$160,000 awarded in funding and prizes at the 2015 Cozad New Venture Competition

4/29/2015 Preena Patel

This January marked the beginning of the 15th Annual Cozad New Venture Competition hosted by the Technology Entrepreneur Center at the University of Illinois.  Nearly 100 teams applied for this year’s competition and competed through a series of rounds, including elevator pitches and the submission of portions of the Business Model Canvas. The teams were then narrowed down to 18 finalists.

These 18 teams competed in the Finals Event last Friday for nearly $160,000 in funding and in-kind prizes such as legal counseling, branding packages, incubator space. The startups showcased their ideas and technologies during a morning judging session where the top six teams were selected to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges and Illinois alumni in the afternoon. These top teams competed in two different tracks- University funded research and non-University funded teams. Both tracks awarded the top team with $15,000 in funding. PSYONIC and FlipWord were named the 2015 Cozad New Venture Competition Winners.

PSYONIC, the winner of the University funded track, is creating highly advanced prosthetic hands at 10 times less cost to improve the lives of people with amputations worldwide. PSYONIC is co-founded by Aadeel Akhtar, PhD candidate in Neuroscience and Patrick Slade, junior in Mechanical Science & Engineering.

FlipWord, the non-University funded winner, is a device that allows you to passively learn a language while browsing the web. Flipword is founded by Thomas Reese, a graduate student in Computer Science.

Awarded second place and $5,000 in funding on the University funded track was Your New Scope, a team that offers an environmentally friendly, micro-electronic photonic device wearable treatment to make your healthcare at home easy. Your New Scope is co-founded by Jimmy Ni, a PhD Candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Jeff Wang, Chul Shin, a graduate student in ECE, Alexandria Burnley, a graduate student in Math, and Narae Yoon, a graduate student in ECE.

The second place winner and recipient of $10,000 on the non-University funded track was Sudden Impact Analytics, a platform that tracks real time concussion detections for athletes through the use of a smart mouth guard. Sudden Impact Analytics is founded by Michael Dietz, a senior in ECE, Joe Benassi, a senior in Computer Science and Hanish Moolah, a junior in Aerospace Engineering.

Receiving third place and $5,000 on the non-University funded track was BioAnalytics, an early-stage biotechnology company focused on designing the next generation of immunoassay technology. BioAnalytics is co-founded by Lucas Smith, a graduate student in BioEngineering, and Michael Willard.

Additional cash prize winners include:

Archimedes Energy Solutions for the Best Energy Venture awarded for the most promising energy related startup and $5,000. PSYONIC and Glint each won the Samsung Research Innovation Challenge which awarded PSYONIC with $10,000 and Glint with $5,000.

Congratulations to all of the teams!

For more information here are the top 18 Cozad finalist teams:

Archimedes Energy Solutions: is developing a more effective heliostat to enhance the viability and competitiveness of concentrated solar power as an energy source.

AVriculture: Farm operators rely on experience-driven, gut feelings to make operational decisions. AVriculture's aerial vehicle, advanced imaging payload, and unique data processing create a data link between operators and their land. The result? Optimized workflow, enhanced yields and increased profits.

BioAnalytics: is an early-stage biotechnology company focused on designing the next generation of immunoassay technology. BioAnalytics concentrates on improving test speed, simplicity, sensitivity, and specificity in order to further academic research, pharmaceutical development, and clinical laboratory.

BreakfastBox: Eating breakfast is important, yet, many young professionals are skipping breakfast to save time. BreakfastBox is an automated counter-top appliance with the ability to prepare a variety of fresh cooked, high quality, hot meals with minimal user input, reducing the time required for breakfast.

Corvae: Trailblazers in the medical instrumentation and device space - Corvae is connecting doctors to data, nurses to clarity, and patients to comfort.

Dosify: is developing an oral drug delivery device for infants that delivers metered doses with no requirement for clean water or refrigeration. This will dramatically reduce infant mortality in low resource settings.

FlipWord: allows you to passively learn a language while browsing the web.

FreeSkies: Drones and Quad-copters are becoming more and more prevalent in the public space. FreeSkies is a software company building intelligent, autonomous control systems for multi-copters with an intuitive UI.  FreeSkies’ first step is to target the film industry, empowering filmmakers and directors.

Glint: Living on a college campus has opened our eyes to the issue of biker safety. Glint is a wearable light system that makes cyclists more visible and helps them communicate effectively with motorists. Glint will improve safety for bikers everywhere, whether commuting, exercising, or taking a joy ride.

Helios: is a cloud software application that helps selective student organizations manage their members, along with the hectic process of accepting, interviewing, and voting on new ones. We offer a suite of tools targeted towards different tasks that are common in this process.

Kofman Technologies LLC: is a multidisciplinary group of innovators coming together to design life-saving solutions to defense tech problems. We've prototyped and tested an industry-leading Level IV body armor system, and we're 2-4 weeks away from a modular, affordable, non-lethal armed police drone.

MyLastNight: is a social safety app designed to detect when a smartphone user falls unconscious. When the user is in trouble, MyLastNight relays their location to a network of trusted friends, in order to be rescued.

PSYONIC: is a highly advanced prosthetic hands at 10x less cost to improve the lives of people with amputations worldwide.

Snacktime Delivery: A three-click food delivery app for Champaign-Urbana.

Sudden Impact Analytics: Real time concussion detection in athletes through use of a smart mouth guard. App notifies coaches/athletic trainers of severe head impacts and provides data to help them recognize and diagnose concussions.

Tottu: is a fully integrated wireless and modular point of sales (POS) system that increases efficiency by eliminating unnecessary overhead from the ordering and payment process. In addition to traditional POS systems both customers and merchants can order, process & pay via Tottu from their devices.

Tube Access Point: There is a great need for a method to address IV tube entanglement in critical care environments in hospitals. The Tube Access Point, a simple, low cost device improves patient mobility, line traceability, and reduces potentially fatal misconnections and disconnections.

Your New Scope: Environmental friendly micro-electronic photonic device, wearable treatment kit makes your healthcare at home easy.