New name, new format, new winners!
It was a year of firsts for The Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation’s annual venture pitch competition. This year the event launched with a new name. Formerly known as the $100K Challenge, it has been rebranded as The Pilot Venture Challenge. The other first was a move to holding the competition as a live, virtual event due to the COVID-19 situation.
The competition is separated into three tracks – Invention, Social and For-Profit. The Invention Track, which highlights creativity, invention and innovation, was held on Saturday, April 18th. The Social Track, which encourages students to use entrepreneurial and business principles to organize, create and manage a sustainable enterprise that has a positive social impact, and the For-Profit Track were held on Saturday, April 25th.
Students, judges and guests joined online to hear and see 10-minute presentations by a total of 14 entrants. All entries were judged by expert panels of alumni and community business leaders. The winners are:
1st Place: Dose One Pill+, a controlled substance dispensing system to lower the risk of abuse and overdose of highly addictive medications by Ryan Jarvis ‘21.
2nd Place: Accord On!, an interactive learning device to aid in learning to play the diatonic accordion, by Ernesto Zurita Ruiz ’21.
Both winners move on to represent UP at the statewide InventOR Semi-Final Competition in June.
1st Place: Blossom, a curated feminine hygiene subscription service providing woman with products that are sustainable, natural, and ethical, and uses a buy-one-give-one model to provide products to women shelters in the Portland area, by Kristen Wisneski ’20.
2nd Place: Race for Change, is a running and walking event service hosting fun runs and races to raise money to restore and preserve the environment and combat climate change, by James Parker ’21 and Griffin King ’21.
1st Place: Backyard Brews, a craft beer brewery and taproom that offers a unique customer experience through an emphasis on local beers, food, artists and community, by Cameron Lyons ’21 and Thomas Vogl ’21.
2nd Place: Force Baseball, a high tech baseball that provides analytics to maximize training and improve pitcher output, by Henry Cheney ’20, Christian Peters ’20 and Connor Knutson 20.
3rd Place: EcoFloss, an antibacterial and sustainable bamboo dental flosser, by Cooper Moore ’21, Travis LaFrance ‘20, Kayla Benson ‘21, and Trevor Baek ’20.
For more information contact the Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation at email@example.com .
About the Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation
The Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation supports all University of Portland students in the development of leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation skills, knowledge, and mindsets. The Franz Center helps students learn how to make ideas happen, create new business models and plans, develop innovative projects, and think outside the box. It has been ranked consistently among the top entrepreneurship programs nationally and is recognized for its outreach to and partnerships with Portland’s business community.