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Announcing the Winning Teams for e-Fest 2024

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Left to right: Laura Dunham, Dean of the Opus College of Business; Rob Vischer, President of the University of St. Thomas; Grand Champions Vienna Sparks and Skye Lam of the MabLab team from Harvard University; and Danielle Campeau, Associate Dean of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship. 

MINNEAPOLIS -- e-Fest 2024 came to an exciting conclusion on Saturday, April 20, with an amazing Championship Round judged by top business and entrepreneurship professionals: Lisa Shannon from Allina Health, Ryan Kruizenga from Arthur Ventures, Damian Novak, serial entrepreneur, Alex Bangs from Allevo Advisors, Luke Motschenbacher from Best Buy Inc, Hany Nada from Acme Capital, Michele Henry from FACE FOUNDRI  (learn more about the judges here). These judges had the difficult task of determining which team’s business venture would take home the Champions title and $50,000 grand prize!

The competition started back in February, as students nationwide submitted their business ventures for the online round. A talented nationwide community of faculty, entrepreneurs, and business leaders sifted through 150 submissions from 79 colleges and universities across North America to select the 25 teams advancing to the finals.

The finalist teams arrived in Minneapolis on Thursday, April 18, to compete in three days of business competitions and events designed to inspire these young entrepreneurs to follow their passions. After an inspiring keynote from Best Buy Founder and retired CEO Dick Schulze -- whose foundation supports e-Fest --  teams competed in the "Pitch Slam!," the first of four competitions at the event. In total, $215,000 in non-dilutive cash funds were awarded to student entrepreneurs.

e-Fest and the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge are about energizing the entrepreneurial spirit of our rising generation of young leaders. It is about encouraging students to explore their potential, search out new opportunities and use the skills and knowledge they have acquired to make a difference in the world. Embark on a journey through the vibrant moments of e-Fest 2024 with our heartfelt highlight and thank you video. Join us in celebrating the passion, innovation, and camaraderie that made this event an unforgettable experience for all involved.

Concluding three days and four competitions, the Saturday championship round placed our esteemed judges in the hot seat as they deliberated to crown a winner. Following their intense deliberations, the e-Fest team gathered everyone for an exciting awards ceremony to reveal the weekend's champions.

And now, without further ado, the results of e-Fest 2024!

SCHULZE ENTREPRENEURSHIP CHALLENGE

Each of the Top 25 teams (learn more about the teams here) pitches their 15-minute business plan to a panel of esteemed judges.  The top teams from the finals round move on to compete to a new panel of judges in the championship round. From this round the top teams win up to $50,000 in undiluted cash funds for their venture.

$50,000 Grand Champion:

MabLab from Harvard University: Skye Lam and Vienna Sparks

Advisor: Paul Bottino

$30,000 Runner Up:

Nivoso from University of Minnesota: Gogi Gudzhedzhiani and Max Minakov

Advisor: John Stavig

$20,000 3rd Place:

Janey Health from Loyola Marymount University: Alexander Choi, Brendan Conn, and Nikola Stajszczak

Advisor: David Choi

$15,000 4th Place:

Fetal Therapy Technologies from Johns Hopkins University: Eric McAlexander and Selena Shirkin

Advisor: Sephora Saint-Armand

$10,000 5th Place:

Glaucova from Florida Atlantic University: Rachel Kavalakatt and Nicholas Moy

Advisor: Kevin Cox and Patch Paczkowski

 

SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARDS

$5,000 GLOBAL IMPACT AWARD: A venture with a global impact demonstrates that their business venture has global reach and the ability to be competitive in an international market.

MabLab from Harvard University: Skye Lam and Vienna Sparks

Advisor: Paul Bottino

$5,000 SOCIAL IMPACT AWARD: A venture with a strong social impact shows that their business venture can address a significant and critical social problem

Fetal Therapy Technologies from Johns Hopkins University: Eric McAlexander and Selena Shirkin

Advisor: Sephora Saint-Armand

$5,000 READY FOR MARKET AWARD: The Ready for Market Award celebrates a business venture that is closest to being a viable business in the market.

Paradigm Robotics from University of Texas at Austin: Krishnan Ram and Siddharth Thakur

Advisor: Madison Khamooshi

PITCH SLAM!

The Finalist Teams arrived at The University of St. Thomas on Thursday April 18th and kicked off the weekend with the Pitch Slam! No slides, no props, no videos, just a microphone and 90-seconds to pitch their business ventures. Dick Schulze was in attendance and able to hear the business pitches and help decide the winners.

1st Place - $10,000:

Yanie Eyewear from Georgia State University: Tatyana Langford and Claude David Mbemba

Advisor: Lyshandra Bennett and Isabelle, Monlouis

2nd Place - $5,000:

Fetal Therapy Technologies from Johns Hopkins University: Eric McAlexander and Selena Shirkin

Advisor: Sephora Saint-Armand

3rd Place - $2,500:

Glaucova from Florida Atlantic University: Rachel Kavalakatt and Nicholas Moy

Advisor: Kevin Cox and Patch Paczkowski

2ND PLACE IN PITCH ROOMS - $3,500 CASH PRIZE

Alure LLC from University of Minnesota - Twin Cities: James Duquette and Aditya Prabhu

Advisor: Morgan Kerfeld

Fireshield Grills from University of Alabama at Birmingham: William Rainer and Jaival Vikal

Advisor: Gary Applewhite

Merge Conflict Studio from University of Texas at Austin: Jack Murray and Adithya Ramaswami

Advisor: Madison Khamooshi

Paradigm Robotics from The University of Texas at Austin: Melody Geiger, William Sords, and Karina Teruya

Advisor: Madison Khamooshi

Quix Labs from West Chester University: Lilyana Campbell and Zachary Starr

Advisor: Pattie Diggin

3RD PLACE TEAMS IN PITCH ROOMS - $2,500 CASH PRIZE

Bite Belt from Florida Gulf Coast: Ethan Sear and Thomas Sear

Advisor: Colleen Robb

Insulmate from SUNY New Paltz: Angela Brady and Megan Washington

Advisor: Garret Cortazzo and Chris Napolitano

Pool Protection Technologies from University of Georgia: Guy Gober and Michael Hearnes

Advisor: Kevin Wu

Rush Power from University of Tampa: Morgan Bierbrunner and Isabella DiIlio

Advisor: Josh Ray

TablePac from Florida Gulf Coast University: Drayce Reiter and Ozzy Shank

Advisor: Colleen Robb

4TH PLACE TEAMS IN PITCH ROOMS - $1,500 CASH PRIZE

Fluid Sports Tech from Quinnipiac University: Russell Jackson III and Mia Johnson

Advisor: David Tomczyk

Motiv from University of Cincinnati: Kaleb Bishop and Jacob Wernke

Advisor: Josie Dalton and Kate Harmon

PhizzIO from University of Cincinnati: Joe Kuncheria and Panjikaran Aniruddhan Ramesh

Advisor: Josie Dalton and Kate Harmon

SideShift from University of Wisconsin Madison: Canyon Pergande and Nick Lawton

Advisor: Jon Eckhardt and Jake Pollastrini

Yanie Eyewear from Georgia State University: Tatyana Langford and Claude David Mbemba

Advisor: Isabelle Monlouis and Lyshandra Bennett

5TH PLACE TEAMS IN PITCH ROOMS - $500 CASH PRIZE

Open Door Code from University of St. Thomas: Maria Johnson, Montserrat Blanco Lopez, and Aleia Wilbur

Advisor: Alec Johnson

Side Coach Sports from University of Oklahoma: Luke Carrell and Joadel Genuzio

Advisor: Bobby Lepak

SPLIT Rideshare from Northwestern University: Grayson Donnelly and John Hileman

Advisor: Mike Raab

ThinkPot from University of Oklahoma: Jorge Daniel Aguilera Vega, MacKenzie Davis, and Patten McGuire

Advisor: Reid Smith

Tooli from Grove City College: Elliot Eyre and Luke Owen

Advisor: Logan Hammerschmitt

INNOVATION CHALLENGE

Students are put into teams with members of other universities and have three hours to work through a challenge and create a presentation to pitch to judges comprised of our university advisors and guests.

1st Place - $10,000:

  • Rachel Kavalakatt,  Florida Atlantic University
  • Sander Choi, Loyola Marymount University
  • James Duquette, University of Minnesota

2nd Place - $5,000:

  • Russell Jackson, Quinnipiac University
  • Jacob Wernke, University of Cincinnati
  • Zach Starr, West Chester University
  • Aditya Prabhu, University of Minnesota 

3rd Place - $2,500:

  • Joe Panjikaran, University of Cincinnati
  • Elliot Eyre, Grove City College
  • Isabella DiIlio, University of Tampa

Congratulations to all the Finalist Teams! What an incredible weekend it has been at e-Fest! As we bid farewell to this year's event, we're leaving with hearts brimming with creativity, innovation, and inspiration. e-Fest isn't just a competition; it's an opportunity for students and faculty to delve deeper into the entrepreneurial landscape, forge connections with industry experts, and network with fellow entrepreneurs from across the nation.

A heartfelt thank you to Dick Schulze and The Schulze Family Foundation, The University of St. Thomas, EIX, our esteemed judges, presenters, advisors, the dedicated e-Fest Team, and, of course, our phenomenal finalist teams for making e-Fest 2024 an unforgettable experience!

Mark your calendars: e-Fest 2025 awaits!

 

e-Fest 2024 Event Highlight & Thank You Video from EIX e-Fest on Vimeo.


Jennifer Gessner
Jennifer Gessner
e-Fest Program Manager / EIX/University of St. Thomas
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Cite this Article

DOI: 10.32617/1069-6626aa31f0163
Gessner, J. (2024, April 22). Announcing the winning teams for e-fest 2024. Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from https://eiexchange.com/content/announcing-the-winning-teams-for-e-fest-2024
Gessner, Jennifer. "Announcing the Winning Teams for e-Fest 2024" Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange. 22 Apr. 2024. Web 21 May. 2024 <https://eiexchange.com/content/announcing-the-winning-teams-for-e-fest-2024>.