Baylor’s New Venture Competition Awards $138,000 in PrizesMarch 4, 2016
Baylor University’s John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship in the Hankamer School of Business announced winners of the fifth annual Baylor New Venture Competition.
Held at the new Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, 12 finalists competed out of the 146 applications from 83 universities in the preliminary round. More than $138,000 in prizes were awarded, in addition to many thousands of dollars’ worth of support services from sponsors.
First place was awarded to TriFusion Devices from Texas A&M University. The group developed an innovative high-strength additive manufacturing technology designed to help people suffering from limb loss by 3D printing durable prosthetic limbs. The team was awarded $50,000 cash, plus a suite of other assets, including consulting services, workspace and server hosting.
“I would say the elevator pitch was particularly nerve racking,” said TriFusion team member Charles Sweeney. “It's very humbling to pitch your ideas to a large audience and await the immediate scoring feedback via text response.”
“Besides winning first place, we really enjoyed getting to interact with the judges at the competition who had great advice for our business and many words of encouragement,” he added.
Second place was awarded to Rhizofeed, LLC, from University of Pikeville. The group replaces antibiotic use in the poultry industry with its all-natural, patent-protected Algulin product. The product enables farmers to raise healthier, larger chickens, while reducing feed costs. The team was awarded $25,000 cash, plus other prizes.
“The most enjoyable part of the competition was the feedback session from the coaches,” said Rhizofeed team member Justin Prater. “We feel this prepared us more than any other competition we had previously competed in. The coaches gave us a lot to think about.”
Third place was awarded to VasoCorp, from the University of West Georgia. The group is commercializing a new, patent-pending neuropathy supplement called NeuropAWAY®, designed to treat the underlying causes of neuropathy, rather than the symptoms. The team was awarded $10,000 cash, plus other prizes. VasoCorp also won the Able Award, providing $25,000 in debt investment capital.
“We came in with an advantage because we had actual sales data and most of the teams don’t. But I can confidently say we would not have made it without making the changes the judges requested,” said VasoCorp team member William Cross. “I met real investors, and you don’t see that at many competitions.”
The Dell Award – $12,500 presented by Dell, Inc. – was awarded to Parking Grid Technologies, from Auburn University, providing data that makes parking less painless for drivers and parking lot managers. Dell was the title sponsor of the New Venture Competition.