More than $40,000 in cash prizes was handed out to student entrepreneurs at the 12th Annual Wake Forest University Schools of Business Elevator Competition. Thirty-five teams from around the world converged at BB&T Headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C., on March 26 to make two-minute elevator pitches to a panel of judges in hopes of winning seed capital for their business ventures.
Medtric Biotech from Purdue University took home the top $20,000 prize in the Traditional Track for OSMOSE™, a unique method of destroying bacteria for the prevention and treatment of infected wounds. Team members, Rob Einterz (left), Sean Connell and Jianming Li, received automatic entry into the Venture Labs Investment Competition and can qualify for up to a $500,000 investment from the Piedmont Angel Network.
“I truly believe that entrepreneurship is what keeps the world going,” Einterz said as he accepted the award on behalf of Medtric .
OsComp Systems from Massachusetts Institute of Technology finished second, BlackLocus from Carnegie Mellon University was third, Hemova Medical from Johns Hopkins University was fourth and Medici Medical Technologies from Duke University placed fifth in the Traditional Track.
EYEChina from the University of Oklahoma won first place in the Social Entrepreneurship Track and $10,000 to invest in a plan to provide one million residents of rural Sichuan with high-quality, accessible and affordable cataract surgeries by 2020. EYEChina team members Patrick Luong, Lucas Rice, Samantha Toth and Barry Conrad will also advance to the final screening round of the Echoing Green Foundation’s business plan competition.
Other Social Entrepreneurship finalists included: Ix-Neox from Johns Hopkins University (second), SMILE Floss from Thammasat Business School (third), Antenatal Screening Kit from Johns Hopkins University (fourth) and SevenFOUR from the University of Pennsylvania (fifth).
The winners were announced during a Gala ceremony at the Marriott in downtown Winston-Salem
“The caliber of the teams this year was fantastic. We had competitors from the top business schools across the United States plus four international teams,” said Will Dow (MBA ’11), second year Elevator Competition co-chair.
BOLD from Ball State University won $1,000 for garnering the highest number of Fan Favorite votes on ElevatorCompetitionLIVE.com. The website had more than 25,000 hits during the competition.
Team SMILE Floss from Thammasat Business School in Bangkok, Thailand received a special “Road Warrior” award. The group traveled 27-hours to get to Winston-Salem for the 2011 Wake Forest Elevator Competition.
The Elevator Competition is a student-run event organized and produced by 2nd year co-chairs: Will Dow (MBA ’11), Chris Van Roekel (MBA ’11) and Roy Hykal (MBA ’11) with a team of MBA, MA, and undergraduate steering committee members and more than 50 other student volunteers. The faculty advisor is Stan Mandel, Professor of Practice at Wake Forest University Schools of Business and Director of the Angell Center for Entrepreneurship.
Sponsors of the Wake Forest Elevator Competition include: Altria, BB&T, B/E Aerospace, Broyhill Family Foundation, Burt’s Bees, Checkpoint, Lowe’s, Piedmont Angel Network and Truliant Federal Credit Union.