Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

May Update- Students from 11 UC Colleges Attend Annual Innovative Quest Elevator Pitch Competition

Thursday, May 25, 2017 1:38 PM
UC Students Pitch Compelling Ideas and Start-Up Ventures to Judges for $5,000+ in prizes

A chance at $5,000, social media prizes totaling $700+, an exciting entrepreneurial atmosphere, connecting innovative students with expert judges, and recognizing key partners were all part of this year’s Innovative Quest Elevator Pitch Competition (IQ E-Pitch)! Over 400 students were able to experience the excitement of presenting their ideas to 50+ competition judges.

Six teams emerged victorious from a field of nearly 150 teams in this year’s competition. Each of them shared a compelling new startup idea with strong investment potential. The competition was open to all UC students and we are very pleased that students from three UC campuses competed. Participants were diverse, from freshman to doctoral students. They represented eleven of our colleges including UC Blue Ash; Carl H. Lindner College of Business; College-Conservatory of Music; College of Allied Health Sciences; College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning; College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services; College of Engineering & Applied Science; College of Medicine; College of Nursing; College of Pharmacy; and McMicken College of Arts & Sciences.

The IQ E-Pitch Competition operates as a gateway for students at all levels of readiness from all around UC to engage with us in entrepreneurship. It is part of the CEC’s threefold AIM to 1) Accelerate the launch of new ventures, 2) Improve strategic and intrapreneurial thinking in established organizations and 3) Multiply social entrepreneurship. Students competing at this event are inspired to pursue academic coursework in innovation and entrepreneurship or join one of our several entrepreneurship-related student organizations. The best apply to our Fealy Bearcat Bridge Fund and the StartupUC Student Incubator program. These mechanisms coupled with the excellent support of our partners in the #startupcincy entrepreneurship ecosystem are enabling UC students to launch their own successful enterprises.

Winners at this year’s event hailed from several colleges including CEAS, DAAP, and LCB. Graduate winners included (1st Place) Vinitha Thiyagarajan Upaassana, Abhijeet Barua, Justinn Eddie, and Samuel Gravois for SALICHECK; (2nd Place) Ryan Arey for Prism VR; and (3rd Place) Kapil Nandwana Maneesha Nandwana for Let-Us-Haul. Undergraduate winners included (1st Place) Francie Ruppart and Laura Borsky for SaferSit; (2nd Place) Paul DuFour for Origin Headlamp; and (3rd Place) Cole Davis for Pop.

Darrel Bass, President of Bass International Software, said, “Many of the inventions have serious merit and we hope they are seriously pursued. The University of Cincinnati has provided a wonderful nest for these students to nurture, design and construct their ideas.”

The evening also served as an opportunity to acknowledge key volunteers and partners connected with the CEC. Key partners included: Aviatra Accelerators, CincyTech, and SCORE; key volunteers included: Dick Baker, Dennis Reinersman, and Joshua Rudd. Each of these organizations and volunteers continue to offer support to UC students by providing work and volunteer opportunities, access to funding, and serve in various capacities as mentors for the CEC. High achieving students committed to entrepreneurial excellence were also recognized. These students included: Harrison Rogers, Graduate Student of the Year; Jack Johnson, Undergraduate Student of the Year; and Paige Bausch, California Scents Scholar. Albert W. Goering Scholars were mentioned including: Ashley Boggs, Ashley Colbert, Caroline Shapiro, Chase Jeffries, Cody DiFabio, Edward Rivin, Erica Switzer, Jack Harback, Jeffrey Henize, Kamree Maull, Kara Svenson, Max Agranoff, Ngoc Tran, Rebekah Durham, and Sydney Vollmer.

“I gave cards to several teams for follow-up chats. Great organizing effort, and special thanks to the student volunteers for very welcoming and helpful assistance to us!” said Jim O’Reilly from Queen City Angels.

The competition is organized by UC’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Commercialization (CEC) was made possible by the support of our sponsors (Fealy Endowment, Barngrover Endowment, Physi, LaRosa’s, and Fusian) as well as UC faculty and staff. We are grateful for the involvement of enthusiastic students from several student organizations (Bearcat LaunchPad, Entrepreneurship Club, Innovation Initiative, and the TechnoMentor Establishment) for their involvement in this year’s event.

Cullen Blain, D.M.A Candidate of the UC College-Conservatory of Music, said, “The IQ E-Pitch is a perfect setting to share ideas, network with innovators, and speak with entrepreneurs.”

The CEC would like to thank all volunteers and participants for your excellent service and your continued involvement! Looking forward to next year!