Student Venture Teams Compete for $67,000 at WSU’s 16th Annual Business Plan Competition
Story by Meagan Garrett. Photos by WSU Photo Services
The WSU Center for Entrepreneurship hosted its 16th annual Business Plan Competition on Friday, April 20. This year’s competition hosted 22 top student startup teams from across the University and five high school startup teams from across the state of Washington.
The six best college teams were awarded prize money, with Test Robotics winning $15,000 for first place. The top five high school teams received prize money as well, with Clara Jane Studios from Pullman High School winning first place and $5,000.
New era of WSU entrepreneurship
As the entrepreneurial mindset expands throughout WSU, the mission of the Center for Entrepreneurship is to provide more entrepreneurial opportunities to all students across all majors in WSU. The BPC met that mission this year with a wide variety of university and community involvement:
- 39 college teams entered the competition, representing 128 students from majors and colleges across the WSU system: Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture: 54; Carson College of Business: 54; College of Arts and Sciences: 4; College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences: 7; Edward R. Murrow College of Communication: 7; College of Veterinary Medicine: 1; College of Education: 1
- 27 high school teams entered the competition
- 75 members of the state-wide business community served as judges
New prize, winning teams announced
Each year, the Herbert B. Jones Foundation sponsors several grand prizes and additional merit awards worth $2,500 each for best written plan, best presentation, best technology venture, and best social impact business.
This year, the Boeing Employees Credit Union sponsored a new $5,000 merit prize for best FinTech solution. FinTech is an emerging financial service sector that provides financial solutions through software applications and modern technology. This prize was awarded to the team with the best financial technology product or service solution, regardless of overall placement.
Another new prize this year was the M2 Up and Coming Prize, awarded by the Center for Entrepreneurship staff to the team that showed the most notable forward momentum in their venture.
All awards were announced at the gala dinner.
The 2018 winning teams were:
- Test Robotics – A tool-cleaning robot that automates the cleaning process for composite manufacturing tools.
- Protium Innovations – A lightweight hydrogen fueling system for unmanned aerial vehicles.
- BeeToxx – A food additive for bees that prevents damage to individual bees and colonies caused by pesticides used in agriculture.
- Laser RevEng – An adaptation of smart home technology that improves gameplay in laser tag.
- That’s A Wrap – A machine that creates wrappers for cannabis cigars out of cannabis waste product.
- Vein Vision – A combination tourniquet and vein illuminator tool for use in emergency medical services that stabilizes veins and makes them easier to access.
- Clara June Studios – A pottery studio creating hand-made, wheel-thrown ceramics.
- Chloe’s Lavender – A boutique lavender grower selling lavender products including soaps, lotions and sachets.
- Kits by Zschoche – An educational STEM toy building kit for young children.
- Howlets Seam – A custom tailoring service for COS players and individuals in the entertainment industry.
- Gratitude – A juice and smoothie bar located in Kelsey Creek.
- Best Written Plan: Protium Innovations
- Best Presentation: ElectroActive
- Best Technology Venture: MoleCURE
- Best Social Impact Business: BeeToxx
- BECU Best FinTech: Close to Campus (CTC)
- M2 Up and Coming Award: Candor Clothing