2014 Business Plan Competition Investment Round
After screening 92 submissions to this year's UW Business Plan Competition, our panel of over 200 judges selected 36 teams to move on to the Investment Round on April 29, 2014.
This year's competing teams run the gamut—everything from flu diagnostics to whiskey stones to solar windows. Check them out below, and follow their progress, as they compete for a spot in the Final Four and a chance to win the $25,000 Grand Prize!
Aurora Plasmonics (University of Washington)
Aurora Plasmonics has developed a new, non-invasive theranostic agent that allows for a new blood declotting procedure with simultaneous imaging capabilities.
Biomethane (Bainbridge Graduate Institute)
Biomethane purifies and sells vehicle fuel from dairy waste. It is cost-comparable with fossil compressed natural gas, and captures five times more in carbon equivalents than it emits.
ChooseVets.com (University of Washington – Tacoma)
Outsource your life and empower a veteran. ChooseVets is a web based, peer-to-peer market through which customers can hire local military veterans to complete common or specialized tasks, jobs or errands. ChooseVets will charge a brokerage fee for connecting its customers with its military veteran independent contractors. ChooseVets' contractors can perform a diverse range of personal services and labor, ranging from landscaping to remodeling houses. Through
ChooseVets, businesses and individuals can not only find reliable, skilled people to get needed tasks accomplished, they can show their support for America’s veterans and help them reintegrate back into their local communities.
FastBar (University of Washington - Bothell)
FastBar increases bar revenue and improves the attendee experience with a cashless RFID payment system designed for pop-up events.
FDCARES (University of Washington)
FDCARES, LLC is an evidence-based training, safety and quality assurance company dedicated to transforming and improving fire department services for non-emergency patient care. FDCARES supplies fire departments with products and services that optimize their medical response system for non-emergency 911 callers and high-volume users of Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Department care. The results are better care, fewer costs, and safer communities.
Flu Finder (University of Washington)
Current flu diagnostic tests are unable to achieve effective early diagnosis for most flu-infected individuals. Flu Finder has created a flu test that is accurate, inexpensive, and can be administered by anyone, anywhere, with results in less than 20 minutes.
FractalFilters (University of Washington)
FractalFilters is a cutting edge photo and videographic lens filter that promises to change creative media production.
Grease2Green (University of Washington)
Grease2Green builds automated kiosks that provide financial incentives for residents and small businesses to recycle their waste cooking oil in a no-mess, and easy to use system. Located at grocery stores and other central locations, dropping off your oil is convenient and rewarding.
Innovii (University of Washington)
The Innovii Challenge is a competition where teams of 3 to 5 high school students are given a twenty dollar bill and ten days to create, develop, and execute a profitable micro-venture.
IonoMetal Technologies (University of Washington)
With its revolutionary patented technology and demonstrated tool, Ionometals will not only make the earth a better place to live by reducing landfill of semiconductor waste, but also help save approximately $0.5MM for every semiconductor testing company.
Juma (University of Washington)
Juma is working to provide healthcare professionals with a simple and efficient shopping experience for all their medical supplies and instrumentation. Medical supplies are the second largest procedural cost of healthcare in the US and the current delivery model is antiquated. By providing a one-stop shopping experience coupled with intuitive analytic feedback and learning opportunities, Juma will transform how healthcare providers, materials managers, and supply chain directors find and procure supplies.
Korvata (University of Washington)
Korvata Inc. creates cutting edge alternative chemistry products that enable companies to mitigate their environmental impact. Korvata, a Delaware Corporation, received the top award at the 2014 UW Environmental Innovation Challenge (EIC). Its patent-pending technology enables customers in the food & beverage and CPG industries to significantly reduce their carbon footprints.
Legato (University of Washington)
Legato is a convenient mobile application that provides an interactive speech therapy solution for children.
Loopool (Bainbridge Graduate Institute)
Loopool is both a technology and a philosophy for the management of a sustainable textile and apparel supply chain ecosystem. It is a process used to reclaim textile and apparel waste and convert it into high quality bio-based fiber for the creation of new textiles and apparel. Loopool is a holistic closed-loop garment recycling system and a business model representative of the new era circular economy.
LuckySteps (University of Washington)
LuckySteps is a online game to get employees walking, especially those at-risk of heart disease and cancer.
Lumenite (University of Washington - Bothell)
Lumenite’s mission is to be a leader in outdoor safety equipment by making outdoor enthusiasts more visible in all weather conditions. The Lumenite concept is an attachable, waterproof unit consisting of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The initial product family will be geared towards pedal cyclists, and will emulate blinkers and brake lights (similar to those on a motor vehicle). A waterproof wireless indicator and brake switch will attach to the bike itself, and an eco-friendly, rechargeable battery pack will be contained within the attachable unit.
Mobile Foam (Washington State University)
Mobile Foam provides companies with the necessary chemicals and portable molds to manufacture polyurethane blocks, allowing for organizations to bypass shipping costs of individual blocks by manufacturing their own building materials on the site of construction. This method will allow organizations to construct houses in a faster, more cost effective manner, allowing for increased housing production rates while creating long lasting quality homes.
Monica's Hammer (University of Washington)
Rooted in the shared economy, Monica's Hammer is an online platform that allows women to work together on home projects, transforming Do-It-Yourself (DIY) to Do-It-Together (DIT). Requesters—those seeking the help of others—can connect with Suppliers—those offering assistance in the form of domain expertise or physical labor. While Suppliers get paid for their assistance, Requesters get to collaborate, learn, and participate in the project. The same woman can be a requester for one project and a supplier for another. The company's goal is to create a self-sustaining ecosystem where women work together and collaborate on home projects.
NiteCap (University of Washington)
NiteCap helps you sleep on your side, which doctors say is the simplest way to stop snoring.
NOVA Technologies (Western Washington University)
As the thirst for energy increases, the world’s superpowers are becoming dangerously covetous. In desperation to stave the inevitable, the most pristine natural wonders are sacrificed in the name of progress. Pipelines, mines, fracking sites, nuclear deposits, and coal dust risk the stability of a delicate environment; yet we continue. Imagine if the entire surface area of a skyscraper could function as a solar system. Thousands of square feet of solar windows, entire buildings, entire cities generating localized power. NOVA Technologies is proud to present the very first fully transparent photovoltaic solar window: the NOVA Solar Window.
OlyKraut (Bainbridge Graduate Institute)
OlyKraut combines local produce, the magic of fermentation, and delicious original recipes to create sauerkraut that's more than a condiment--it's a health tonic, a kick in the tastebuds, and an investment in the local food system.
OpsMagic (University of Washington)
OpsMagic combines off-the-shelf cameras and advanced computer vision to automate observational studies, empowering businesses to tune operations to consumer demand. By building software intelligence and analytics on top of everyday video infrastructure, we solve the pain of a person using a stopwatch and some paper to measure business processes. Instead, we enable businesses to quickly understand customer demand, rapidly iterate on continuous improvements, and immediately see cause and effect. OpsMagic solves a major hassle in business operations measurement by tapping into new source of big data in video.
Projected Talent (University of Washington)
Projected Talent is revolutionizing the way that businesses hire student interns. It's online platform allows businesses to "audition" multiple candidates on short-term projects, avoiding the commitment of a long-term hire until they find the right fit. It also provides students with the opportunity to gain experience in a variety of fields by working on projects for a number of different companies.
SafeWear (formerly India Women Against Rape) (University of Washington - Bothell)
SafeWear's vision is to leverage wearable technology to help save women and children in developing nations from people who intend to rape or kidnap them. SafeWear has created a wrist band with an emergency help button, GPS tracking, a built in microphone to facilitate one way communication, crowd sourcing for help from other users in the area, and cloud technology for scale and effective use of resources and bandwidth.
Seven Rue (University of Washington)
Seven Rue is a real estate company that helps sellers sell their homes themselves without the use of a traditional real estate agent. The result is that the seller saves thousands of dollars.
Simply Rent (Western Washington University)
Simply Rent is an online service designed to help students find off-campus housing easier than ever before. We strive to simplify every step of the rental process from discovery to payment, all while helping landlords maximize their properties potential.
SmartyPants (University of Washington)
Your kid is smart, shouldn't their pants be too? Smartypants offers a modern approach to the age-old problem of toilet training. We use a safe and effective system of sensors and algorithms to detect when a bathroom event is imminent, then let the parent or caregiver know to take appropriate action. This intelligent biofeedback system creates value for the company, savings for the buyer, and health for the users.
Spectral DNA (University of Washington)
Spectral DNA's goal is to deliver a conformable solar fabric that can be fully integrated into a multi-use model for ubiquitous power generation. We aim to micro-design these 3D conformable fabrics into clothing, and other needed uses and applications for ubiquitous power. This can be used as a mobile power generation house without connecting to wires.
Stash (University of Washington)
Stash is attempting to disrupt the self storage industry. At Stash we are creating a website in which users who need storage, can take a photo of their stuff, set their own price for storage, and upload it to our website. Then using the peer to peer model, other users who have space offer to store their items.
TopFreeClasses.com (University of Washington)
TopFreeClasses is a portal for online classes that helps students find classes that better suit their needs while helping educators create more optimized content.
Trestle (University of Washington)
Trestle is the answer to the question "what would it look like if Nest built a router?" - our passion is simplifying the complicated process of setting up a wireless router and increasing network speeds by up to 10x, and our goal is delighting our customers with the most user friendly technological experience they've ever had. Trestle is hassle-free software to set up, secure and optimize your wireless network so easy that even your grandma can do it.
UnifySkills (University of Washington)
Interactive online platform for career and skill analytics that help users realize their professional and life goals.
Uphill Designs (University of Washington)
Uphill Designs LLC is ready to help outdoor consumers “fly uphill” by producing three innovative designs that bring simple and functional ultralight gear to the adventurer. By entering this market, we will build our brand within the fastest growing niche in the outdoor retail industry, ultralight hiking. Our flagship product is our patent-pending innovative balance system called the 'Multi-Pack' that quickly and easily attaches a chest-pack to any brand of backpack shoulder straps. The design of the Multi-Pack allows the shoulders to support the entire weight of a system in equilibrium, as opposed to traditional back-heavy products.
vHab (University of Washington)
vHab is a rehabilitation technology platform that allows clinicians to follow a stroke patient's recovery throughout the entire course of their treatment and adds a gamified patient environment that will improve recovery outcomes. Designed to be mobile and integrative, vHab aims to use advances in motion capture, electromyography, and virtual reality to engage the patient in a dynamic, gamified therapy environment while recording precision metrics and seamlessly reporting to their clinician.
Wanderlust (Seattle University)
Wanderlust is a platform for cross-cultural communications that empowers travelers to meet and share insights with locals and like-minded fellow travelers. With a website and mobile application, Wanderlust is designed for the increasingly interconnected and on-the-go traveler.
Zetection (University of Washington)
Zetection Diagnostics point-of-care immunoassays provide physicians with rapid, accurate tools that lead to better diagnosis and treatment and save patients money, time, and health.