Fifteen potential business plans vied for recognition in the U-Innovate! competition April 6, demonstrating that Ursinus students are independent and creative thinkers.Three top teams will get the opportunity to further develop their ideas on campus over the summer with seed money donated by Trustee Will Abele 1961.
The winning team included two biology majors and a philosophy major. First place was GEMS, Globalized Ethics for Medical Science, is a global infectious disease-reporting database which accounts for disease occurrences around the world, and provides treatment options with cultures in mind. Available online and updated in real-time by accredited physicians across the globe, its information will be accessible to the public, including—but not limited to—travelers, other physicians, and industry leaders. The team members are Aubrey Paris, Samir Shah and Evan Lord. The award is for $7,500.
Second place was Missed Moments, an application that will allow mostly college students to connect with someone they almost connected with, but missed the opportunity. The team, Bryan Sadler, Duncan McLuckie and Jonathan Monroe, was awarded $5,000.
Dinosource, the third place idea, is an application that tracks the sources of food in restaurants, from farm to table, or table backtracking to farm. Atticus Graven and Michelle Tanco, who receive $3,000, are also finalists in the “Oh-Penn for Business” competition for college business students held at Grove City College April 12.
The team Aro Hairbands, which uses microencapsulation technology to place fragrance in headbands, won $500 for Best Presentation. The team included Frank Sirch, Bryn O’Neill and Steven Berardi.
The competition is a signature program of the U-Imagine! Center started by faculty Dr. Carol Cirka of Business and Economics; Dr. Rebecca Jaroff of English and Dr. April Kontostathis of mathematics and computer science. The faculty team created and produced the U-innovate! competition.
Alumni served as mentors to the student teams, and business leaders served as judges: Tammy Cansler, President of Tendal Corp.; Brian DiSabatino, President and CEO of EDiS Company; Rob Gilfillan 1991, President of Cenero; Michael Macintosh 1996, founder of an internet startup, and Christ Taormina of Taormina solutions. Gilfillan gave the keynote address, “Starting a Business: Four Key Fundamental”
Ideas from the 15 teams involving 30 students included a textbook sharing business, educational programs, a fitness center for kids, a poncho for all weather, dolls that look realistic, a mobile phone app that tracks triggers of seizures, a non-profit devoted to using the arts as solutions to social encounters, an arts management services company; a clothing company that would empower African women; an outdoor classroom venture and a luxury resale business.