Cozad New Venture Competition
Congratulations to last year's winning teams:
Want to start a company? Have an idea for a startup? Cozad can help with funding, mentoring and taking your ideas to the next level.
The Cozad New Venture Competition (CNVC) is designed to encourage students to create new businesses. Teams are invited to create a venture around a topic of their choice.
The competition process offers teams assistance in the form of: mentors to help guide them through the phases of venture creation, workshops to help with idea validation, pitching skills, customer development, and more as well as and courses to enhance their skills and knowledge.
Teams who make it to the finals round of competition will have the opportunity to meet with venture capitalists, early stage investors and successful entrepreneurs who will serve as judges. The judges will determine up to 8 finalist teams that will present their ventures at the finals event. Last year, these teams competed for nearly $200,000 in funding and in-kind prizes.
The co-founding team must consist of at least 30% University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students and the overall team should be at least 50% students (from any institution). Non-students may be members of the co-founding team and participate in planning the venture, but only Illinois students may present the plan and answer questions from the judges in all rounds. There is no limit to the number of teams that can enter the CNVC. Students can serve on multiple teams.
We have recently made some exciting changes to the competition:
- Students can compete in two different tracks: teams commercializing their own ideas OR teams commercializing University-funded research.
- We are partnering with the College of Business to include workshops on finances, marketing, customer development and more.
- We will be offering more mentoring (from alumni and community) for teams throughout the competition.
- We will award a Best Smart Grid or Energy Specific Venture this year!
2014-15 Schedule of Events
Optional Cozad Workshops & Events:
Sept 25th:11AM-1PM Visas, International Students and Starting a Company with Jenifer Brown (click here to view video)
Oct 23rd: 12-12:45PM Provisional Patents 101 with Joe Barich (B02 CSL)
Nov 10th: 6-8PM SocialFuse & Cozad Kick-Off (Illini Union 2nd floor Ballroom)
Jan 28th: 6-8PM SocialFuse (Krannert Center); RSVP here
JAN 30th: DEADLINE TO SUBMIT INTENT TO COMPETE FORM ONLINE (link to come)
Feb 3rd: Customer Development Workshop
Feb 5th: 12-2PM Intellectual Property Clinic Kick-Off with Joe Barich (2405 Siebel Center)
Feb 13th: Executive Summary & Customer Development deliverable due
Week of Feb 16th: Online video posted for Elevator Pitches
Feb 24th: Elevator Pitch Night One & (Deadline to submit signed waivers)
Feb 26th: Elevator Pitch Night Two
Office hours offered ongoing; email for appointments
March 3rd/4th: Financials, Putting the Plan Together
Mar 9th: SocialFuse (location TBD)
Mar 19th: Deadline to submit final materials (online judging occurs)
April 6th: TEC announces finalists via email & website
April 10th: Chicago Mentoring Event
April 16th: Workshop - Pitch Presentations
April 16th: Deadline to withdraw from competition
April 23rd: Networking Event
Friday, April 24th: Showcase and Finals: Winners announced at awards ceremony (NCSA)
Kick-Off and Networking Event
The Technology Entrepreneur Center will host a CNVC Kickoff Event that will include an overview of the Competition and a networking event.
Intellectual Property Clinic Kick-Off
The IP Clinic is a joint effort between the TEC and the University of Illinois College of Law (COL) in which selected participants from the Cozad New Venture Competition have the option of two tracks to participate in: the Patent Track or the Trademark Track. Selected startups can have a patent application drafted for them at no cost if their invention description includes a novel and potentially patentable device, system or method. Or selected startups will be advised on trademark matters and have trademark applications prepared for them.
Who can apply?
All undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to compete for the award regardless of college, department, or major. Students must be enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the academic year in which they care competing. All teams must include at least one full-time student in order to compete.
To view the complete Cozad Rule Book please click here
Intent to Compete Form
Students or Teams interested in applying for Cozad may fill out the Intent to Compete form.
Will be posted during the 2014-2015 school year.
Final Submission Materials
Will be posted during the 2014-2015 school year.
All competing students/ teams will need to fill out a Competition Waiver and Rules Acknowledgment form.
An example can be found here: Competition Waiver and Rules Acknowledgment form
Welcome to the fifteenth annual V. Dale Cozad New Venture Competition (CNVC). We appreciate your interest in participating in the competition, hosted by the Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois).
Team members will be asked to sign a statement that they have read and understand the contents of the following Rule Book. Please read through it carefully, and let the TEC faculty/staff know if you have any questions regarding the contents herein.
Adam Tilton and Prashant Mehta
RITHMIO is a data analytics software company with an analytics engine based on research originally funded by the US Air Force for missile guidance and satellite navigation applications. Our first product is a gesture recognition system for wearable devices.
Brett Jones, Rajinder Sodhi, and Kevin Karsch
LUMENOUS creates computer vision technology to make projection mapping easier, cheaper, and more powerful in advertising. Lumenous launched by three leading computer science PhD students with expertise and licensing history in computer vision technologies.
Nishana Ismail and Tim Deppen
SERVABO is a self-protection technology company dedicated to reducing the frequency of violent crime. From quickly and discreetly notifying friends of an emergency to providing enhanced safety measures, Servabo is here to keep you safe and secure.
Jim Langer and Welhua Zheng
SERIONIX is an advanced materials company developing high performance filtration technologies to remove toxic or unwanted chemicals from air and water. Serionix purification is differentiated by game-changing performance, well-defined selectivity for targeted chemicals, and potential for low-cost production.
Yi Chen, Aaron Wiener, Dave Tarvin, Rui Cai, and Jingrui Lu
EFFIMAX SOLAR is developing a more efficient Nano texturing technique for more solar cells that they will sell to photovoltaic manufacturing plants. They engineer products for solar manufacturers worldwide. Their patented silicon nanotexturing approach produces the industry's most powerful solar cells, and shortens a traditional 3-hour production process to just 5 minutes. Their aim is to reduce solar manufacturing costs and facilitate affordable solar power at the consumer level.
Zach Tratar, Rob Grzyb, and Jason Febery
CONTENDABLE is a platform for hosting and managing competitions in a unique community-based network which enables businesses to crowd source innovation.
Mathew Gornick and Ryan Matthews
ORANGEQC is a quality control company for the janitorial and food-service market. They work with contractors and offer them a software as a service (SaaS) web application to keep track of the quality of service as well as mobile device software to perform area inspections.
Adam Steele, Will Leinweber, and August Knecht
MERGE.FM is collaborative songwriting and music composition website based on audio tracks. This technology will allow millions of musicians to collaborate on songs together.
Paulius Elvikis, Jingyan Dong, and Deep Kishore
CANSIL developed their first product, the CanderPinch detection system. The CancerPinch diagnoses metastatic cancer cells within in-vitro tissue samples. CanSil leverages nano-fabrication techniques to make micro devices that detect cancer. These devices exploit the difference in mechanical properties between cancerous and healthy cells to make diagnoses faster and more reliably than existing techniques.
Adam Sawyer and Kurt Adair
SA MICROSYSTEMS goal is to provide universities and research laboratories with easy-to-use workstations for analyzing microfluidic devices. Sawyer and Adair predict that their device will be used primarily by individuals developing new microfluid projects related to blood testing and DNA analysis.
Dan Moorehead and Aaron Pollack
REALMWARE is developing a tool that can help build three-dimensional games, simulations and visualizations. Realmware Corporation, developer of the Visual 3D Game Engine, provides a full range of offshore and US-based software development services for 3D games, simulations, and virtual worlds. The underlying 3D engine for Visual3D Game Engine first began development in 2003, and with Visual3D's All-in-One Toolset beginning development in late 2005.
Michael Callahan, Thomas Coleman, David Osorio, and Bridget Ahern
AMBIENT CORPORATION developed the Audeo. The Audeo is a sensory device placed around the neck of an afflicted person. In operation, it intercepts the signals from the brain that control the vocal chords and the vocal tract. The speech can then either be output directly or used to control external devices, such as a motorized wheelchair.
Andrew Honegger and Andy Phillip
MICROLUTION INC is now a 24-employee company that designs and manufactures specialty machines that create tiny, high-precision parts on Chicago's northwest side. After several years of university level research beginning in the late 1990′s, Microlution officially incorporated in 2005 with a single 3-axis machine. Today, Microlution offers a full line of 3, 4, and 5-axis micro-milling machines, femtosecond laser machining platforms, and a micro lathe for turning applications.
Michael Philpott and Eric Hiller
FEATURE BASED COSTING SYSTEMS is a system and method for automatically estimating the optimized cost of a part during the course of design of the part on a computer-aided design (CAD) system by a designer. An estimate of optimized costs and cost reasoning is fed to the designer as an output display on an output device.
Myung Kim and Aaron Goldstein
KIM LABORATORIES INC is a privately held biotech company. It began operations in May 2003 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) focusing on the food safety market. Kim Laboratories is still the only company in the world who produces antibodies specific for Norovirus.
Bruce Flachsbart and Greg Moszgal
OPTOELECTRONIC ASSEMBLY is working to improve optoelectronic component manufacturing through the development of electronic components and is currently located in Longview, Illinois.
Julie Thompson and Larry Markoski
CHROMAX CHROMATOGRAPHY SOLUTIONS was started in 1998 by two chemistry students. The company developed chromatography devices, used by chemists in industry and academia for chemical analysis. The company was unable to produce many sales due to an expensive product and small market and they eventually shut down.
About V. Dale Cozad
Born on a farm in Illinois, Dale Cozad earned a degree in Agricultural Economics from Southern Illinois University, and promptly embarked on a career in insurance. Although very successful, his growing interest in diversified financial services led him to found Cozad Asset Management in 1972. Today, the company is a registered investment advisor with over $350 million in assets under management.
Dale Cozad was also one of the entrepreneurs who founded Cozad Westchester Agricultural Asset Management, which to date has received $390 million in commitments from institutional agricultural investors.
In recognition of Dale’s great success, and of his long friendship with Peter Fox, Peter and his wife Kim have, through a generous endowment, established both the V. Dale Cozad Lecture Series in Entrepreneurship through the College of Commerce, and the Cozad New Venture Competition through the Technology Entrepreneur Center in the College of Engineering. These gifts, enhanced by family and friends of Dale Cozad, honor his memory, his hard work, dedication and entrepreneurial spirit.
Speaking of his father, Greg Cozad, now the president of Cozad Asset Management, recalls that “he was always an entrepreneur at heart, always looking for new financial services that would allow him to serve his clientele better. He was very competitive by nature and loved to encourage and assist young people in their career goals. The Lecture Series in Entrepreneurship and the Business Plan Competition are therefore fitting memorials to my dad, and an outstanding tribute to his legacy. They combine his business interest with his commitment to the University of Illinois."
Dale Cozad was a valued member of the Commerce Business Advisory Council from 1981 until his untimely death in 1993.