Seven Undergrad-Led Startups to Compete for Investment in 10th Anniversary Finals of the College New Venture Challenge

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is pleased to announce the seven finalists selected to compete in the 10th Anniversary Finals of the College New Venture Challenge (CNVC), an undergraduate student startup accelerator set to award at least $100,000 in investment.

The CNVC, launched in 2012, is one of five tracks of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business’ New Venture Challenge, a pioneering and top-ranked startup accelerator that has nurtured more than 370 still-active companies that have raised more than $1.2 billion in investment and achieved some $8.5 million in mergers and exits.

Alumni of the college accelerator include success stories such as Cubii, Sokowatch, MoneyThink, Quevos, and Fronen.

The CNVC’s investment pool has grown markedly over the decade. During the 2021 competition, winning CNVC startups received a total of $150,000 in investment, double the award amount from the prior year.

At the 2022 finals, scheduled for March 10, finalists will present their business plans to a panel of judges and investors for a piece of an investment pool expected to top $100,000.

“The breadth of these students’ new venture ideas – and the quality of those ideas – is extremely impressive,” 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. “We are excited to see the new businesses that will launch from this year’s cohort, and to support their growth.”

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). Sixteen teams were accepted into the program to develop their business plans during a credit-bearing course at Chicago Booth in the winter quarter, and seven were selected to advance to the finals. Two of the finalist teams have both UChicago and UIUC students as members.

The 2022 finalists are:

Baryl // Baryl plans hyper-personalized trips within minutes. Its AI engine helps travelers discover the best things to eat and do based on their travel personalities.

Haylon Technologies // Haylon Technologies enables batteries with significantly higher battery life through a new kind of battery management system that can intelligently switch between different energy sources to accomplish different tasks. Haylon is currently producing a fixed-wing drone battery with 40% greater battery life. (Team includes UIUC and UChicago students).

Natuur Brands // Natuur Brands (formerly Summit) has created the Natuur Bite, a golf-ball-sized, plant-based, healthy marijuana edible. Each bite contains almonds, dates, and granola, in addition to 5 mg of cutting-edge, fast-acting THC.

OrganX Scientific // OrganX Scientific is creating innovative organ preservation devices that increase the donor pool and improve patient outcomes.

StandOut Search // StandOut Search is a double-sided platform that matches high school students with internships at startups. (Team includes UChicago and UIUC students).

Tiimu // Tiimu aims to invigorate sustainable development by pioneering a novel last-mile distribution strategy to deliver sustainable cooking and energy solutions to under-served rural Ugandan consumers. Financed by selling the carbon emissions reductions as credits to companies, the distribution network will scale access to better quality of life for millions across sub-Saharan Africa, while creating public goods essential to fixing the climate crisis.

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 pimples, acne, dark circles and other blemishes instantly. ZERO for Men believes nothing should get in your way… ZERO.

Register here to watch the finals via livestream. To learn more about the CNVC, visit the program page or contact Lucas Peralta,

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