7 Teams Set To Compete For Record Funding In The Cozad New Venture Challenge 2023
4/15/2023 8:56:51 AM
The Technology Entrepreneur Center in The Grainger College of Engineering is pleased to announce the seven finalists selected to compete in the finals event of the campus-wide Cozad New Venture Challenge 2023 that will be held at the Discovery Partners Institute in Chicago on April 19. The experiential program that is focused on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and supports the creation of new sustainable business ventures has awarded over $2.5 million in funding, cash, and in-kind prizes to Illinois startups since its inception in 2000.
At the Cozad New Venture Challenge 2023 Finals event, the seven finalists will present their startup ideas to a panel of judges for the top placement prizes. All the teams, including the finalists that took part in the Demo Showcase, will be eligible for prizes totaling over $300,000 in funding, cash, and in-kind prizes.
This year, the campus-wide competition kicked off in early February with over 100 competing teams representing 10 colleges. The teams attended 4 workshops on customer discovery, value proposition, financials, and presentation skills besides optional skills development workshops. Nearly 90 startup teams made it to the Demo Showcase that took place on April 13 at Illinois Conference Center in Champaign, Illinois. The teams pitched their startup ideas to about 105 past Cozad alumni, investors, mentors, faculty, sponsors, and partners of the thriving University of Illinois entrepreneurship ecosystem who served as judges.
The Cozad New Venture Challenge 2023 Finalists are:
Beacon: The medical startup is developing a light therapy through a transcranial implant to help patients with aggressive brain tumors live longer by destroying cancer cells that can’t be surgically removed. The team members represent the Gies College of Business, Carle Illinois College of Medicine, School of Information Sciences, and Grainger Engineering (CS and ECE).
Enviro RegTech: Enviro, a B2B SaaS company is overhauling safety by leveraging algorithms and Occupational Safety and Health Administration data to optimize compliance. The startup also provides tailored training modules and consulting for comprehensive risk analysis for manufacturing companies in the Midwest. The team members represent Grainger Engineering (Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering and ECE).
Hatch: Hatch is an AI university recruitment platform that allows recruiters to rank hundreds of applicants in seconds. The team members represent the Gies College of Business and Grainger Engineering (CS).
Integrated Dynamics: Integrated Dynamics is building hybrid bioreactors to turn organic waste into hydrogen gas. Americans generate 150 billion pounds of food waste yearly, and green hydrogen is expensive to use in industry. The startup is developing bioreactor systems to quickly process food waste into large quantities of clean hydrogen, which will subtract waste from landfills and pollution from the environment. The team members represent Grainger Engineering (Bioengineering and CS).
Sakura MedTech: Sakura MedTech is a medical device company working to increase accessibility and comfort in gynecology by developing an imaging device for cervical cancer screening to improve the patient and gynecologist experience. The team members represent Grainger Engineering (Bioengineering).
Top Tier Lessons: Top Tier Lessons is an online platform that matches college student athletes with parents in the community looking for sports lessons for their kids. The team members represent Grainger Engineering (Bioengineering and Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering).
Zite AI: The Startup makes small business owners' dreams come true by helping them select the perfect location to open their business, increasing their revenues, and reducing the risk of failure. The team members represent Grainger Engineering (Industrial & Enterprise Systems Engineering).
Who will win the Cozad New Venture Challenge? Register for the Finals Event to find out. Register here.
And don’t miss the Entrepreneurship Celebration and Awards ceremony on April 26 at the Campus Instructional Facility. We will be awarding many more Cozad New Venture Challenge prizes. RSVP here.