Posts Tagged ‘Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge’

Healthy beverage and teacher resource earn top prizes at biz plan competition

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Be Well Nutrition, maker of a new healthy lifestyle beverage, and Haystack EDU, an online platform that connects teachers with schools, were the big winners at the 13th annual Tulane Business Plan Competition.

The competition, an annual presentation of the student-led Tulane Entrepreneurs Association, took place on Friday (April 19) at the A. B. Freeman School of Business.

Be Well Nutrition, led by Billy Bosch, standing, and Michelle Chatelain (L ’14), far left, won the grand prize of $50,000 at the 2013 Tulane Business Plan Competition, which took place on Friday (April 19) at the Freeman School.

Be Well earned this year’s grand prize of $50,000 with its plan for Iconic, a new all-natural meal replacement drink that’s high in protein and low in sugar. According to Michelle Chatelain (L ’14), Be Well’s director of business development, the functional beverage market — which consists of sports drinks, teas, energy drinks and protein drinks — is dominated by beverages that promise protein, energy or alertness, but up until now no product has offered all three benefits in one drink.

“Iconic is the answer to this problem,” Chatelain said. “It’s the only beverage out there that’s straddling all three of fastest growing industries in this area.”

The hybrid quality of the product impressed the judges.

“Be Well has a very differentiated nutritional product that the market is starting to realize it needs,” said competition judge John Bertuzzi, a private investor and former managing director at Goldman Sachs. “I think it has very good potential to be an attractive addition in stores where the consumer looks for that type of differentiated product.”

Be Well co-founder Billy Bosch said the prize money will help the company complete its next production run, which is expected to cost about $70,000.

Thomas Hayes, standing, won the $20,000 top prize in the Domain Cos. New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge with his business plan for Haystack EDU, an online platform to connect teachers with job opportunities.

In the 3rd annual Domain Cos. New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge, which took place immediately following the Tulane Business Plan Competition and which highlights ventures with the potential to positively impact the local economy, Haystack EDU founder Thomas Hayes earned the $20,000 grand prize for his web-based platform that helps match teachers with schools and other professional opportunities.

“It was really the growth potential that attracted us,” said contest judge Matt Schwartz, principal of the Domain Cos. “We thought that our prize could really make a difference in giving him a shot, and if he’s ultimately successful, we think that will translate into benefits to New Orleans on a number of different levels, not just for creating jobs and bringing capital here but for the social impact as well.”

To see more photos from the 2013 Tulane Business Plan Competition, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.


Less than one week to enter Biz Plan Competition

Friday, January 18th, 2013

The deadline to enter the 2013 Tulane Business Plan Competition is Jan. 22 and officers of the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association are putting out a final call for entries.

The Tulane Business Plan Competition is the nation’s only business plan competition dedicated to the principles of conscious capitalism.

The annual competition, which is open to student innovators from around the world, offers a top prize of $50,000 for the startup with the best sustainable business model rooted in the ideals of conscious capitalism. Conscious capitalism incorporates the principles of social entrepreneurship, which are based on the belief that a business can benefit both the community and major stakeholders.

A second track called the Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge offers $20,000 for the best plan for a New Orleans-based business that demonstrates strong growth potential and positive impact on the local economy.

“We are excited about this year’s competition and are hoping to continue the recent momentum that Tulane has gained in the New Orleans community and beyond as a driving force for entrepreneurial growth in the region,” says TEA President Cullan Maumus. “We are expecting this year’s competition to receive more international applications than ever before as a result of our outreach.”

To enter, teams must submit a six-page business abstract and a $100 entrance fee. For more information and to register online, visit

The 2013 Tulane Business Plan Competition will take place at the A. B. Freeman School of Business on April 19.


Medical device company earns top prize at Tulane Business Plan Competition

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

For more than 250,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, lumpectomy surgery offers a less disfiguring, less traumatic alternative to mastectomy, but breast-conserving procedures have traditionally been less effective than mastectomies due to the difficulty of precisely excising and analyzing the cancer tissue.

Pathostat, a startup company based at the University of Arizona, hopes to change that with a new medical device technology that makes the analysis of tumors faster and more accurate, and for that innovation, the company earned the grand prize of $50,000 at this year’s Tulane Business Plan Competition.

Xenia Kachur co-presented the winning business plan for Pathostat, which has a patent-pending medical device that improves the analysis of cancer tissue.

In winning the competition, Pathostat edged out Drop the Chalk, a software development company targeting charter school teachers, and OsComp Systems, developer of a patent-pending natural gas compression technology.

The Tulane Business Plan Competition, an annual presentation of the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association, took place on Friday (April 8 ) at the Freeman School with the winner announced at an awards ceremony later that evening at the Audubon Tea Room. The three finalists, which were chosen from more than 70 entries, presented their plans in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II before a live audience and a distinguished panel of  judges.

Pathostat earned high marks from judges for developing a kit that pathologists can use to accurately analyze breast tissue while the patient is still on the operating table. The tissue is suspended in a quick-hardening gel that enables the pathologist to make thin, accurate slices to determine if all the cancer cells were removed or if the surgeon must remove additional tissue. The device has the potential to greatly improve the success rate of lumpectomies, reducing the need for additional surgeries, and the developers say the technology can be expanded for use in other types of cancer surgery as well.

“We felt as though Pathostat was addressing an unmet need in a very large market where there’s a lot of emphasis and a lot of potential for interest from investors down the road,” said competition judge Michael LeBourgeois (MBA ’00), principal with the private equity firm NGP Energy Technology Partners. “They are attacking an important area with a good, practical approach, and there was a lot of passion and drive on the part of the entrepreneurs. I think that resonated with the judges.”

The Tulane Business Plan Competition is the nation’s only competition dedicated to the principles of conscious capitalism, which emphasizes the importance for businesses to positively affect all stakeholders and the communities in which they operate. Pathostat CEO Xenia Kachur said the company didn’t have to look far to find its social purpose.

“We’re doing something that really has the potential to change people’s lives,” Kachur said. “That’s our goal. We’re trying to create a profitable and sustainable company, but our primary purpose is to help people.”

Drop the Chalk presents

Jen Schnidman Medbery, left, and Eric Gallagher (MBA ’12) of Drop the Chalk, which won first place in the inaugural Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge.

Thanks to a gift from real estate development and management firm the Domain Companies, this year’s event included a second competition open solely to New Orleans-based entrepreneurial ventures.

The Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge awarded a prize of $20,000 to the business or business idea judged to have the greatest potential economic impact on New Orleans.

Drop the Chalk, a finalist in the Tulane Business Plan Competition, won first place in the New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge, edging out Rebirth Financial, a microfinance company specializing in peer-to-business lending, and Surround Sound Accompaniment, a media startup that seeks to provide musicians with recorded accompaniment to practice with.

Drop the Chalk is no stranger to the business plan competition circuit. The company won last year’s NewDay Challenge, a business plan competition sponsored by Tulane’s Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives, and earned second place in the 2010 Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition thanks in no small part to the help of Freeman School MBA interns. This year was no exception. Drop the Chalk’s plan was co-presented by Eric Gallagher (MBA ’12), who currently serves as the company’s business development manager.

“For me, having Tulane here has been an indispensable help in really getting the company off the ground,” said Jen Schnidman Medbery, Drop the Chalk’s founder and CEO. “I have had a steady stream of really talented interns from almost day one, and I think having the university as a partner in entrepreneurship in the city creates this really unique pipeline.”

This year’s competition received 76 entries from 50 universities in five countries. A panel of more than 100 judges read the submissions and selected 20 semifinalists and, ultimately, three finalists for both the Tulane Business Plan Competition and the New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge.

In addition to LeBourgeois, this year’s final round judges included Dr. Sandra Coufal, founder of the Scientific Advisory Board of Relypsa Inc.; Steven R. Halperin, managing director with Barclays Capital; Eric Hebel, founder of Paper Street Creative; Kathy Laborde, president of the Gulf Coast Housing Partnership; Richard McCline, executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurial and Leadership Development at Southern University, Chris Papamichael and Matt Schwartz, principals of the Domain Companies; and Magatte Wade, founder and CEO of the Tiossano Tribe.

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