home.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Digital Media


IndieHarvest has designed an innovative, modular and portable indoor vertical hydroponic system and rents it on a subscription model to commercial growers for growing local nutritious greens while saving water, land, and energy while reducing food waste.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Chemistry, Business, Industrial Engineering, Information Management


IssueCounsel is disrupting the world of argumentation and industries depending on it by using AI & machine learning to aggregate the world’s arguments and quotes into the ideal pro/con visual framework for public affairs, public relations, lobbying, and litigation.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Law/Business, Journalism, Natural Language Processing & Data Science


The LC-Tourniquet represents the first pre-hospital treatment for Acute Limb Ischemia, a multibillion-dollar industry.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Business


Lignin Biojet
Our business plan is to scale up a patented jet fuel technology from the current lab scale to pilot scale and eventually to a demonstration plant that can attract licensees, manufacturing partners, and investments.
Team Member(s): Washington State University—Business, Biological Systems Engineering


Membrion believes that filtering molecules should be as simple as making a cup of coffee. We borrow technology from the food packaging industry to make a membrane that lowers the cost of clean water, alternative energy and longer lasting batteries.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Chemical Engineering, Business


NASTEA & Co. carefully choses each ingredient in our bottled white coffee dirty chai that has the perfect balance of sweet and spicy with white coffee beans that have up to three times the caffeine of regular coffee beans.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Medical Anthropology & Global Health, Visual Arts, Communications


Nova Solar Glazing
A long-held dream of both architects and proponents of sustainable cities is to harvest, rather than reflect solar energy, and produce electricity. A way of making solar windows truly practical and affordable had yet to be found, until now.
Team Member(s): Western Washington University—Business, Industrial Design, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering


Oli Fitness
Oli is the foundation for smart-gyms. As Oli evolves, gyms will gain insight into their member’s routines. This allows Oli to optimize every aspect of the gym from workouts to scheduling to equipment purchases giving gyms the competitive edge.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Tacoma—Computer Science, Business


PlayGait is a non-electronic, adjustable, and low-cost gait improvement device that clinicians and parents can use to support in-home and community walking practice for kids with neuromuscular disorders. Your investment in PlayGait will bring the first non-electronic pediatric exoskeleton to market!
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Business, Mechanical Engineering


PrepCorps is a non-profit that mobilizes students who have scored in the 99th percentile on standardized tests to create huge impact by teaching test prep courses for international education.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Business


Scholarship Junkies
We help students tackle the cost of college by connecting students to available scholarships, mentoring their writing for maximum competitiveness, and helping them receive funded via crowdfunding.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Business


Security of Things
Security of Things is a one-tap solution that protects users by empowering them with information and simple IoT security.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Business, Informatics


Sense Service
Sense Service makes capturing and processing organic customer data effortless for managers. Through this, we allow management to better understand customers, improving employee training and customer experience in order to drive sales.
Team Member(s): Washington State University—Business, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science


ShopSight is a data platform that combines RFID technology with patent-pending signal processing and machine-learning algorithms to provide brick and mortar retailers with consumer behavior data that is comparably granular to that of e-commerce sites
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Business, Computer Science & Engineering


SwarmFX aims to revolutionize wildfire fighting by implementing small Unmanned Aircraft System fleets with multifaceted payloads. Within a $4 billion market, our first response services are designed to integrate into existing fire agencies.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Chemical Engineering, Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering


Uplifted Supply Co.
Uplifted Supply Co is a new brand of marijuana smoking equipment, with a premiere product, The Lifted Kit. The Lifted Kit is an upgradeable, customizable, and extremely functional carry-all smoking kit.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Business, English, Visual Arts


Upshot is bringing modern data science to the classic problem of food tracking in an effort to significantly lower the data entry burden, and increase the actionability of the insights users gain.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Computer Science, Business, Mechanical Engineering



Bubbly Culture
We created the soap by sterilizing and remodeling barely used hotel soaps and used coffee ground. Each soap purchase is part of our campaign to support green economy and create job opportunities to low-income groups in manufacturing process.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Business, Chemical Engineering


Cloud Instruments
Cloud Instruments builds tools to make better batteries and a better future. Our software-as-a-service platform automates data handling, storage, and visualization to save time with machine learning and AI for battery R&D and QA companies.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Material Science, Computer Science, Business

Harvust is a farm working app that connects workers with growers. Harvust gives growers the best workers possible at the best wages possible; and gives workers control over their work life and earning potential.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Business


Similar to the way cellular has leapfrogged landlines in the developing world, SafeFlame offers families in developing countries an “untethered utility” that allows them to access clean-burning cooking fuel at a low monthly price.
Team Member(s): University of Washington, Seattle—Business, Environmental Studies

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