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Loyola takes home top prize at TCU Values and Ventures Competition

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InterWallet, a low-cost method for people with lower-incomes to pay bills and transfer funds from Loyola Marymount University, took home the top prize in the sixth annual Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Competition at TCU.

College students from 47 universities came to TCU April 8-9, for the event that judges business ideas that benefit society from undergraduate students. Rice University and the University of Texas at Dallas received honorable mentions at the event.

The annual competition is presented by the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center. Cash prizes totaled $77,700. More than 80 business leaders served as judges and mentors, to provide a solid base of knowledge about the viability of startup businesses.

Loyola Marymount University won first place and $25,000 for the InterWallet concept.

“I feel that business isn’t about just making money; it’s about creating a product or service that really helps people,” Franky Bernstein, who represented LMU in the competition, said. “More than 70 million people in this country struggle with basic things like having a bank account and paying bills, and I want to fix that.”

George Washington University won second place and $15,000 for The Rooftop Tea Company, empowering women in underserved communities to transform their rooftops into economically lucrative tea gardens. GWU also won the $1,000 Ripple Effect Award for women helping women.

“I think social entrepreneurship is the way to create innovative solutions for the future,” Cheyenne Tessier, who represented GWU, said. “I observed something happening in the developing world, where women didn’t have access to jobs to help with the family income. And in these communities, families really need more than one wage. So I knew it would be impactful to target these women that so many companies and NGOs are overlooking.”

Johns Hopkins University won third place and $10,000 for Separatec, a patent-pending ultrasonic tip that separates scar tissue in the spinal cord during surgery to reduce cerebrospinal fluid leaks and expedite recovery.

2016 TCU Values and Ventures Winners

• Grand Prize $25,000 Loyola Marymount University InterWallet payment and money transfer service for low-income neighborhoods

• Second Place $15,000 The George Washington University The Rooftop Tea Company, empowering women entrepreneurs through rooftop tea gardens

• Third Place $10,000 John Hopkins University Separatec patent-pending ultrasonic tip for spinal cord surgery

• Honorable Mention $2,500 Rice University Ziel, a sensor-sleeve that gives baseball pitchers real-time feedback to mitigate injury

• Honorable Mention $2,500 Grand Valley State University UCOL, a breakthrough device for urinary incontinence

• Honorable Mention $2,500 Florida State University DivvyUp fashion socks that donate a pair to homeless shelters for every pair sold

• Honorable Mention $2,500 University of Texas at Dallas Blanco Farms Exotic Mushrooms locally grown in repurposed shipping containers

• Honorable Mention $2,500 San Diego State University Genius, wearable sensors that allow people with severe physical disabilities to use computers via brainwaves

• Honorable Mention $2,500 University of Brawijawa (Indonesia) Garbage Clinical Insurance collects waste from impoverished households at a low cost and uses the fees to cover health care

• Founders Award $5,000 Ohio University Vaylenx, an environmentally safe, affordable, easy-to-use larvicide to decrease mosquito populations to combat mosquito-borne diseases

• Marjorie and James Sly Entrepreneurship Award $2,500 United States Air Force Academy Activity database and app that matches adventurers with trails, waterways and slopes, with option to rent/buy gear

• Ripple Effect Award $1,000 University of Brawijawa (Indonesia) Garbage Clinical Insurance

• Ripple Effect Award $1,000 The George Washington University The Rooftop Tea Company

• Ripple Effect Award $1,000 Iowa State University KinoSol is a solar food dehydrator that helps subsistence farmers reduce post-harvest loss

• Elevator Pitch First Place $1,000 University of Kansas Carbon Financial next-generation automated investment service for new investors with limited knowledge and capital to share fees

• Elevator Pitch Second Place $500 Emory University Sale Split cooperative buying for individuals to take advantage of bulk discounts

• Elevator Pitch Third Place (tie) $250 University of Strathclyde (Scotland) Befriend, an social meeting app designed to combat isolation for people over 65

• Elevator Pitch Third Place (tie) $250 Iowa State University KinoSol is a solar food dehydrator

• Elevator Pitch Honorable Mention $100 Brigham Young University Curo mobile wallet platform for users in developing countries to send, receive and store money without high banking fees

• Elevator Pitch Honorable Mention $100 Ohio University Vaylenx environmentally safe mosquito larvicide

Additional in-kind awards from sponsors included:

Grand Prize, Loyola Marymount University

• $75,000 worth of marketing/advertising services from Warren Douglas

• 4 hours of IT consulting services from Comport Consulting

• 3 hours of legal consulting services from Winstead PC

• 1.5 hours financial consulting services from B2B CFO

• Opportunity for one year of accelerator space with TECH Wildcatters

Second Place, The George Washington University

• 3 hours of marketing/branding consulting services from Ascend Concepts

• 2 hours of IT consulting services from Comport Consulting

• 2 hours of legal consulting services from Winstead PC

• Opportunity for one year of accelerator space with TECH Wildcatters

Third Place Johns Hopkin University

• 3 hours of marketing/branding consulting services from LComm Marketing & Public Relations

• 2 hours of IT consulting services from Comport Consulting

• 1 hour of legal consulting services from Winstead PC

Warren Douglas also gave an in-kind Innovation Award of $25,000 worth of marketing and advertising services to San Diego State University.

As judges deliberated, the students heard from Four Day Weekend improv comedy troupe on the power of “Yes, and” thinking in entrepreneurship. Four Day Weekend, the newest Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the TCU Neeley School of Business, was the featured speaker for TCU’s Bolin Innovation Forum.

www.neeley.tcu.edu/vandv.

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