Top 30 Teams Advance in All-Virtual Dempsey Startup Competition

The Dempsey Startup competition hosted by the UW Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship will be entirely online for the first time.Thirty student teams will showcase creativity, ingenuity, and business and digital savvy at this year’s all-virtual Investment Round of the Dempsey Startup Competition. The 23rd year of the new venture competition hosted by the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington will be entirely online for the first time. Screening Round judges selected the finalists (detailed below) from a pool of 97 submissions. Students on those teams represent more than a dozen schools from Washington and Oregon to Alaska and British Columbia.

The finalists will participate in an all-virtual showcase on April 29 with an anticipated 200+ entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, and competition alumni from the region serving as judges. Sixteen teams will move forward to the Sweet 16 on May 21. Later that day, the top four teams will face a select panel of judges in the Final Round. The winners will be announced the following day in a video awards “ceremony” debuted online.

More than $70,000 in prize money will be awarded to the student teams—including the $25,000 grand prize sponsored by the Herbert B. Jones Foundation. Each Investment Round team is also eligible to win “Big Picture Prizes” of $5,000 and “Best Idea Prizes” of $2,500 in several distinct categories.

Over the past 22 years, nearly 5,500 participants and more than 1,500 teams have showcased their ideas in what was formerly known as the UW Business Plan Competition. Of that group, nearly 200 teams have earned prizes of more than $1.5 million dollars. In 2019, the competition opened up to include the entire Cascadia region including Alaska and British Columbia thanks to the generous support of alumnus Neal Dempsey.

The 2020 Investment Round field includes a diverse set of teams with students from University of Washington campuses in Seattle and Bothell, Seattle University, Western Washington University, Eastern Washington University, the University of Oregon, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Eleven teams in the Top 30 also competed in the all-virtual 2020 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge and/or the 2020 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge.

Best of luck to the Investment Round finalists in the all-virtual 2020 Dempsey Startup Competition!

Dempsey Startup Top 30 Teams

ApnoMed is a developer of patented, FDA-cleared medical devices and treatment protocols used to prevent, manage and treat patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, a life-threatening condition where patients stop breathing while asleep.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (MS in Entrepreneurship)

Aquagga, an impact-driven B-Corp, uses advanced manufacturing to produce bolt-on water treatment platforms that destroy toxic water contaminants, such as PFAS, via the unique properties of supercritical water. 

  • University of Washington-Seattle, University of Alaska-Fairbanks (Mechanical Engineering, Engineering)

Arogya is an integrated washer/dryer which provides a non-electric mechanized solution for households in low-resource areas to wash, dry, and disinfect dirty clothing at an affordable cost.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Bioengineering, Psychology)

Basking Filter
Basking Filter is a water management company that uses a self-cleaning filter based on the adaptations of the basking shark. Our technology will be placed on the front end of treatment systems to reduce the total volume of water requiring processing.

  • University of Oregon (Business Administration, Architecture)

BioArchos cleans the air in a more energy efficient way than conventional ventilation alone. Picture it as a tree for the indoors.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering & Mechatronics)

Bluebox Labs
We add Tesla software and computer vision capabilities to any existing car for $200 and enable an ecosystem of unique SaaS products that protect and save thousands of dollars for working drivers (Uber/Lyft, food delivery, contractors) and more.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computers Science and Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering)

bThere provides software as a service that enables robot developers to remotely monitor and control wheeled, semi-autonomous robots.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (MS in Entrepreneurship)

Career Compass
Inspiring women to remain in STEM is key to creating industry-wide change. Career Compass facilitates these needs by providing a one-stop web platform for affordable group coaching, current resources, and interactive networks for women in STEM.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Computer Science, Business)

We use a natural ingredient from cacao beans to increase the efficiency of LED bulbs and reduce the manufacturing cost and risks in supply chain by replacing rare-earth elements that are used in existing LEDs.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Materials Science and Engineering, MBA)

Clairvoyance is a SaaS product that helps businesses improve the customer support experience for their mobile users by providing a set of tools to identify, diagnose, and troubleshoot issues with their mobile applications.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Business)

CoWorker is an automation assistant that works beside you like a real human colleague.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (MS in Entrepreneurship)

E2K is a one-stop-shop for kids with disabilities. We work with schools and guardians to provide highly personalized services to diagnose and properly support each child.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Business)

Finding Eco
An e-commerce site helping individuals use less single use plastic in their daily life through sustainable products and education

  • University of Washington-Seattle (MS in Entrepreneurship)

Kokanee provides a comprehensive real-time water quality monitoring system to restore the health of freshwater resources. It detects contamination events, helps identify the source, and alerts field personnel so the problem can be addressed.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Marine Affairs, Entrepreneurship, Public Policy and Governance, Computer Science and Engineering)

FareDATA is a blockchain-based consent management platform that integrates with business ecosystems as a gateway to deliver transparent data monetization, high quality consumer consented data, and improved trust.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Technology Management MBA)

A totally automated all-in-one malting machine that allows microbreweries, for the first time ever, to malt barley in-house without having to tend to the process during the hours the brewery isn’t operating.

  • Eastern Washington University (Management of Information Systems, Mechanical Engineering)

nextNEST creates a pathway to ownership for renters in high-cost urban areas. By purchasing a share in the nextNEST club, members build wealth through shared equity, gain access to a portfolio of housing in major US cities, and join a fun community.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Business)

Nostos AI
90% of urban planners currently try to incorporate human-nature interaction into their designs but have no design tool to help them do so. Nostos AI is a software that allows for the addition of human-nature interaction in our everyday urban lives.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Environmental and Forest Sciences)

Pail is a deliciously fun lunch subscription service for children K-8 delivering ready to eat school lunches weekly. Parents set a healthiness goal and kids customize to their taste buds while Pail takes care of the rest and adds some fun extras.

  • Seattle University (Business and Economics)

Perfect Coffee Water
Perfect Coffee Water helps optimize the coffee brewing process by connecting brewers to water with the best chemistry for brewing coffee, thus removing one more barrier to enjoying the perfect cup of coffee.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (MS in Entrepreneurship)

Phennec is a new smartphone case that cools and protects your device by using a built in metal plate. The metal plate acts as a radiator to help release its heat into the environment instead of a full plastic case which traps and retains the heat.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (MS in Entrepreneurship)

SENSOL Systems
Challenging the built environment, SENSOL Systems is an innovative crosswalk technology that saves lives by changing the way pedestrians are seen on the road.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Landscape Architecture, Materials Science and Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Informatics, Interactive Design)

Skaplink provides an online platform to connect and exchange skills across the globe. It is a one-stop shop for learning, developed to offer a virtual platform for users to explore, share, connect, pursue, and promote their skills.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Business)

SmartErgo is an advanced data analysis and management software for manufacturing and warehouses that utilizes computer vision techniques to replace the current time-consuming and error-prone approaches of human observation and manual data collection.

  • University of Washington-Bothell, University of Washington-Seattle (Business, Mechanical Engineering)

Spira is an AI service for telehealth which enables someone to get a clinical quality respiratory disease screening with just a smartphone.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Computer Science)

STRIPPED is a body positive, inclusive, comfort lingerie company creating innovative bra-lettes for under-served markets. Our bra-lette surpasses the current market scope by offering more coverage, comfort, and support.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Business, Law, Societies, and Justice)

The 2050 Company
The 2050 Company creates value-added food products that reduce waste in the food industry. Our first product, The 2050 Smoothie, is made from rescued produce and can be prepared in less than a minute!

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Informatics, MS in Entrepreneurship, Business Administration)

The Subline
The Subline uses prescriptive analytics to minimize time spent managing inventory while recapturing losses from operational waste. We get owners out of the freezer in the back to focusing on delivering delicious food to their customers up front.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Human-Computer Interaction and Design, MBA)

TopPick is a party card game that turns the dreaded interview process into a fun, storytelling experience with friends. We have created and sold this card game and are hoping to continue building and expanding our company and sharing our game.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Aeronautics and Astronautics, Informatics, Law Societies and Justice, Communications, and Business Administration)

Our strategy is to create a world of informed voters, that are counted as intended, with security and audit capabilities via an online voting experience.

  • Seattle University (Business and Economics)

Dempsey Startup Investment Round Alternates 

Attentiv Medical
For hospitals that want to reduce financial burden and patient harm resulting from IV infiltration, we offer Attentiv, a sensor-embedded catheter that enables early and accurate detection of catheter dislodgement, the leading cause of IV infiltration

  • University of British Columbia (Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Business, Integrated Engineering, Computer Engineering)

COVIDIA is a non-profit charitable organization that aims to mitigate the spread of misinformation and information overload by gamifying the delivery of COVID-19 information.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Bioengineering, Computer Science)

Helixir is an innovative, low-cost seat cushion with accompanying software that gamifies health in the workplace and provides an interactive dashboard for users to track their personal activity data and participate in friendly competitions.

  • University of Washington-Seattle, Western Washington University (Business Administration, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Computer Science, Civil and Environmental Engineering)

RadKloud is a pioneering cloud-based auto-contouring tool for radio oncology treatment planning. Our goal is to deliver a higher quality of personalized radiotherapy for cancer patients and expedite organ segmentation based on the CT and MRI images.

  • University of Washington-Seattle (Biomedical and Health Informatics, Biostatistics, Biomedical and Health Informatics)