On April 17, Twelve BU Entrepreneurs Will Compete for $64k in the New Venture Competition

After months of preparation and pitching, twelve Boston University student and alumni startups will compete in the final round of the New Venture Competition, BU’s annual pitch competition. 

On April 17, 2020 at a virtual event open to the public,  the finalists will present a 60-second pitch before $64,000 is awarded to the top six teams. 

Three cash prizes will be awarded in each of the competition’s two tracks: Tech/For-profit Ideas and Social Impact Ideas. 

  • First place: $18,000
  • Second place: $8,000
  • Third place: $6,000

“It has been incredible to watch the teams make progress on their pitches, their business plans, and in their own confidence,” said Rachel Spekman, Director of Business Ventures for Innovate@BU, “Many have enhanced their teams with additional talent, grown their customer base, and secured new partnerships.”

The New Venture Competition began in October with Round 1: Pitch & Pizza when over 100 student and alumni ventures presented 60-second pitches without slides. Twenty-two teams moved on to Round 2: Semi-finals where they presented a 10-minute pitch to judges made up of Boston-area entrepreneurs and business leaders. 

I have been impressed by how much stronger the pitches have become and how much more confident the teams have become in their pitching,” said Li Liang, who joined BU in February as Managing Director of the Innovate@BU’s BUild Lab IDG Capital Student Innovation Center, “And it’s more than the pitches getting stronger–teams are demonstrating that they have advanced in the way they think about the problem, the solution, and what it would take to scale their idea.”

The twelve finalists will make one more closed pitch to a panel of judges before the six winners are announced.

Gerry Fine, Executive Director of Innovate@BU, said that the judges, who are all senior leaders in their fields, “will be looking for committed and skilled teams, solid data-driven ideas, and a clear and well-articulated vision of how their ventures will make a positive impact on others in the community and around the world.”

The public is invited to watch the virtual New Venture Competition Finale via Zoom on Friday, April 17, 2020, at 6:30 pm EST. Audience members will also vote for two teams to win the Audience Choice Awards. 

“The diversity and quality of the finalists is a mirror of the diversity and quality of Boston University,” noted Fine, “We are really pleased to see Boston University teams addressing so many different issues at such a high level of achievement.”

The twelve finalists are: 

  • Tech/For-Profit Finalists: 

    • Clean Seat has designed a retrofittable product that will help keep toilet seats clean in public restrooms. It can be installed like a normal toilet seat and can be manufactured at a price point and durability factor.

    • Go Off! is a social platform that has re-engineered the way to have a conversation online. 

    • Holdette makes women’s workwear with real pockets for millennial and Gen Z women.

    • BeagleNet is a mobile environment sensing platform that will allow us to build real-time air quality maps, helping cities locate sources of pollution and inform residents of air quality-related health hazards. 

    • Parkaze is a hassle-free shared economy marketplace where you can host and rent privately owned parking spots.

    • VYVID XR is developing innovative technology to improve surgical training, enhance clinical decision making, and increase patient care by using Mixed Reality beginning with Cardiovascular.
  • Social Impact Finalists:

    • Every Hand is a Hero aims to enhance collaboration among child welfare agencies in combating child sex trafficking through training and prevention/intervention strategies.

    • Patient Response is a personalized and customizable electronic health system that connects patients, providers, and pharmacies in low-resourced countries.

    • Phillinda is revolutionizing the language translation industry with cutting-edge technology. Visa applications, medical and tax documents will never be the same.

    • Surge Employment Solutions secures staffing contracts with companies that have forecasted human capital needs, after which we source, train, and place formerly incarcerated individuals into those positions.

    • The Mindful Applicant brings a social-emotional skills curriculum to the college process to improve student wellbeing and redefine the way we think about post-secondary readiness.

    • Urban Refuge is an aid-mapping app that works to bridge the gap between refugees and other underserved populations and the organizations that are actively working to help them.

Learn more about the competition and register for the finale.

More Innovation, More Inspiration