Meet the Undergraduate Teams Competing in the 10th Annual College New Venture Challenge
The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is pleased to announce the 16 teams selected for the 2022 College New Venture Challenge (CNVC), an undergraduate student startup accelerator marking its 10th anniversary.
The nascent businesses, which will compete for investment, boast innovations that run the gamut from medical devices to gaming platforms, from nutritious THC edibles to mobile micro nuclear reactors.
“The quality and diversity of ventures entering this year’s competition has reached an all-time high,” said Starr Marcello, AM ’04, MBA ’17, deputy dean for MBA programs at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and professor of the CNVC. “Several of the ventures are already in market and generating revenue. We are looking forward to working with an inspiring and exceptionally talented group of founders.”
The CNVC, launched in 2012, is one of five tracks of the University of Chicago’s New Venture Challenge, a top-ranked startup accelerator that has nurtured more than 500 still-active companies, including Grubhub, Simple Mills, and Braintree.
The CNVC is open to returning undergraduate students from UChicago, as well as students in the entrepreneurship track of the City Scholars program at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC). Participants develop their business plans during a credit-bearing course at Chicago Booth in the winter quarter, and at the end finalist teams present to a panel of judges for a shot at investment.
The finals are set for March 10.
The CNVC’s investment pool has grown markedly over the life of the program, whose alumni companies include Cubii, Sokowatch, MoneyThink, Quevos, and Fronen. During the 2021 competition, winning CNVC startups received a total of $150,000 in investment, double the award amount from the prior year.
The following teams have been selected to participate in the 2022 CNVC:
Alpha Nur // Alpha Nur seeks to serve government entities such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Veterans Affairs who are in need of small, readily available energy sources by producing small, reliable, and mobile micro nuclear reactors.
Balma Health // Balma Health LLC champions the creation of innovative and interactive public health education to empower children and families with an understanding of health and disease and facilitate healthy conversations between child and parent, educator, or healthcare professional, ultimately leading to better health outcomes.
Baryl // Baryl is bringing the travel agency experience to the 21st century by helping travelers create personalized itineraries at the click of a button. Simply enter your destination, take a short quiz to share your travel preferences, and Baryl will curate itineraries customized for you.
CamUX // CamUX has a mission to make information more accessible for people of all abilities. CamUX has developed an eye-tracking wearable, that uses pupil position to control mouse function, and give people with upper limb impairments an efficient and natural way to interface the digital world.
Casgains Enterprises // Casgains Enterprises is an online content service company that aims to disrupt the traditional financial media space by further democratizing the stock market for retail investors and providing extensive resources necessary to make well-informed financial decisions.
Dan The Baking Man // Dan The Baking Man is a vegan, and gluten-free cookie company that has developed revolutionary cookies free of any synthetic sweeteners, refined sugars, and thickeners. It produces multiple varieties, including chocolate chip, double chocolate, rainbow sprinkle, and matcha and white chocolate chips that can be found online and throughout retailers.
Hang // Hang is an app for safe, spontaneous group activities. Instead of delaying a night out because your friends were busy, you can post it on Hang in just a few taps and find a crew near you on the fly.
Haylon Technologies // Haylon creates the architectural framework to leverage the strengths of different battery chemistry types. These hybrid batteries can ameliorate undesirable qualities of current batteries. Its first battery design is in the form of a long-range, lightweight drone battery.
MagnaPlay // MagnaPlay is a subscription-based video game distribution platform, focused on games made by independent developers. Users pay a low monthly subscription and can download and play any game on the platform. The company takes a commission from the subscriptions and distributes the rest to game developers based on various player-specific engagement metrics.
Nephra // Nephra is developing remote monitoring technology for dialysis patients to break a new frontier of patient-centric kidney care. The early-stage medical technology startup utilizes a machine learning algorithm to classify risky ranges of key electrolytes through non-invasive, convenient ECG readings.
OrganX Scientific // OrganX Scientific is a medical startup specializing in surgical devices that minimize adverse events, reduce hospitalizations, and improve patient outcomes. It was founded as a collaboration between students at The University of Chicago and researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine.
StandOut Search // StandOut Search is an online marketplace and consultancy that matches high school students with virtual internships at startups. Its mission is to make these opportunities more accessible for students of all backgrounds by charging affordable prices for its internship matching services and offering a pro-bono program for low-income students.
Summit // Summit is a cannabis startup developing Summit Bite, an organic, protein-packed, fast-acting THC edible. Its mission is to provide a healthy, nutritious form of THC to a growing health-conscious THC user base that is looking for an alternative to smoking and processed, high-calorie edibles.
Tallli // Tallli brings all forms of the gaming experience to a unified, streamlined, and organized platform on which users can track scores and stats, compete for bragging rights, and socialize over shared interests, competitive spirit, and love for games.
Tiimu //Tiimu is a for-profit social venture focused on bringing sustainable development to underserved rural regions of Sub-Saharan Africa through the voluntary carbon market. Tiimu will provide sales and marketing solutions to scale a diverse array of sustainable products and services needed to drive sustainable development forward.
ZERO for Men // ZERO for Men is focused on serving the health and image of the modern male who wants to feel confident and look his best. The ZERO Stick was designed by men, for men, to cover blemishes instantly.
To learn more about the CNVC, visit the program page or contact Lucas Peralta, Lucas.firstname.lastname@example.org.