Bees, bitcoins, and cold brew coffee were among the highlights from a wildly creative Investment Round of the University of Washington Business Plan Competition. Judges chose 16 teams and alternates (listed below) to move forward in the competition, hosted by the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. The 36 student teams who competed represented eight colleges and universities across the Pacific Northwest and featured teammates from places like Carnegie Mellon, USC, Maryland, and the University of British Columbia.
They left the entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, and competition alums from the Seattle-area in awe at the variety of businesses and business ideas being pitched. Student teams dressed in matching outfits, scrubs, even color-coordinated suspenders, and built elaborate booths with their products and plans on display. Those who did not advance received feedback with the goal of setting them up for future success in the Jones + Foster Accelerator, 2019 competitions, or as startup entrepreneurs.
A select group of judges also chose winners of the four $5,000 Big Picture prizes and the seven $2,500 Best Idea prizes. Those awards will be handed out at the BPC Awards Dinner following the Sweet 16 and Final Round on May 24.
The Buerk Center is also proud to announce Amy Nelson, CEO and Founder of The Riveter, as keynote speaker at the awards ceremony in the Bell Harbor Conference Center. Nelson launched The Riveter, a female-forward platform, workspace, and online community in 2017 at two locations in Seattle. The Riveter has been featured in the Washington Post, Fast Company, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and other publications.
The Buerk Center would also like to thank the 39 sponsors who helped make the 21st UW Business Plan Competition a reality. In the past 21 years, 4,943 student participants on 1,535 teams have entered the BPC. Of that group, 167 teams have been awarded more than $1.3 million in prize money. More than a hundred of those BPC companies are still going strong today. Overall, the Buerk Center has awarded more than $3.1 million dollars to students since 1998.
Congratulations to the 2018 Sweet 16 of the UW Business Plan Competition:
A-Alpha Bio aims to improve clinical trial success rates by helping pharmaceutical companies fully characterize their drug candidates in the pre-clinical stage.
- University of Washington-Seattle (Bioengineering)
BeeToxx is a carbon-based microparticle solution that protects Honey Bee colonies exposed to harmful pesticides.
- Washington State University (Bioengineering, Biology, Communications, Entrepreneurship)
BioPot’s mission is to build a viable and cost-competitive alternative to the agricultural plastic pots and containers used in gardening and farming, with pots made of plentiful brewer’s spent grain (BSG) and recycled wood fiber.
- University of Washington-Seattle (Bioresource Science and Engineering, MBA)
Coinglomerate Mining LLC is a firm that performs research and development on cryptocurrency mining. Our company develops profit-maximizing software, performs data analytics, and conducts process improvements for industrial mining operations.
- University of Washington-Seattle, Seattle Colleges (Business, Physics, Informatics, Computer Science)
Creating and maintaining a great company culture is hard—Culture Bites makes it easier through a subscription box service featuring curated content for monthly team-building tune-up. We help your company’s culture eat strategy for breakfast.
- Presidio Graduate School-Seattle (MBA)
Feros Freight Innovations
Feros is utilizing freight trailers to seamlessly integrate EV technologies into the trucking system, transforming the trailer into a value-creation asset that enables companies to move freight cheaper, faster, and cleaner.
- University of Oregon, Carnegie Mellon University (MBA, Robotics)
We set out to answer the question, what if there was a place where farmers can find willing buyers for their left over perishable goods? Using our application, farmers can list, sell and distribute goods that previously would have gone to waste.
- University of Washington-Seattle (MS in Entrepreneurship, Human Centered Design and Engineering, Technology Management MBA)
MedsForAll is developing an affordable universal autoinjector for emergency rescue medicines that can save lives (severe allergies, opioid overdose, etc) by increasing accessibility & lowering costs while leveraging an existing medical infrastructure
- University of Washington-Seattle (Pharmacy, MBA, Technology Management MBA)
The Nanodropper is an affordable, universal eyedropper adaptor that decreases the volume of oversized eyedrops to reduce cost, waste, and side effects, ultimately increasing access to expensive prescription eye medications.
- University of Washington-Seattle (Pharmacology, Bioengineering, MBA)
Our company, Novita, is developing a software application to help patients and family caregivers plan and manage long-term dementia care, while also connecting users with the right senior care services and senior living solution when the time comes to make that transition.
- University of Washington-Seattle (Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy)
OLA Simple strives to be a global leader in cost-effective, rapid, point-of-care platform technologies to detect single nucleotide mutations in DNA or RNA and revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of acquired and inherited diseases.
- University of Washington-Seattle (Bioengineering, Global Health, Electrical Engineering, Pharmaceutical Science, Pharmacy)
OTOGEAR is a patented earplug attachment that helps increase hearing protection device (HPD) usage, specifically reusable earplugs, by increasing emotional appeal for users.
- University of Washington-Seattle (MS in Entrepreneurship, MBA)
SclObo is creating a streetwear clothing line that is catered to gamers, but is fashionable enough to appeal to the entire streetwear community.
- University of Washington-Bothell (Cultural Literature & the Arts)
Seattle Strong Coffee
Seattle Strong creates smooth ready-to-drink craft cold brew coffee. With 3x more caffeine than traditionally brewed coffee, Seattle Strong still remains balanced enough to drink with no additives, creating a better kind of buzz.
- University of Washington-Seattle (MS in Entrepreneurship, Computer Science and Engineering, Business Administration)
Vita Inclinata Technologies
Vita is a small defense company which is developing critical technology for sling load & rescue helicopter operations. Leveraging Vita’s patent pending system, helicopter operations are 2500% more effective and safe.
- Seattle University, University of Colorado, University of Colorado-Denver, Colorado School of Mines, University of Maryland (Law/Joint Degree, International Business, Aerospace Engineering, Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Physics)
Yumso is an online marketplace and delivery service provider which connects independent chefs and hungry customers, and also an incubator that offers supports on marketing, branding, financial and legal services to help those chefs to achieve success.
- University of Washington-Seattle, University of Southern California (Communications, Electrical Engineering, Business Administration)
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.
- University of Washington-Tacoma, University of Washington-Seattle (Computer Science, Human Centered Design and Engineering, Computer Science and Systems)