Posts Tagged ‘Tulane Entrepreneurs Association’
Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Judges of the Tulane Business Model Competition’s semifinals round emerged from an upstairs room in New Orleans’ historic Gallier Hall on Tuesday (March 25) with three named finalists: Tympanogen offers a new treatment to replace surgery for chronic tympanic membrane perforations or holes in the eardrum; InVision Biomedical offers a device designed to help alleviate common tracheostomy complications; and Million Dollar Scholar hopes to help educate high school students on how to fund their college educations.
Tulane Business Model Competition finalist Ras Asan, COO of Million Dollar Scholar, presents to judges at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. (Photo by Maggy Baccinelli)
These businesses were chosen from a diverse group of eight startups, including a latke cart and catering service, a sugar cane juice drink and a volunteer management service, all of which presented at the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week event.
Finalists won an additional $2,000 each and the chance to win $25,000 more at the closing event on April 11.
Of the winners, competition judge and president of Medline Industries Andy Mills said, “There is a great understanding that products that improve health care, either by lowering costs or eliminating pain through a less invasive procedure, will inherently succeed.”
He added, “There is also a great need for Million Dollar Scholar, which was a well established, buttoned-up group. They are selling a book, they’ve won awards, and they have a good web presence.”
Ras Asan, chief operating officer of Million Dollar Scholar, appreciated the judges’ support. “We’ve received a lot of good feedback on the services we provide, but having such an esteemed group of entrepreneurs validate what we are doing was really rewarding,” Asan said.
The judging panel included eight professional entrepreneurs representing a wide range of industries, and all are proud Tulane alumni.
“I really appreciated the opportunity to see what the students are doing,” Mills said. “It made me feel good about the future and all that is happening at Tulane.”
Monday, March 24th, 2014
Eight semifinalists will be pitching live in the completely revamped Tulane Business Model Competition during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), the sixth annual premier showcase event for the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The pitches will take place in Gallier Hall Ballroom 3A on Tuesday, March 25, at 1:30 p.m. The event is free and registration is available at the door for attendees who arrive at 1 p.m.
The 2014 Tulane Business Model Competition will award $25,000 to the early-stage venture demonstrating the best customer-tested business model.
The top three pitches will be awarded $2,000 and granted access to the final round pitches on April 11th at Tulane University and a chance to win $25,000 and enter the International Business Model Competition as a semifinalist.
Semifinalists include: ComeFail, CCC, Fleur de Latkes, InVision Biomedical, Million Dollar Scholar, Threadix, Tympanogen, and US Fresh Cane.
The competition was completely redesigned to better reward the practical aspects of what make startups successful – the ability to rapidly adapt to customers’ needs. Judges will be examining each company and how they have been able to prove customer validation and adapt to the process of creating a business model.
Judges include: Charles Allen (UC ’92), President/Managing Director, Riptide Investments; Wally Boston (MBA ’78), President and CEO of American Public University System (APUS); Larry Connelly (MBA ’82), Former CEO, Connolly LLC; Pierce Marshall (BSM ’90), President and CEO, Élevage Capital Management, LLC; Ti Martin (MBA ’84), co-proprietor of the Commander’s Family of Restaurants, co-founder and board chairman of the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute; Andy Mills (BSM ’83) – President, Medline Industries; and Matt Schwartz (BSM ’99), Principal and Founder, The Domain Companies.
Drew Mouton (BS ’94, MBA ’12) former CEO of Carrollton Group, Founder/Managing Director of Caerus Management will be the Master of Ceremony.
Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) President Adrian Mendez said the organization is excited to have so many students involved in NOEW. “We excited to have such access to and participation in the nationally recognized entrepreneur week. We’re eager to continue building upon the entrepreneurial movement across the region.”
Through the competition, the Tulane IDEAcorps team and many attendees having ties to Tulane, the university has become an integral part of NOEW. “We are thrilled that Tulane is hosting one of their major Entrepreneurship events during NOEW 2014. We have a long-standing partnership with the University and are excited to see Tulane driving Entrepreneurship initiatives, both on campus, and throughout broader New Orleans community,” said managing director of The Idea Village Emily Madero.
“The competition has always been a flagship event that supports local–now regional– entrepreneurs and programs,” Mendez continued. “As the program grows, we hope to continue to motivate and inspire students to be on the forefront of entrepreneurial activity with the resources we provide.”
Follow along with the Business Model Competition on Facebook at facebook.com/tulanebusinessmodelcompetition and on Twitter at twitter.com/tulanebmc. TEA can be found at facebook.com/TulaneTEA. More information is available at tulane2014.istart.org.
Friday, February 28th, 2014
The Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) has announced eight semi-finalists for the group’s newly revamped Tulane Business Model Competition.
The 2014 Tulane Business Model Competition will award $35,000 to startup ventures with consumer-tested business ideas.
After a 13-year-run, the contest was redesigned to better reward the practical aspects of what make startups successful – the ability to rapidly adapt to customers’ needs. It offers a $25,000 grand prize and $10,000 for the runner-up.
“From food carts and hospitality ventures to educational technology and biomedical devices, our eight finalists truly represent a cross-section of the New Orleans startup scene,” says Ralph Maurer, executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship. “I’m looking forward to seeing how these talented young entrepreneurs hone their business models in preparation for the final competition on April 11.”
The semi-finalists are:
• ComeFail, a space for college students to fail safely and a platform for supportive learning and exploration.
• CCC, a venture that offers customized volunteer and hospitality experiences for customers so that they can easily enjoy, learn, and support New Orleans like never before.
• Fleur de Latkes, a new food cart and catering business in uptown New Orleans that specializes in bringing a modern take on your “bubbe’s” Jewish cooking down to NOLA.
• InVision Biomedical, a firm that takes existing innovative procedures and implements novel medical devices, expanding patient safety and hospital cost efficiency.
• Million Dollar Scholar, an education technology and services venture that addresses higher education affordability by providing students with an online platform to learn how to become successful in the scholarship application process
• Threadix, an event management and data analytics company utilizing the latest technological innovations in near field communication to allow advertisers and event organizers new methods to expand branding opportunities.
• Tympanogen, a firm commercializing a gel patch developed at Tulane University, called Perf-Fix™, for non-surgical repair of chronic tympanic membrane perforations.
• US Fresh Cane, a sugar cane drink company that provides consumers an alternate and natural drink that can improve their health and fitness levels.
Semi-finalists receive $1,000 each and get to pitch, receive mentoring and network with a variety of lean startup experts on Tuesday, March 25, during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, the sixth annual premier showcase event for the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Ultimately, three finalists will present their business models at Tulane University on Friday, April 11, 2014.
Tulane is now taking after the International Business Model Competition, a contest that wants ventures to prove customer validation and adapt to the process of creating a business model. Instead of intensive library research, student entrepreneurs will get out in the field and prove their assumptions.
TEA President Adrian Mendez believes the competition provides a deeper learning opportunity and a more guided process for those interested in launching and running a company. “Essentially what we’re doing is creating an evolution of what has been established at Tulane, allowing for students to quickly prototype and execute ideas instead of just participating in a one time pitch.”
“The competition has always been a flagship event that supports local–now regional– entrepreneurs and programs,” Mendez says. “As the program grows, we hope to continue to motivate and inspire students to be on the forefront of entrepreneurial activity with the resources we provide.”
Follow the Tulane Business Model Competition on Facebook at facebook.com/tulanebusinessmodelcompetition and on Twitter at twitter.com/tulanebmc.
Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
After hosting one of the region’s premiere college business plan competitions for 14 years, the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) has completely redesigned the contest to better reward the practical aspects of what make startups successful – the ability to rapidly adapt to customers’ needs.
The 2014 Tulane Business Model Competition will award more than $35,000 in prizes to new business ventures demonstrating a customer-validated business model.
Instead of rewarding the theoretical, the new contest wants ventures to show they’ve worked with potential customers to vet their services, adapted to those needs and shown the ability to quickly change course if the market disproves their assumptions. The new Tulane Business Model Competition offers a $25,000 grand prize and a $10,000 award for runner-up.
“In this contest, sleek presentations are not going to cut it,” said Ralph Maurer, executive director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship at Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business. “Participants won’t be rewarded for overly ambitious sales projections, drawing fancy graphs or crafting the perfect pitch to venture capitalists.”
Instead the contest rewards teams for breaking down their idea into a key business model hypotheses; testing their assumptions with customers; applying Customer Development/Lean Startup principles to make sure they nail the solution; and learning to pivot until they have a customer-validated business model.
The contest is open to any team led by at least two or more students enrolled in a college or university. To enter, teams must submit a video presentation – normally a voice annotated slide deck no longer than 10 minutes – online by 11:59, Feb 14. More details on submission criteria are available at: http://tulane2014.istart.org/ .
“Entering the first round of the competition doesn’t require a significant time investment, and it’s a worthwhile exercise for anyone working on a startup,” Maurer said.
TEA will select eight semi-finalists who will win $1,000 each and get to pitch, receive mentoring and network with a variety of lean startup experts on Tuesday, March 25, in New Orleans. Ultimately, three finalists will present their business models at Tulane University on Friday, April 11, 2014.
- Keith Brannon
Wednesday, November 6th, 2013
The Internet is a powerful force that’s still evolving in unexpected, exciting and cool ways. The promise of the Internet is that “it actually lets us achieve our maximum for awesome,” said Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, a social news and entertainment website with 81 million unique visitors a month.
Tulane alumnus Erik Martin, right, general manager of Reddit, a wildly successful social news and entertainment website, and Alexis Ohanian, Reddit’s co-founder, discuss the advantages of being a humanities major in a tech world. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
Ohanian spoke at a Tulane Entrepreneurs Association event on Friday (Nov. 1) as part of a 150-stop bus tour promoting his book Without Their Permission.
All links on the World Wide Web are created equal, Ohanian pointed out. “That means that any one of us with our Internet connections and our great ideas can spread them faster and further than ever before. We can use the Internet as an amazing stage and library for knowledge.”
Joining Ohanian on stage was the general manager of Reddit, Erik Martin, a 1999 Tulane University graduate.
Ira Solomon, dean of the A. B. Freeman School of Business, introduced Martin — named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people — as “perhaps Tulane’s favorite alum who is at the center of the tech world.”
Reddit is a bulletin board, where users post links and original text, called “selfs.” It is “an extremely powerful voice for sharing knowledge and for shaping public opinion,” said Solomon.
“Subreddits” are postings organized by subject areas. Reddit users vote up or down on postings, determining a posting’s ranking and position on the page.
Martin said that his education (he earned a BA in American studies) taught him how to recognize cultural patterns, a skill that comes in handy now as he organizes the intersections of interesting things “to unpack and explore” on Reddit postings.
“I’ve been lucky enough to do at Reddit [what he did as an American studies major] … to look and see how there’s something really interesting going on,” Martin said. “Let’s see where it can go.”
— Mary Ann Travis
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
Tulane startups in nutrition, medical technology and public health will compete for $50,000 next month in the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association’s (TEA) 13th annual Tulane Business Plan Competition.
The 13th annual Tulane Business Plan Competition will take place on Friday, April 19, 2013, at the A. B. Freeman School of Business.
TEA announced finalists for the business plan competition, which is open to student innovators from around the world, as well as the Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge, which awards $20,000 to the best plan for New Orleans-based venture with strong growth potential and positive local impact.
Tulane Business Plan Competition finalists include: Be Well Nutrition, a nutritional beverage startup; Humanure Power, which aims to provide sustainable sanitation and electricity to rural India; and TRUE-See Systems, a healthcare venture that has a new high-resolution digital system for diagnostic imaging. While 51 companies from 21 universities and four countries entered the contest, this is the first year that all finalists are from Tulane.
Finalists for the Domain Companies Challenge include Be Well Nutrition, TRUE-SEE Systems and Haystack EDU, an online platform to help connect schools and teachers.
Both contests focus on ventures committed to conscience capitalism, which is based on the belief that a business can benefit both the community and major stakeholders.
“In today’s world, young business leaders are looking for ways to do business better, while making a bigger, sustainable impact. That is why our competition awards those with the best plans to achieve all around conscious capitalism – maintaining high standards and integrity, while serving itself, its employees, investors, the community and the entire world,” said TEA President Callan Maumus. “The companies chosen as finalists represent the value of conscious capitalism and know that the pursuit of a higher purpose is mandatory in doing business in today’s global marketplace.”
All finalists will present their plans to judges in a live event starting at 8:30 a.m., Friday, April 19, at the A. B. Freeman School of Business. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.tea.tulane.edu.
Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
Jerrycans — 20-liter plastic containers ubiquitous in third-world countries — are a favorite for relief organizations because they’re so versatile for storing water or fuel and easily transportable. What if they could be adapted to work double-duty as a cheap disinfection device in areas with scant access to clean water? A medical student and a graduate student at Tulane University have a novel idea.
Medical student Olivia Chang and engineering grad student Alex Girau, founders of SODI-CAN, will compete for a $50,000 prize in Friday’s Tulane Business Plan Competition. (Photo by Theodore Pei)
It’s an idea that third-year medical student Olivia Chang came up with while working for a relief agency in Tanzania in east Africa. Since then, she’s teamed up with Alex Girau in the School of Science and Engineering to develop SODI-CAN, a plastic container that uses solar energy to disinfect water. The venture won $5,000 last year in the Tulane School of Medicine’s inaugural Medical Science Innovation Challenge and it is one of three finalists competing for $50,000 in Friday’s Tulane Business Plan Competition.
SODI-CAN uses a proprietary coating inside the container to enhance the sun’s ability to heat up water to kill germs and bacteria. Depending on the time and season, it can take anywhere from a few minutes or hours in the sun to work, Chang said.
“At 135 degrees Fahrenheit, most pathogens can be killed within minutes,” Chang says. “The longer the exposure and the higher the temperature eliminate even more bacteria and viruses.”
Chang and Girau are planning to use any prize money to develop prototypes to test the product in New Orleans. The venture is also a finalist in the Jumo Welcome to the Good Challenge. Online voting for the contest runs through April 15. Ultimately, Chang has very high goals for SODI-CAN, hoping that one day they will replace jerrycans across the globe.
The Tulane Business Plan Competition takes place from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Friday (April 13) in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II on the uptown campus. Other finalists include medical device firm Calcula from Stanford University and pharmaceutical venture EpiQi Sciences from Brigham Young University.
Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
The Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) has announced the six finalists for the 2012 Tulane Business Plan Competition and Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge, which together will award $70,000 in cash prizes to two promising new ventures.
The Tulane Business Plan Competition is the nation's only business plan competition dedicated to the principles of Conscious Capitalism.
The competitions will take place at the A. B. Freeman School of Business on Tulane University’s uptown campus on Friday, April 13, with the winners to be announced later that evening during the Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala at the Audubon Tea Room.
The Tulane Business Plan Competition, now in its 12th year, will award a grand prize of $50,000 to the most promising new venture that embodies the principles of Conscious Capitalism. In addition, competition partner and sponsor the Domain Companies will award a prize of $20,000 to the venture with the greatest potential economic impact on New Orleans.
“We received 52 applications from 18 universities in three countries for this year’s competition,” said Court Robinson (MBA ’12), president of TEA. “Narrowing those outstanding entries down to six finalists was difficult, but the exceptional quality of this year’s entrants is a testament to both the growth of Conscious Capitalism and the growing reputation of the Tulane Business Plan Competition.”
The three finalists in each competition are listed below.
TULANE CONSCIOUS CAPITALISM BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION – $50,000
Calcula, Stanford University
Calcula is developing novel urological medical devices for the removal of kidney stones without anesthesia. The opportunity is a disruption in the field of urology and has significant patient impact.
EpiQi Sciences, Brigham Young University
EpiQi Sciences is a drug repositioning firm formed to reposition an already-FDA-approved drug from its existing disease to treat anemia of chronic inflammation (ACI). After a projected three-year window to complete repositioning, EpiQi Sciences will license its patent rights to pharmaceutical companies and collect royalties over an extended 20-year patent life.
SODI-CAN, Tulane University
SODI-CAN is a dual-purpose water vessel that stores and disinfects water utilizing solar energy. The project was developed through the Tulane University School of Medicine’s Medical Science Innovation Competition in 2011 with the purpose of conceptualizing a novel method of providing clean water to people. The idea began in Tanzania, where people walk miles carrying water to-and-from water springs, only to suffer from microbial related illnesses with inadequate water disinfection. The introduction of water disinfection methods has been hindered by cost-effectiveness, design limitations, community scale-ups and cultural appropriateness.
DOMAIN COMPANIES NEW ORLEANS ENTREPRENEUR CHALLENGE – $20,000
Bideo, Loyola University
Bideo.com (bid + video) is the world’s first auction exchange for real-time trading of news video and photos. Bideo allows user-creators and citizen photojournalists to protect and sell exclusive images to news publications in a competitive bidding environment. The C2B platform combines free market dynamics, digital rights management, consumer technology and transparency to provide owners of rare, high-demand footage with the framework and tools needed to monetize big media’s soaring demand for this emerging source.
Nanofex, University of New Orleans
NanoFex, a Tulane University spinout based in New Orleans, is a for-profit company that addresses the demand for groundwater treatment by providing a novel, affordable, effective method for remediating hazardous chemicals commonly found in soil and groundwater.
ReactWell, Tulane University
ReactWell develops, manufactures and operates energy efficient underground geothermal reactor systems to economically produce and sell crude oil, bioproducts and other high-value oils, while increasing biomass growth rates. ReactWell is pioneering algae-based advanced biofuel technology by combining proven geothermal technology, bulk open-pond algae raceways, and solar energy to naturally, safely, and cost-effectively cultivate algae to produce valuable crude oil. ReactWell’s proprietary technology converts total biomass and waste into crude oil and other co-products that are cost competitive compared to conventional oils derived from fossil fuels, plants, or animal fats.
The 2012 Tulane Business Plan Competition is made possible with the generous support of the following sponsors: Domain Companies, Freeman School Graduate Business Council, Freeman School Dean’s Office, Baker Donelson, Tulane Association of Business Alumni, Tulane Business Forum, Jones Walker, Legacy Capital, New Orleans BioInnovation Center, Crescent Bank and Trust/Gary Solomon, Tulane Graduate and Professional Schools Association, Oracle Capital, Ron Ondechek Jr. and Ian Jones.
For more information about the event or to register to attend, visit http://tbpc2012.eventbrite.com/
Monday, December 6th, 2010
The Tulane Entrepreneurs Association kicks its 2011 Tulane Business Plan Competition up a notch with a new competition and a $50,000 top prize for the company with the best sustainable business model rooted in the ideals of conscious capitalism.
Sunil Bhardwaj and Sameer Hajee won the grand prize of $50,000 in last year's Tulane Business Plan Competition with their plan for Nuru Light, a conscious capitalism venture that distributes affordable rechargeable lights in Africa.
“Conscious Capitalism incorporates the principles of social entrepreneurship which are based on the belief that one can do good for the world while doing well for oneself,” says Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) President Chris Williams. “With this in mind, we feel that New Orleans is the perfect city to host the competition that highlights this progressive concept.”
The competition, organized by students at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business, offers the biggest cash prize of any student-run business plan competition in the country and is the only business plan competition in the nation dedicated to the principles of conscious capitalism.
The contest attracts applicants from top-tier universities across the United States and internationally. Any business venture can apply as long as one of the principals is an enrolled student at an accredited university. The deadline to apply is Jan. 23. Three rounds of judging will take place beginning in late January. The top three teams will be invited to present their plans before a panel of
judges and a live audience on Friday, April 8, at the Freeman School.
This year, thanks to the support and sponsorship of a successful real estate development firm founded by two Tulane business school alumni, TEA is expanding the contest to add a new prize that focuses specifically on New Orleans. The Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge, which is sponsored by The Domain Companies, will award $20,000 to the company that presents the best plan for the creation or expansion of a New Orleans-based business that demonstrates strong growth potential and positive local impact.
For more information about this year’s competition and details on how to enter, visit www.tea.tulane.edu.