Fem-Health Innovator Yarra Takes First Place Prize of $75,000 at the 16th Annual Global New Venture Challenge
The 16th Annual Global New Venture Challenge (GNVC) has awarded first place to Yarra, a fem-health company working to commercialize a new type of menstrual cup that significantly improves women’s comfort through a revamped design allowing users to insert it and remove it just like a tampon.
Seven finalist teams presented their business plans to a panel of judges at UChicago’s Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago on Tuesday for a chance at part of a $150,000 investment pool. And Yarra was awarded $75,000 in investment in the 2023 GNVC, a global venture competition for Executive MBA students studying at Chicago Booth’s three campuses in Chicago, London, and Hong Kong.
Now in its 16th year, the GNVC is a track of the top-ranked New Venture Challenge and is designed exclusively for Chicago Booth’s executive MBA students. It debuted in 2008 to accommodate the growing entrepreneurial aspirations of Booth’s executive MBA students on each of its three global campuses — Chicago, Hong Kong, and London. Each year the GNVC brings together more than 80 alumni and members of the business community to serve as coaches, judges, panelists, and guest speakers. Eighteen teams were selected to compete in three different semi-finals which were held at each global campus. Then seven teams faced off in the finals event in Chicago.
Waverly Deutsch, clinical professor of entrepreneurship who leads the intensive classroom component of the program and oversees one-on-one coaching sessions commented on the program, “Every year we continue to be amazed by the diversity of business models that emerge from this process. The innovations this year’s winners will bring to market are simply incredible. From fem-health menstrual cups, to stem cell storage and wealth management for immigrants. We can’t wait to see where these companies will go in the future.”
The GNVC is one of five tracks of the New Venture Challenge, a top-ranked business school startup accelerator founded at Chicago Booth 27 years ago. The overall program has supported more than 390 still-active companies that have raised more than $1 billion in funding and achieved more than $8 billion in mergers and exits. Household names include Tovala, Foxtrot, Braintree, Simple Mills, and Grubhub.
The winners of the 2023 GNVC are:
First Place // $75,000
Yarra // Yarra is a fem-health company working to commercialize a new type of menstrual cup that significantly improves women’s comfort through a revamped design and a new user experience: insert it and remove it like a tampon. The proprietary and patent-ready design eliminates the suction effect of a traditional cup, making it comfortable to wear and easy to handle.
Second Place // $50,000
ReGen Cell Therapy // ReGen Cell Therapy is a stem cell company providing cleaning, storage, and regeneration services for humans and animals at price points that will allow people to have access to treatments that are not available today, but will be available in the future. Saving for the cure.
Third Place // $25,000
Eden Intelligence Financial //Eden Intelligence Financial wealth management advisory is tailored for families immigrating to the U.S. with established careers and businesses. Their solution provides sophisticated advisory at affordable prices by utilizing a software platform with artificial intelligence solutions based on investment theories from the University of Chicago. (Formerly South Pine Wealth Management)