Finalists of the New Venture Championship Announced

10 04 2009
Applause at the Blue Star Gas Announcement of Finalists for the five finalists announced.

Applause at the Blue Star Gas Announcement of Finalists for the five finalists announced.

The New Venture Championship concluded after a long day of competition during the Semifinal Round. All twenty teams pitched their business plans to panels of judges in hope to advance to the Final Round and the chance to win the $50,000 first place prize.

After their presentation, each team met with judges to receive feedback and gain insight from the elite business professionals who serve as judges for the competition.

We heard at the Blue Star Gas Announcement of Finalists, that the following teams advanced:

Integrated Diagnostics from the University of California Berkeley
Teammates Octavian Florescu, Tanner Nevill, Tayson Siegel, Karl Skucha, and Kevan Wang pitched their idea for an easy and accurate HIV detection test.

Gold Plus from the Thammasat University
Teammates Parujee Chantaharn, Yanin Kasemkosolsri, Nattaya Khuntivongvarn, and Thanawat Malabuppha pitched their idea that reduces the density of gold products to address the challenge of increasing gold prices and decreasing pricing pressures.

Castor & Pollux from Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University
Teammates Tanaphat Laohavisit, Patacharin Pratheeptham, Sorradithep Supachanya and Thanan Suthipongmitri pitched their idea for a diagnostic kit that allows for early and simple testing of leptospirosis, a tropical bacterial disease.

Gyan from Kellog School of Management of Northwestern University
Teammates Esther Choy, Supina Mapon, Pavan Singh, Ramya Singh, and Tiffany Urrechaga pitched their idea for an educational training program for the rural poor in India through an English franchise starter kit.

KT Tape TM from Brigham Young University

Teammates Michelle Quinn and Reed Quinn presented their plan to bring kinesiology tape to the consumer market.

Tayson Siegel of the Integrated Diagnostics Team said, “We’re a little bit surprised, but really happy. The competition is really strong and we’re happy we made it this far.”

His teammate, Karl Skucha added, “We’re glad we could pull it together after yesterday’s feedback.”

Congratulations to the five finalist teams. Tomorrow the Final Round begins where teams will once again have 15 minutes to present and 20 minutes for a Question & Answer session from judges.

Check back tomorrow for updates on the Final Round of NVC. You can also check updates on Twitter.

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NVC Semifinal Round continues with The Interactive Fan Team from University of Oregon

10 04 2009

The semifinals are underway! In front of a packed conference room at the Embassy Suites in Portland, University of Oregon’s Interactive Fan Team presented their 15-minute presentation followed by a 20-minute Question & Answer session.

The presentation began with, “Lisa is PUMPED!”

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The team used a fictional person, Lisa, to help the judges fully understand its concept. Lisa, a Scion marketing executive, is pumped because of a great opportunity for her to connect with fans at sporting events. The Interactive Fan enables sponsors to directly connect with people attending sporting events via their mobile phones.

The UO team developed a sponsored interactive game that allows fans in attendance to sporting events compete by answering trivia questions and participating in a fantasy game.  According to the team, The Interactive Fan, is a win for both the sponsors and the fans because the game creates a more interactive sports experience for the fans and allows sponsor to compile valuable consumer information.

The UO team, comprised of Tom Czarnowski, Dan Pivirotto, Jim Sever, Jeff Sharma, and Jesse Thomas, shared the presenting duties each focusing on different areas of expertise. They discussed the product, the marketing potential, and the numbers.

The Interactive Fan appears to have amazing potential calculating a 33X return on investment. The team is putting up $100,000 of their own money and believes they will be able to raise another $200,000 from family and friends. The team has put in extra hours preparing to test The Interactive Fan at the PAC 10 Track & Field Championships in May at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.

NVC judges question team members of The Interactive Fan team to learn more about the venture.

NVC judges question team members of The Interactive Fan team to learn more about the venture.

The team spent 15 minutes pitching their venture, leaving 20 minutes for question from the judges, Erik Benson, Bob DeKoning, Jeff Stewart, Jonathan Widney and Jim Young. I thought the team did well answering the questions and came back with strong well-articulated answers.





Let the games begin…

9 04 2009

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The Start-Up Round is underway and the teams are milling about anxiously awaiting their turn to present.

Just to clarify, the Start-Up Round is a 40 minute round for teams to practice their presentations in front of judges.

The three areas covered are the 60-second elevator pitch, 15-minute investor presentation and 20 minutes of feedback. I got the privilege of watching airSwim begin its NVC journey.

AirSwim, the team comprised of Kyle Goldschmidt, Rugigana Kavamahanga, Matt Michaux, and Craig Musheno, confidently awaited their turn to present in the Roy Yates Room at the historic Multnomah Embassy Suites here in Portland.

The team presented their plan for an early stage telemedicine company that provides telemedicine service to physicians . This service uses the power of data and social networks to reduce the cost of healthcare and to continuously improve treatments. airSwim will target its network initially for the treatment of asthma and sleep apnea.

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Rugigana Kavamahanga began with a captivating “Elevator Pitch” that summarized the team’s venture and captured their enthusiasm for this competition. Next, Craig Musheno began the presentation portion of the competition by addressing the most important aspects of the proposed venture. The specifics of the airSwim concepts were clearly presented and professionally outlined with an emphasis on the statistics and measurable monetary value.

I was equally impressed as Kyle Goldschmidt and Matt Michaux continued the presentation with confidence and maintained a high level of enthusiasm. Each member of the four-man team contributed pertinent information.

As the Start-Up Round wound down the judges recognized the team’s passion and commended airSwim for a job well-done.

“It was great. The judges feedback was very insightful and added to our confidence,” said airSwim team member Kyle Goldschmidt.

Good luck to airSwim and the rest of the NVC teams as the rounds continue.

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18th Annual Competition Semifinalists Announced

13 03 2009

Twenty teams were selected out of 160 entries to participate in Portland April 9th-11th. Semifinalist teams represent the true international spirit of the New Venture Championship with universities from across the globe including teams Hong Kong and Thailand.

The Semifinalists are:

Brigham Young University
Clemson University
Cornell University
Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Northwestern University
Penn State University
Purdue University
San Diego State University
Thammasat University (Thailand)
University of Arkansas
University of California, Berkeley
University of Louisville
University of Manitoba
University of Michigan
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Dallas
University of Utah
University of Virginia

With more than $70,000 in cash prizes on the line and just under a month to prepare teams will be working hard to prepare for six rounds of competition that include a trade show, a lightning round and a challenging “elevator pitch.”

It will be an exciting, exhausting, fast-paced, action packed three days!





Can your ideas survive 30 seconds?

5 03 2009

Members of Allen Hall Advertising take a moment to pose in front of the "elevator."

Members of Allen Hall Advertising take a moment to pose in front of the "elevator."

The second annual Elevator Pitch Competition is underway today at the Lillis Business Complex and will continue through March 4th at 4 pm. Allen Hall Advertising, the planners of the event, hope to spark student creativity in a rapid-fire 30 second pitch, while promoting awareness for the NVC on the University of Oregon campus and the similar pitch contestants experience during the competition.

My visit to the elevator pitch launch site was met with much enthusiasm and I could automatically tell I would be persuaded into the booth for an idea pitch. While ideas flooded my brain, I watched as students lined up for a chance to voice some of their craziest and innovative thoughts. Some bounced off the ideas of current products, like Jeremy Liebman’s pitch to re-vamp the “snuggie” into and electric blanket version called the “huggie.”

AHA Account Planner Kim Karalekas said the event placed an emphasis on the ability to sell your idea within the 30 second time constraint, a much shorter time frame than the high pressure one minute elevator pitch NVC contestants participate in.

The best and worst ideas will be awarded $100 gift certificates to the UO Bookkstore and a raffle of all participants will determine the winner of the green iPod Nano.

If you want to learn more, stop by the Lillis Business Complex atrium from 10 am to 4 pm today through March 4th, check out last year’s video, or check out the Facebook event.

Bring your best, your worst and your most outrageous ideas!

UO Student Jeremy Liebaman pitches his idea.

UO Student Jeremy Liebaman pitches his idea.

The set-up.

The set-up.