Finalists in entrepreneurship competition include dating app for do-gooders, year-round indoor farm and relationship management system for voters and representatives.
The New Venture Competition, the George Washington University’s signature contest for potential businesses, enters its final round on April 19. The 106 teams that entered the competition in January have been winnowed down to 10, most of them made up of students who will compete for $130,000 in cash and over $140,000 in in-kind prizes. Four are part of the competition’s integrated Social Entrepreneurship track, supported in conjunction with the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service and GWupstart Social Innovation Lab.
Below, in their own words, the 10 teams that might have the next big idea:
Pharmaceutical aid to help smokers quit
Team Leader: Khameini Ali, SMHS graduate student
Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death worldwide and over 1 billion people smoke on a daily basis. Abdicare has developed a novel pharmaceutical in the form of a once daily e-cigarette/inhaler that will help smokers defeat their addiction via aversion therapy.
Innovative indoor farming techniques for year-round local produce
Team Leader: Parth Chauhan, B.A. ’13
HomeGrown Farms is an indoor farming company that yields hyperlocal, sustainable produce by utilizing cutting-edge hydroponics. Our farms will grow produce for consumers interested in the freshest produce. HGF systems function regardless of weather conditions and will be placed in densely populated communities. HomeGrown Farms: Grow Local, Eat Local.
Collaborative financial research platform for institutional investors
Team Leader: Jacob Learned, CCAS senior
Lucrant is a web platform in which users can read and discuss SEC filings or have them automatically delivered via email or their favorite cloud storage provider. Lucrant aggregates and preprocesses financial data from the SEC, making it readily available using natural language processing techniques and a user-friendly interface.
Mental Health Promotion
Mental health curriculum designed by and for students
Team Leader: Kyrah Altman, CCAS freshman
One in four teens is affected by mental illness, an issue increasingly linked to suicide, substance abuse and violence. Mental Health Promotion is a curriculum designed to supplement the existing health education class taught in high schools across the country, reducing these issues and promoting student wellness and academic success.
Project Dream Miles
App that makes every run count for charity
Team Leader: Yeshwant Chillakuru, CCAS junior
Project Dream Miles uses running and technology to create local social impact. For every mile logged on our run-tracking app, DreamRun, we donate 10¢ to a local charity of the user's choosing. We make this possible by providing highly targeted & specialized marketing services to sponsors.
Online marketplace connecting homeowners with home improvement professionals
Team Leader: Veer Taneja, GWSB senior
“Propisor is an online aggregator of service providers that allows customers to connect with the right vendor as per the customer's specifications: location, budget, taste and timeline. Propisor promotes transparency by exposing customers to vendor profiles that showcase pictures/videos of projects, cost of service, former work locations, certifications, recognitions, etc.
Constituent relationship management system for voters and legislators
Team Leader: Kevin Connell, GWSB senior
Represently is a digital platform enabling effective communication between constituents and their representatives. The customer relations management (CRM) software is the only constituent-centric product. For the Hill, Represently makes constituent correspondence their greatest asset. For voters, Represently enables group digital advocacy directly to their Congressperson.
Dating app for volunteer-minded singles
Team Leader: Leah Farrar, GW Law 3L
RightDate is a dating app that invites users on dates to volunteer or otherwise participate in nonprofit activities. By tapping into millennials’ desire to volunteer, RightDate will solve the time commitment issues presented by regular online dating.
Color-customized 3D printing material for artists and designers
Team Leader: Anna Wu, GWSB sophomore (Ms. Wu is the only double major in the finals, working toward majors in fine arts and business.)
Artists and designers who primarily use desktop 3D printing machines have two problems: Filament colors are very limited, and common machines only print in a single color. With Seamless Color, consumers specify colors from the color matching system and design their filament to order, specifying individual colors, color combinations and color lengths.
Connects college students in search of flexible, short-term paid work with businesses in search of help
Team Leader: Colin McFaul, B.A. ’15
Staff U connects college students with employers seeking to fill project-based jobs that last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks.