Eight Teams to Compete for $100,000 in the 2021 Global New Venture Challenge Finals

The Global New Venture Challenge final, April 11, 2019 at the Gleacher Center.(Photo by Jean Lachat)

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is pleased to announce the eight teams selected to compete in the finals of the Global New Venture Challenge (GNVC), a startup competition for students enrolled in Chicago Booth’s Executive MBA program.

The GNVC, now in its 14th year, operates on Booth’s three campuses — Chicago, London and Hong Kong — each of which holds a semifinals event before the global finals. Finalist teams will vie for a portion of a $100,000 investment pool at a virtual business plan competition to be held June 10.

Nineteen teams were accepted into this year’s GNVC, which includes an intensive week of class and one-on-one coaching sessions with mentors from across the globe before the regional semifinals. The class is taught by Waverly Deutsch, clinical professor of entrepreneurship at Booth and director of the University of Chicago Global Entrepreneurs Network at the Polsky Center.

“I am always astonished by the diversity of business models our EMBA students are working on,” Deutsch said. “This year we had  teams bringing AI and sensor technology to shrimp farming in India, innovation to the welding industry, and a tasty chocolate energy gummy to market in addition to our eight great finalists. Viewers of the GNVC finals this year will be see an incredible array of compelling companies.”

The eight teams advancing to the GNVC finals are:

Chicago campus:

  • Driving Forward // Driving Forward is a nonprofit that helps under-resourced undergraduates prepare for a rewarding career by offering internships focused on professional development and mentorship.
  • HeartScreen // Heartscreen is a subscription-based telemedicine platform that transforms a smartphone into a digital stethoscope that acquires heart sounds in real-time.
  • Pillars // Pillars is a technology-driven investment platform to manage wealth and investments for Muslims, enabling them to save for their future in accordance with their beliefs.

Hong Kong campus:

  • Match Point // Match Point is a comprehensive SaaS solution to help food and beverage retailers maximize operating margins through the use of dynamic menu pricing and the elimination of menu costs.
  • Seraphim Gaming Technologies // Seraphim Gaming Technologies is a technology-enabled provider of secure playing cards, card shoe devices, and casino table game analytics in Asia.

London campus:

  • Dar // Dar offers a modular housing product that offers affordability, sustainability, and short lead time. The product aims to address the housing crisis faced by the middle class in Saudi Arabia.
  • ReconBio //ReconBio is a drug-device combination platform that enables on-demand drug delivery and retrieval, creating value by improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs.
  • Tendenza // Tendenza is a women’s apparel retail chain that sells curated, top-quality secondhand  imported clothing.

The GNVC is one of five tracks of the New Venture Challenge, which this year marks its 25th anniversary. It is a condensed version of the traditional track of the program, the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge, which is for Booth MBAs and other UChicago grad students and spans the academic year.

Register here to attend the GNVC finals, which is free and open to the public. Learn more about the GNVC here

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