36 student-led startups from colleges and universities across Washington state gathered at the University of Washington today to compete in the Investment Round of the annual UW Business Plan Competition. This years’ teams, selected from a pool of 92 applicants, demonstrated innovation and inspiration across sectors—solar energy, wearable technology, public health and safety, even sauerkraut! After four hours of pitching to 300+ judges—entrepreneurs, lawyers, investors, and other top professionals—the sixteen top-scoring teams were announced. These teams will move on to the next round of the 2014 BPC, and a chance to win the $25,000 Grand Prize. Stay tuned!
Congratulations to the 2014 UW BPC Sweet 16:
Aurora Plasmonics (University of Washington)
Blood clots are a major problem during dialysis—an average of 400,000 de-clotting procedures take place each year in the U.S. Aurora Plasmonics has developed cost-effective, non-invasive therapeutic and diagnostic technologies for de-clotting procedures. These technologies offer reduced procedure times and costs, improved outcomes, and increased patient comfort.
ChooseVets.com (University of Washington – Tacoma)
ChooseVets.com is a web based, peer-to-peer market through which customers can hire local military veterans for 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)
Everyone hates long bar lines, and payment processing at pop-up bars—temporary bars for special events that don’t have built-in point of sale systems —can mean especially long wait times. FastBar provides a simple, high-speed payment solution for pop-up bars that uses RFID wrist bands.
FDCARES (University of Washington)
Fire departments use up valuable time and money dispatching Emergency Medical Service in response to non-urgent 911 calls—up to 40% of fire department medical responses are for non-emergencies. FDCARES saves fire departments millions of dollars and improves their 911 response efficiency by integrating a Non-Emergency Medical Service division into their operations.
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.
Innovii (University of Washington)
The Innovii Challenge is an extracurricular 10-day challenge where teams of high school students compete to create innovative, profitable micro-ventures with startup capital of only $20. Throughout the 10-day event, Innovii provides unique workshops and coaching strategies to help students execute on their business plans.
IonoMetal Technologies (University of Washington)
Gold-plated surfaces used in computer chip testing wear down with repeated use and must be replaced. Each test board costs upwards of $40,000, and there is currently no available cost efficient repair option that satisfies industry standards. IonoMetal Technologies has developed technology that lowers the costs of manufacturing new gold-plated test boards by 10x.
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.
Loopool (Bainbridge Graduate Institute)
The textile and apparel industry is facing resource scarcity and significant economic loss through an inefficient supply chain. 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.
Mobile Foam (Washington State University)
1.6 billion people worldwide live in substandard housing. Humanitarian organizations are trying to address this by building more homes, but construction is often low-quality and lacks energy efficiency. Mobile Foam empowers humanitarian organizations to build higher quality homes with their building kit: floor-plans, consulting, and the necessary chemicals and portable molds to produce polyurethane blocks on-site.
NOVA Technologies (Western Washington University)
NOVA Technologies is changing the way the world views solar energy by manufacturing commercial windows that produce solar power. Intended for large-scale commercial applications, this radical concept takes advantage of a building’s surface area, rather than being limited by the square footage of its roof.
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 an online marketplace that connects skilled undergraduates to businesses on short, meaningful, paid projects. This allows students to gain valuable, relevant work experience and businesses to find and audition the best talent while accomplishing important tasks. By lowering the time, space, and financial commitment, more companies than ever are now able to connect with students.
Spectral DNA (University of Washington)
Our always-on, highly mobile and energy-demanding world does not cannot continue to operate using wired technology. Spectral DNA is solving this problem by developing smart fabrics that generate ubiquitous power and sensor functionality for the wearable technology, automobile, and housing industries.
Trestle (University of Washington)
Trestle converts your smartphone into a touchscreen interface for your Wi-Fi router. With Trestle, complicated configuration tasks are automated making your home network a breeze to set up, and your internet security and speed are continuously optimized. It’s so easy that even your grandma can do it!
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