Entrepreneurship Challenge | Workshops | Student Panels | Networking

2019 e-Fest top 25 finalists announced

Undergraduate Students in North America
Earning a Top 25 Finalist spot means the chance to compete for $250K in cash prizes and a world-class entrepreneurship experience! After judging the first round, we will pay the expenses for finalists and their advisors to travel to Minneapolis for a very special three days of competitions, workshops, and networking. Top prize is $75,000 cash, with over thirty money prizes up for grabs!

Feb 1 - 24, 2019 -- Submissions Being Accepted
Deadline Extended Until Sunday Feb 24!

Mar 15, 2019 -- Top 25 Finalist Teams Announced

Apr 11-13, 2019 -- Live Competition in Minneapolis

2018 Schulze entrepreneurship challenge results

April 14, 2018 (Minneapolis, MN) -- The results are in for the 2018 Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge, the largest undergraduate national business pitch competition. The winning team -- undergraduates Meghan Sharkus and Jackie Page, advised by Laura Dunham at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at University of St. Thomas -- created "ExpressionMed": patches for insulin pumps and Dexcom tapes for medical devices, with a focus on design, comfort, savings, and peace of mind. The ExpressionMed team received the top prize of $75,000 from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation.

One theme emphasized in all stages of judging in this year's challenge was the application of strong entrepreneurship fundamentals in the creation of the student ventures. Importantly, this includes the research and hard work needed to convincingly address the risks associated with launching a new venture and bringing a product or service to market. Interested individuals can learn more about ExpressionMed with a quick Google search.

More importantly, they join a network of entrepreneurs and advisors to provide support, mentorship and counsel for the journey of building their dream.

The Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge capped off e-Fest® 2018, an undergraduate entrepreneurship competition that attracted 149 top teams from 110 schools of business and entrepreneurship across North America. The top 25 finalists were invited to Minneapolis (all-expenses paid) for the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge April 12-14 at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas. The event was co-sponsored by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, the Schulze School and EIX.org, an online platform for entrepreneurs, students and professors, with fully vetted interviews, articles and content from those who have succeed in building a business.

After an intense round of morning presentations, the e-Fest finalist judges forwarded five teams to compete in the championship round for the $75,000 grand prize. In each morning judging group, three teams earned places and the top team advanced to present again. The afternoon championship round featured five very impressive team presentations and a difficult deliberation process by the judges.  Besides the first-place ExpressionMed team, these other teams took home the top awards: 

1st Place, $75,000: Team ExpressionMed

Personalizable, extended-durability patches for insulin pumps and Dexcom tapes for medical devices. (University of St. Thomas)

Meghan Sharkus, Jackie Page, Advisor: Laura Dunham

2nd Place, $40,000: Team BusRight

Optimizes school bus routes based on the students that are on the bus; designed to eliminate unnecessary stops, save school districts money, increase efficiency, and reduce carbon emissions. (Northeastern University, Boston MA)

Keith Corso, Evan Eddleston, Advisor: Kimberly Eddleston

3rd Place, $20,000: Team Orindi Ventures

A temperature-regulated mask inspired by asthmatic episodes triggered by the coldest of temperatures. (Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI)

Jordan Vanderham, Jared Seifert, Advisor: Zoe Bruyn

4th Place, $10,000: Team Vetiver Solutions

A soil erosion and textile company making a social impact in Haiti. (University of Minnesota – Twin Cities)

Leeore Levinstein, Elizabeth Alonzi, Jesse Abelson, Advisor: Fred Rose

5th Place, $5,000: Team Zero Barrier

An innovative way to 3-D print metal parts. (University of Wisconsin – Madison, WI)

Evan Wolfenden, Ben Farley, Advisor: Michael Williams

Social Impact Award Winner, $15,000: Team Vetiver Solutions

Leeore Levenstein, Elizabeth Alonzi, Jesse Abelson, Advisor: Fred Rose
(University of Minnesota - Twin Cities)

Global Impact Award Winner, $15,000: Team NomadX

Graham Novak, Mourad Berrached, Advisor: Gavin Fox
(Washington & Lee University)

Descriptions of all the finalist business ideas and team members can be found here.

Finals Rounds Results

First place finishers in each round advanced to the Championship Round.

Group 1

  1. Team Zero Barrier (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
  2. Team Wilminvest (University of Delaware)
  3. Team Cradled Systems (University of New Hampshire)

     Finalists: Team Fairy Godmother and Team NomadX

Group 2

  1. Team BusRight (Northeastern)
  2. Team Davinci (St Olaf College)
  3. Team ecoText (University of New Hampshire)

     Finalists: Team Infinity Greens and Team Lifted Roots Vertical Farms

Group 3

  1. Team ExpressionMed (University of St. Thomas)
  2. Team Division 1-on-1 Trainers (University of Virginia)
  3. Team Spark (Missouri University of Science and Technology)

     Finalists: Team Observe and Team Future Forward Foods

Group 4

  1. Team Vetiver Solutions (University of Minnesota)
  2. Team Vers: The Rap Game (Northeastern University)
  3. Team Seiji's Bridge (Portland State University)

     Finalists: Team Speed E-Box and Team Inventive Byte

Group 5

  1. Team Orindi Ventures (Grand Valley State University)
  2. Team Fledglink (Florida Gulf Coast University)
  3. Team Boost Linguistics (Drexel University)

     Finalists: Team Creo and Team Safe in Sound

Innovation Challenge focuses on reducing waste

April 13, 2018 (Minneapolis, MN) The "Innovation Challenge" competition at this year's e-Fest entrepreneurship celebration, mixes and matches the 25 finalist teams into new groups of students, who are given a business opportunity and three hours to impress judges with a brand new venture. This year, the topic was "WASTE", and applying the principles of entrepreneurship and innovation to address the growing challenges of managing (reducing, reusing, recycling, repurposing) items that otherwise make it into the waste stream.

The winning teams were able to convince judges to invest "bucks" in their new ventures during a 60-minute judging period in a crowded and noisy setting. The Innovation Challenge emphasizes both competition and collaboration.

Innovation Challenge Team Winners

1st Place Team, $20,000

  • Salvador Alvarez (St Olaf College)
  • Ankit Sharma (USC)
  • Alex Dassise (Portland State University)
  • Demetrius Thorn (University of Pennsylvania)

2nd Place Team, $10,000

  • Jared Vishno (University of Virginia)
  • William Turano (Farmingdale State College)
  • Edward Koharik (Missouri University of Science and Technology)
  • Ben Farley (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

3rd Place Team, $5,000

  • Ahmed Alzawar (University of New Hampshire)
  • Tyler Dalbora (Florida Gulf Coast University)
  • Jordan Vanderham (Grand Valley State University)

e-Fest® 2018 'Pitch Slam!' results

April 12, 2018 (Minneapolis, MN) Twenty-five undergraduate student teams from across the United States have gathered for e-Fest 2018 and the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge. Hitting the ground running, teams arrived and delivered 90-second elevator pitches in the Schulze Hall Auditorium.

The three-day celebration of entrepreneurship aims to cultivate both the competitive and collaborative sides of becoming successful entrepreneurs. With a major competition each day, the Thursday night welcome ceremony featured a "Pitch Slam!" competition. Each team had a chance to impress the crowd of students, advisors, and guests and earn votes with a well-crafted "elevator pitch."

2018 Pitch Slam! Winners

1st Place: Team Vers the Rap Game (Northeastern University)

Jerried Walker, Eric Martinez, Advisor: Kim Eddleston

2nd Place (tie): Team ecoText (University of New Hampshire)

Joel Nkounkou, Jason Martinez, Advisor: Ian Grant

2nd Place (tie): Team Future Forward Foods (George Washington University)

Daniel Berg, Alec Ludwig, Advisor: Ravi Ramani

The second day of e-Fest features workshops and practice sessions for the teams, followed by an Innovation Challenge on Friday evening. New teams will be formed, and students will be presented with a problem to solve. On Saturday, the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge will take place in two rounds. In the morning, five groups of five teams will compete, with one team from each group advancing to the afternoon championship round. The winner of the championship will receive $75,000 and national media interviews with Dick Schulze.

The Richard M Schulze Family foundation has provided support for this second year of e-Fest through its dedication to entrepreneurship education at the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas and EIX.org, an online platform that offers free, high quality teaching and learning resources. All resources on EIX.org are peer reviewed and meant to help people make better decisions by understanding and successfully applying entrepreneurial principles and strategies.

Other Prizes from Preliminary Rounds

Prizes awarded during preliminary rounds of the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge included:

  • Team Davinci (St. Olaf College) $2,500
  • Team Division 1-on-1 Trainers (University of Virginia) $2,500
  • Team Fledglink (Florida Gulf Coast University) $2,500
  • Team Vers: The Rap Game (Northeastern University) $2,500
  • Team Wilminvest (University of Delaware) $2,500
  • Team Boost Linguistics (Drexel University) $1,000
  • Team Cradled Systems (University of New Hampshire) $1,000
  • Team ecoText (University of New Hampshire) $1,000
  • Team Seiji's Bridge (Portland State University) $1,000
  • Team Spark (Missouri University of Science and Technology) $1,000


Undergraduates from around the country are again invited to compete for an appearance at e-Fest® -- a 3 day celebration of undergraduate entrepreneurship culminating in the Schulze Entrepreneurship Challenge, where students have the chance to compete for a quarter million dollars in cash prizes.  More awards have been added for 2018!

Quick Links

e-fest® 2018 Timeline

  • School Registrations Oct 1, 2017 - Feb 1, 2018
  • Student Team Submissions Open Feb. 1, 2018
  • Submissions Due Friday Feb. 23, 2018 (by 6 p.m. Pacific Time)
  • Finalists Announced Mar. 16, 2018
  • e-Fest 2018 Nationals Apr. 12-14, 2018

View the 2017 e-Fest® Results

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KEY Rules Updates

  • Student teams must have at least 2 and no more than 5 members.
  • All student team members must be undergraduates and cannot have graduated earlier than Fall 2017. The actual business venture can have other non-undergraduate members, but only undergrads can submit, travel to, and participate in e-Fest. See the rules for eligibility.
  • Teams made of students from more than one institution are allowed (the institution where the advisor works must be registered for e-Fest).
  • There is no limit on the number of student teams that may submit from one school, but each student can be a member of only one finalist team. If a single school has more than 5 student team submissions, a mini-selection process will be facilitated, whereby the advisors / staff / faculty of the school will be able to privately review the submissions and select the most competitive five submissions to be moved to the judging rounds.